There are multiple ethical codes that inform the professional behavior of counselors. This is due in part to the manifold areas in which we specialize and the populations with which we work. As counseling specialties have emerged, so have the guidelines for protecting clients who seek specialized help. These links will direct you to the more prevalent codes forTexas counseling professionals.
The American Counseling Association is the largest organization of counselors in the country, representing 45,000 members. The ACA Code of Ethics is a comprehensive overview of values for counselors in general, and is the code of ethics adhered to by the Texas Counseling Association.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors Code of Ethics corresponds to Texas laws that affect counseling.
The American School Counselor Association is the largest division of ACA, representing 18,000 members. The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors address the sensitive issues of working with minors in school settings.
The Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW), a division of the American Counseling Association whose members are interested in and specialize in group work, has developed the ASGW Best Practice Guidelines. While there are several other codes of ethics in our field, these are most likely to be recognized by the general public and, regardless of your membership in these organizations, are the minimum standard by which the public would expect you to behave. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Professional counselors are directed to seek continual professional development related to legal and ethical issues in counseling and to join associations that represent their specialized interests.
To view the rubric used by TCA's Ethics committee for reviewing sessions for Ethics credit, click here.