Professional Code of Ethics

One of the issues encompassed in different code of ethics in counseling is client welfare. One of the ways of ensuring client welfare is through providing competent services which are defined by professional ethics. The counselor can ensure quality service by effective utilization of resources and educating the client on outcome of assessment. The Christian Counselors Association of Australia (CCAA) defines some of the professional practices which include maintaining practices that will protect the public and advance the profession. The Psychotherapy and Counseling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and CCAA prohibit any conflict of interest that may arise due to dual or multiple relationships in the profession. In Western Australian Association of Youth Workers (WAAYW), the dual relationship is referred to as boundaries where the youth relationship should be professional. PACFA, CCAA and WAAYW outline that integrity, duty of care and confidentiality should prevail to ensure the client’s rights are protected, health and safety, non-discrimination, continuity of care, and informed consent.

The nature of confidentiality is based on three principles: privacy, secrecy and confidence. Secrecy is the physician’s right to autonomous clinical judgment; confidence is the ground for the counselor-patient relationship and; privacy is the client’s right to privacy (Thompson, 1979). The purpose of confidentiality is protection of client from undue harm that may result from dissemination of the client’s sensitive information to unauthorized persons. Confidentiality is also a show of respect and preserving the client’s dignity. Confidentiality is based on three principles: autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence. According to CCAA, in conveying the information and purpose of confidentiality, the counselor should demonstrate integrity, sensitivity, humility, honesty and capability towards the client. 

 

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