Code of Ethics Comparison

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Code of Ethics Comparison

Abstract

This paper is a comparison between the codes of ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). This paper aims to present the similarities and differences between the two codes of ethics. There are two main sections on this paper. The first section presents the general similarities and differences of the two codes of ethics. The second section presents the similarities and differences of the two codes of ethics on three specific areas: Confidentiality, Sexual Intimacies and Informed Consent. The author used the codes of ethics of both organizations in the process of comparing and contrasting. The general comparison reveals that the
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This is also stated in subsection 1-421 of the AACC code of ethics (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2004, p 12). However, the ACA guidelines with regards to this area are more comprehensive and clearly stated than the AACC guidelines. Section B of the ACA code of ethics provides guidelines on how a counselor can maintain client confidentiality in various circumstances such as incapacity of client, when treatment calls for services with others and even in consulting other counselors (American Counseling Association, 2005, p 7-9). On the other hand, the guidelines of the AACC are more limited in scope as can be seen in Section ES1-400 (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2004, p 11-13).

Sexual intimacies are another area in which similarities and differences can be observed between the two codes of ethics. Both codes of ethics prohibit sexual and romantic relationships between counselors and clients. Sections A.5.a and A.5.b of the ACA code of ethics clearly state this (American Counseling Association, 2005, p 5). This is also clearly stated in section 1-131 of the AACC code of ethics (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2004, p 8.). At this point, it is necessary to point out differences between these two codes of ethics in this regards. The AACC guideline clearly forbids sexual and romantic relationships with former clients but provides an exception as stated in section 1-133 where possible marriage is involved (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2004, p 8). On the other hand,
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