The 2014 update to the ACA Code of Ethics includes new or expanded guidelines on the use social media with clients; distance counseling; confidentiality; extending boundaries; multiculturalism and diversity; the use of technology; record keeping; diagnosis; end-of life care; the selection of interventions; and preventing the imposition of counselor personal values.
The American Counseling Association is pleased to help ACA members with inquiries on ethical practice, career counseling and advice regarding the profession.
NOTE: This service is not designed to function as a real-time hotline. Inquiries are prioritized, and we typically respond to requests within three business days of receipt.
Although ethics and risk management are related, ACA does not offer risk management services such as advice to minimize risk in the event of lawsuits and/or criminal charges. ACA believes that whenever questions arise, counselors should consult with a lawyer licensed in the jurisdiction in which they practice.
Stigma, fear and a lack of training cause many counselors to feel unprepared and vulnerable when faced with sexualized transference.
Stigma surrounding mental illness may linger as the elephant in the room and negatively affect client outcomes if counselors don’t recognize and address it in session.
The end of the counseling relationship can be emotional for clients and counselors alike, but when done well, the process can serve as a tool to empower clients and prepare them for continued personal growth.
Self-disclosure can establish trust and strengthen the bond between counselor and client, but the trick is knowing when it is (and isn’t) an appropriate tool to use.
If clients want to return to counseling, or to transition from a therapeutic relationship to a friendship, the right and responsibility to renew or reinvent the relationship should be theirs alone.