Code of Ethics Comparison

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Abstract The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) both provide guidelines for the education, care and protection of consumers and practitioners. Although the two organizations have several guidelines that are similar in nature (fees and pro bono contribution) they also present guidelines that are distinctly different (primary goal and ethical foundation). This document will elaborate on these similarities and differences as well as comparing the confidentiality, records, and sexual intimacy guidelines of each. American Counseling Association and American Association of Christian Counselors Code of Ethics Comparison Similarities and Differences Similarities The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) both seek to provide guidelines that will serve consumers while recognizing and protecting their dignity. The ACA (2005) Code of Ethics list this as a primary responsibility (p. 4) while the AACC (2004) Code of Ethics list it as a mission of the code (p. 4). The ACA and the AACC also show similarities in the area of fees. Both find that it is important to recognize the client’s ability to pay when developing fees for service. They also encourage pro bono services, contributions to low SES communities with the intent of providing a portion of their time and services without cost. Differences Although both associations, the ACA and the AACC, seek to encourage counselors to implement procedures and practices that will create healthy growth and development for their clients the means to achieve these goals are different. The ACA (2005) Code of Ethics seeks to accomplish their goal by gaining an understanding of the clients, “diverse cultural backgrounds” (p. 4). They also encourage counselors to identify and explore their own cultural identity
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