Sound Code of Ethics

Sound Code of Ethics

Good counselors have a good code of ethics.

This is what you need to do to maintain the highest in Ethical principles.


1.       You respect the dignity and worth of each patient and strive to protect individual human rights.

2.       You are committed to patients understanding themselves and reaching their full potential.

3.       You protect the welfare of those who seek your services as a professional.

4.       You do not permit patients’ skills to be misused.

5.       You accept the responsibility for the consequences of your actions.  When you are wrong, you promptly admit it.

6.       You make sure that your services are used appropriately.

7.       You avoid relationships that may create a conflict of interest.

8.       You try to prevent distortion or misuse of your findings.

9.       You present material objectively, fully, and accurately.

10.    You know that your work bears a heavy responsibility because your recommendations and actions may alter the lives of others.

11.    You accurately represent your competence, education, training, and experience.

12.    You recognize the need for continuing education and are open to new procedures and changes.

13.    You recognize the differences among people of different races, sexes, cultures, creeds, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses.  When necessary, you are willing to obtain special training in how to deal effectively with such persons.

14.    If you use assessment tools, then you are responsible for knowing the reliability and validity of such instruments.

15.    You recognize that personal problems may interfere with your professional effectiveness.  You refrain from becoming engaged in an activity where your personal problems may have an influence.  If you have serious problems, then you have a responsibility to seek appropriate professional assistance.

16.    You obey the law.

17.    You do not condone practices that you perceive as being inhumane or unjust.

18.    When announcing professional services, you do not make claims that cannot be demonstrated by sound research.

19.    You present yourself accurately, avoiding misrepresentation of you or your findings.

20.    You respect the confidentiality of all information obtained within the context of your work.

21.    You reveal such information only with the written permission of the patient or patient’s legal representative, except when the patient is a clear danger to self or others.

22.    When appropriate, you inform the patient of the legal limits of confidentiality.

23.    You discuss information obtained in professional relationships only for professional purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with the case.

24.    You ensure that appropriate provisions are made for maintain confidentiality in the storage and disposal of the patient record.

25.    You recognize your own needs and are cognizant of your potential to influence clients and subordinates.

26.    You make every effort to avoid relationships that could impair your professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation.  This includes, but is not limited to treatment of employees, close friends, or relatives.

27.    You understand the sexual intimacies with patients are unethical.

28.    You make arrangements for payment of services that safeguard the best interest of the client.

29.    You terminate your services when it is reasonably clear that the patent is not benefiting.

30.    You understand the areas of your competence and make full use of other professionals who will serve the best interests of your patient.

31.    You cooperate fully with other professionals.

32.    If a person is receiving a similar service from another professional, then you carefully consider that relationship and proceed cautiously, protecting the other professional and the patient.

33.    If you employ or supervise other professionals or professionals in training then you accept the obligation to facilitate the professional development of those individuals.  You provide appropriate working conditions, timely evaluations, constructive consultation, and continuing education.

34.    You do not exploit your professional relationships with patients, supervisees, students, or employees sexually or otherwise.  You do not condone or participate in any form of sexual harassment.

35.    When you know of an ethical violation by another counselor, if it seems appropriate, you bring this violation to the attention of the counselor.  If this behavior is not corrected, then you bring the information to the appropriate local, state, or national board.