The ACA Code of Ethics Preamble outlines five core professional values of the counseling profession that all licensed counselors have trained under and agreed to:
- Enhancing human development throughout the life span;
- Honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people with their social and cultural contexts;
- Promoting social justice;
- Safeguarding the integrity of the counselors-client relationship; and
- Practicing in a competent and ethical manner
The ACA Code of Ethics symbolizes and guides the ethical values of the counseling profession throughout the U.S. and around the world; reflects the core values of the profession; and embodies a belief system that undergirds the bedrock principles of autonomy, justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and fidelity. This belief system is essential to living a life free of discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance.
As an organization, ACA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion prescribes that we support the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and other communities minoritized based on their race, gender, religion or physical abilities, to enjoy protections and privileges that are extended to all people. We have the responsibility to respect and serve all people that seek out counseling services, and we support the fair and equitable rights for all counselors and the clients they serve. Further, the ACA Code of Ethics does not condone legislation or regulatory measures of any sort that do not support cultural inclusiveness of all types.
ACA has made the following statements on legislative and policy issues from across the country. We stand by these statements, which are rooted in the guidance provided by the ACA Code of Ethics.
Each statement is accompanied by additional resources on the subject for counselors.