Code of Ethics and Cultural Competence

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Code of Ethics and Cultural Competence in Counseling The Latin word ethics relates to moral philosophy. It involves acceptable concepts of behavior, what society determines right or wrong. Historically, it has been argued by pioneers in the field of psychology that all of the required skills and ethical obligations of counselors are based on moral philosophy rather than psychology. Many may agree that acceptable philosophical views guide counselors in developing the framework in evaluating human behavior. (Urofsky, Dennis, 2003). The importance of philosophical concepts to mental health counselors is that they serve as a framework to the code of ethics that govern the conduct of a counselor. Regardless of a counselor’s specialty, they are not only governed federal and state laws but also a code of ethics which outlines the standards of excellence in practice. According to Herlihy and Corey, the American Counseling Association (ACA) is “an educational, scientific, and professional organization whose members work in a variety of settings and serve in multiple capacities and are dedicated to the enhancement of human development throughout the life span” (Herlihy & Corey p. 27, 2006). The American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA) is a professional counseling association which also represents mental health counselors and this organization is also governed by a code of ethics which members are expected to follow in education, training, and practice. The code of ethics offered by the AMHCA is a guide to support and educate its members in making sound ethical decisions and to define ethical behavior (AMHCA, 2010). In my option, one of the greatest obstacles in the field of mental health counseling is the taboo associated with services based on cultural concerns. Once counselors have acquired the skills needed to communicate effectively with people

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