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Code of Ethics

This Code of Ethics represents a compilation from a wide variety of organizations. It is acknowledged that such a stated code is not likely to cover all the situations in which a counselor or therapist may find themselves. This code is a set of general principles that every member The Agency is expected to follow. The term “client(s)” is used for simplification, as opposed to terms such as parishioners, church members or other like designations.

1. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence.
The Christian counselor must strive to be of benefit to all of those seeking their help. They must never do any harm to those in need of counseling. The welfare of all those involved in the process must always be safeguarded.

2. Fidelity and Responsibility.
The Christian counselor must maintain the highest level of professional standards. They realize that the establishment of a relationship of trust with those whom they counsel is necessary and a great responsibility.

3. Integrity.
Counselors promote accuracy, honesty and truthfulness in the exercising of their ministry/vocation. Promises must be clear and always kept. Commitments must always be clear in the counseling process.

4. Justice.
All people must be treated fairly and equally. Personal biases, boundaries of competence and the limitations of expertise must not lead to or condone unjust practices.

5. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity.
Christian counselors must respect the dignity and worth of all people. Cultural, individual and role distinctions must be recognized and appreciated.

6. Competence.
Christian counselors must be well educated, trained and experienced in order to provide the best ministry services to their clients. The counselor owes it to their clients to provide the most competent counsel possible and to this end, their lives are geared to stay well versed in God’s Word and its application.

7. Personal Problems.
The counselor will recognize when their personal problems may prevent them from providing their clients with the best possible service. In this regard, they will not hesitate to make referrals to other competent Christian counselors.

8. Unfair Discrimination.
Christian counselors will not engage in unfair discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status or any other like bias.

9. Harassment.
Members of the The Agency will not engage in any type of harassment (subtle or blatant) of persons with whom they interact in their work.

10. Conflict of Interest.
Christian counselors will refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, professional, legal, financial or other interests could reasonably be expected to impair their objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing their services.

11. Confidentiality.
Counselors have a primary obligation and must take reasonable precautions to protect the confidential nature of the counseling process. This includes any written (stored) records or conversations with other individuals. The confidential nature of the counseling process should always be discussed with clients.

12. Disclosure.
Counselors may disclose confidential information only with the written consent of the client or another legally authorized person on behalf of the client.

13. Records.
Any records generated by the counseling process belong exclusively to the counseling agency. It is important that this be established and clearly stated at the beginning of the counseling process. Counselors may withhold client’s records for lack of payment, unless they are needed for emergency treatment.

14. Assessments.
Christian counselors must always be honest and fair in their assessments. They should include not only an analysis of the conditions being faced by a client; assessments should pinpoint causes, effects and constructive, Biblically based solutions. Assessments should not be made rashly, but should be given after prayerful consideration and extensive consultation with the client.

15. Therapy.
The Christian counselor must realize that therapy, strictly defined by the Bible, refers to healing. Healing may come through a process, but it is just as likely to come instantaneously. Counseling is, generally speaking, a series of meetings and consultations, but there is no minimum or maximum number of prescribed sessions. These guidelines apply to individual, marital or group counseling sessions.

16. Consultation.
It is likely that the Christian counselor will need to consult with other counseling professionals from time to time. The Agency will recommend, free of charge, professional counselors that are willing to consult with colleagues on behalf of their clients.

17. Termination of Therapy/Counseling
The Christian counselor must terminate counseling when it becomes reasonably clear that the client is no longer in need of service, is not likely to benefit, or is being harmed in any way by continued service.

18. Payment for Counseling.
It is not unreasonable for Christian counselors to expect compensation for their time and effort. However, such fees will need to be set by individual counselors or counseling firms. Whenever possible, the Christian counselor may need to offer their services without compensation for the benefit of the individual in need.

19. Biblical Foundation.
Members of the The Agency are expected to use the Bible as their primary reference point regarding therapy of any sort. It alone pinpoints problems, offers solutions and restores those in need to a place of healthful contribution to the Body of Christ.

20. Continued Education.
It is expected that members of The Agency will continue to improve their understanding of the principles of God’s Word through formal education. It is the ethical obligation of those hold counseling credentials to maintain their professional standing in the community through sound instruction, both taught and learned.

 

Copyright © 2008 THE AGENCY FOR EXCELLENCE IN CHRISTIAN COUNSELING. All Rights Reserved.

 

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