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 for Texas counseling professionals.

American Counseling Association

The following links are to the American Counseling Association's Ethics website. They are helpful resources to further ethics understanding and to processing concerns. This ACA Ethics resource page provides contact information for ethical consults, as well as, the current Code of Ethics:

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.

Ethics and Risk Management Resources

Ethical Decision Making Model

Policies and procedures for processing ethical complaints brought before the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee


Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors Code of Ethics corresponds to Texas laws that affect counseling.

American School Counselor Association

The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors addresses the sensitive issues of working with minors in school settings.

Association for Specialists in Group Work

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.

TCA uses a strict vetting process that incorporates all applicable requirements of ethical codes when approving ethics continuing education programs.