There are a lot of myths going around related to therapy. We have tried to clarify some of the doubts and myths around therapy; by providing facts. One of the major concerns regarding therapy is privacy and confidentiality. Most people get worried that the sensitive and personal conversation with their therapist might get out.
Some organizations have created a code of ethics for counseling and therapy to protect clients as well as therapists. Breaking these rules and codes can lead to legal actions. Following are the organizations that deal with legal issues and ethical code of counseling and therapy,
- American Counseling Association (ACA)
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
- Association of Counsellor Education and Supervision (ACES)
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
What is Ethics?
Ethics are designed to provide some guidelines for the professional behavior of therapists and counselors. It is a standard code that every counselor and therapist must follow to ensure competent professional behavior and to maintain character and virtues. Through these ethics, they ensure to maintain the public trust and monitor own and other professional’s behaviors to follow the code.
American Counseling Association is one of the organizations that develop codes of ethics for therapists and counselors. ACA codes are generally used as guidelines all over the world.
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ACA Codes of Ethics
The therapist needs to collect an informed consent form signed by the client. This form will mention that the sessions between them will be confidential, private and the client can terminate the session according to their wish.
Confidentiality and Privacy
The sessions between the client and therapist are always confidential. The only time confidentiality can be breached is if the client means any harm to themselves or others.
Relation with client
The client and the therapist can never have a personal relationship outside the therapy sessions. Any kind of friendship and relationship between a client and their therapist is prohibited.
The therapist has to be sensitive and respectful to all kinds of clients. They can terminate a session based on the client’s culture or personal lifestyle but that is frowned upon.
The therapist needs to follow all the professional guidelines provided by the authorities. They must practice within the boundaries of the ethical codes and maintain a scientific foundation. Also, they need to engage in self-care activities like going for therapy to maintain their competence.
Relationships with Colleagues, Employees, and Employers
Therapists and counselors need to have a respectful relationship with their colleagues irrespective of their theoretical approaches. They need to provide referrals and consultations to them within their boundaries.
Evaluation, Assessment, and Interpretation
When we visit therapists, they offer some assessments to determine our issues and problems. They need to be accurate and culturally sensitive. Also, therapists can only provide assessments they are well trained in.
Distance Counseling, Technology, and social media
At present, the use of media in therapy has become the new normal. Even though personal and face-to-face therapy is preferable online therapy also offers an equal amount of help. But therapists need to be more careful while using technologies and media platforms to secure clients’ privacy and confidentiality.
Resolving Ethical Issues
In case of any ethical issues, the therapist needs to handle them sensitively and respectfully. They must have open and direct communication with all parties involved. And seek consultation if necessary.
These codes of ethics are a very important concept in the field of therapy and counseling. As clients knowing these codes will help us in receiving and utilizing therapy sessions the most. Also, these codes help us understand therapy and counseling in a better way. These codes were designed to safeguard clients’ rights and more awareness about these codes will help people to go for therapy as it will ease their worry about various misconceptions.
Lastly, only one question remains, Will you consider taking therapy after learning about the misconceptions and ethical codes?