Professional Ethics In Counselling


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The British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework, which can be shortened to BACP, is a framework established in the year 2013. Its main principles provide adequate support in developing adequate professional practices that are ethical. The development of reflective practice in counseling and practices have been discussed and detailed. The importance of completing designated tasks and interacting with clients ethically has been specifically mentioned. Building therapeutic working relationships and efficient practices of counseling are of fundamental importance in this scenario. Herein, this study is about the main ethics used by professionals in guidance and counseling by using the aforementioned framework through which counseling practices show improvement in following ethical practices.

Explanation and the Principles of BACP Ethical Framework:

The main body of the aforementioned has been created using advice, guidance and intense discussions between various members of the creating organization. Several aspects of the documentation provide tremendous help in increasing the level of thinking in an ethical manner in this profession.

The ethics given by the documented record of the framework is mainly based on the principles, values and personal qualities of morality that play no small role in informing the application of a commitment to customers and clients (Bond, 2015, p.88). The practices are meant to be in ways that help all the parties involved.

The values given in the ethics section are useful for expressing the commitments given in general ethics. Some points have been covered that are guaranteed commitment in this regard. Main human rights and respect of the involved parties, especially the customers in transactions are among the prominent inclusions.

Eriksen et al. (2015, p.398) have mentioned that the policies also have made room for alleviating signs of various distressful symptoms and suffering of the customers. Improving the well-being and gauging the abilities of the people adequately while accurately gauging their measure without any kind of discrimination are also among the main highlights.

The commitments include helping to facilitate a sense of belonging and individual recognition that has proper meaning for the involved personnel or consumers. The qualities of effectiveness and esilience should be increased in the personal context for all the involved individuals in any kind of transaction.

The framework, established in the year 2013, has laid the regulations for improvements of affective commitment regarding improving interpersonal relationships between different involved people. A good method of doing so is effectively promoting appreciation of different varieties of distinct cultures and experiences of different people. Fair and appropriate service provisions along with enhancement of professional knowledge have been stressed (Fleet et al. 2016, p.335). Application of the aforementioned has been highlighted in the documented record for special attention regarding following ethical customs and measures.

The principles that have been informed by the values are meant to direct attention to responsibilities of ethics that are of immense importance. Precise definition and orientation of the action during their expressions as principles have been detailed and highlighted in the framework.

Other principles that have been mentioned in the document include a sense of trustworthiness, autonomy, nature of benefits, non – maleficence, a sense of justice and finally, self-respect.

Usage of Counseling Practice through Ethical Codes:

The main help that it accords to those who are involved in the counseling business is through the values and principles that it gives. Said values and principles have received a mention before, and are among the most important points of its ethical section (Gallagher and Haworth, 2015, p.108). This is so because they cover points that are the basic rights of not just those who are involved with any kind of transaction, but all human beings in general. These guiding values are the basics of living that all humans should strive by.

Counseling practices are best served when they adopt the ethical values given within the policies of the framework as well as the main principles. Everyone has to respect these in order to be successful in counseling and providing help in any manner. The main factor to be considered for the improvement of any workplace is respecting the basic rights of everyone as a human being first and foremost (Gupta and Menon, 2015, p.67). When helping someone, one is to never forget the personal boundaries and do whatever they can to never cross them. Alleviating any signs of personal suffering is one of the main requirements for the fulfillment of the job of counseling.

Facilitating a sense of self-worth and self-respect among people is very important in providing help in this context. The framework has mentioned the importance of this and other points very specifically. Protection of the safety of clients and customers is one of the main priorities of anyone that is involved in this line.

Lane and Boden (2015, p.97) mention that the trust that has been placed by clients is something that is forbidden from being broken under any sort of circumstances. Honoring that trust is something that everyone should strive to do. The effectiveness of the overall work is increased manifold when the relationship between the two parties has a solid foundation of trust.

With regards to the honoring of personal values of the client and the trustworthy relationship between the involved parties, it is important to note that counselors have to respect the right of the client to be self–governing (Musgrave, 2014, p.35). They have to prove that they are not going to interfere with any task that the customer deems to be inappropriate on their part. Basically, the point of autonomy has to be covered.

Commitment towards actually promoting the well-being of customers is also of paramount and fundamental importance. This is so because this is the ideal scenario that counselors strive for, that is, improvement and good condition of their clients. This naturally includes avoiding inflicting any sort of pain or harm to them physically or psychologically. The document specifically highlights the importance of meeting this criterion for providing the best services in this line.

According to O’Donnell and Gersch (2015, p.184), all clients are to be treated in a fair and just manner without any kind of discrimination on the part of counselors. They are to be treated impartially while simultaneously providing services that satisfy the targets in an ample manner. Discriminations based on gender, age or any kind of racial background is strictly against the ethics as is given in the guidelines.

Palmer (2015, p.94) state that the decisions to be chosen on the basis of ethics that therapists and counselors have to take certainly have the potential to show drastic improvements in quality while meeting appropriate criteria. Those who actually follow aforementioned values and guiding principles without any kind of contradictions are deemed to be quite well-founded in these regards.

Framework Key Areas related to Knowledge-based upon Professional Issues

The main areas of the framework with regards to ethical practices include guiding values, moral principles and personal qualities of morality. The former are very necessary for expressing commitments that are general in nature. These expressions fulfill the task of underpinning the goals, aims, and purposes of actions that have been taken.

Respect for rights of a basic human being and treatment of every situation and person in a dignified manner are important guidelines to follow and are highlighted in the documented record. Improvement of quality of interactions and relationships between different people as well as maintaining rights and effective protection of clients are other key areas of the aforementioned (Terry and Reeves, 2015, p.314). Professional issues such as a lack of trust can arise in case the basic ethics are not followed.

Maintaining a sense of trust and inculcating a sense of respect for themselves among the targeted clients are also specified. The importance of these points cannot be understated and underestimated. The entire base and cornerstone of ethical considerations for the customers are provided with the points that have just been mentioned. Prevention of any kind of discrimination and treating people of all walks of life in a fair and completely impartial manner along with maintenance of a sense of justice are among the other essential key points that are under the spotlight.

Internalized values that play a very definite role in shaping the way that people relate to the external environment and its aspects are commonly known as personal moral qualities (Tribe and Morrissey, 2015, p.89). They are stated to be of utmost importance in their presence and absence play noticeable roles in the development of relationships with customers.

Care for people, showing diligence towards them, having the courage to act despite fears, being able to empathize with someone based on their experiences, possessing a strong sense of identity, being humble in all situations, having proper integrity, having the quality of resiliencein face of all situations and possessing appropriate amount of respect for people are among the most important moral qualities mentioned and specifically stated.

Use in Clinical Work through the Qualities by the Codes and Conduct:

Counselors use this framework in solving several cases. They basically have been observed to choose the main aspects and points that have been highlighted in it. They smartly incorporate main ethical values and commitments in their own practice. This has noticeably shown effectiveness in their working.

Ward (2016, p.16) mentions that the main task is done by committing to client safety while respecting their wishes and privacy. Facilitation of a sense of worth is inculcated among them. This effectively helps them in dealing with any sort of dissatisfaction or problem that they are afflicted with. The qualities of empathy and sympathy are incorporated in the work of the professionals in a way that provides best possible solution to the overall problem.

Another smart move taken by the professionals of this industry is incorporating the main points of all mentioned points. Maintaining a sense of justice and committing towards the well-being of the client in distress has effectively allowed counselors to develop a good rapport with them. Clients open up much easier to people this way. This results in the effective recognition of the root of the problem. This, in turn, leads to an effective solution of the problem in a smaller timeframe than is expected.

It is true; however, that they may encounter situations in which it is impossible to use and reconcile all of the mentioned guidelines. Cases such as these are dealt with by choosing the most appropriate guideline which shows the highest promise of providing effective and efficient solutions (Terry and Reeves, 2015, p.318). Professional counselors also use appropriate measures depending on the situation. These courses of action are not unethical by any means since they are used after taking ethical necessities in mind and considering all needed conclusions.

Efficient ways of improvement of counseling processes using this framework are done by using the various principles that have been mentioned and specified. Outlining all of these principles is of great necessity.

According to Musgrave (2014, p.36), following the ethical code of practice has been observed to promote the virtues of fairness and non-discrimination. The moment anyone fulfills the essential requirement of treating everyone with impartiality said person overcomes the walls of discrimination. Impartiality is one of the main principles that have been stressed in framework wordings. Following it means that counselors are anti-discriminatory.

Following the given guidelines has given the professionals the flexibility and overall ability to relate to issues that are related to ethics. This helps in effectively providing solutions to the troubles plaguing the clients. Professional issues that impact upon the involved people are best treated by this method.

Gupta and Menon (2015, p.64) state that relating to the issues is actually a good method of going inside the problem itself. This helps in going in-depth into the details of the problem. Reflecting on the personal qualities is among the first steps to be taken in the finding of problems. Once proper reflection has been concluded, a correct evaluation of any aspect that may be responsible for any trouble whatsoever is mandatory.

This applies to the counselors as well as the clients and customers. Professionals can use this kind of reflective analysis when in doubt regarding their methods. Similarly, clients using this are undoubted of immense help to themselves as well as the guides, as this makes the task a whole lot easier.


It is thus concluded that the British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework provides ample guidance for counselors and professionals of that field alike. Following the main guidelines that have been stated there provides great help in accomplishing the allocated tasks and responsibilities in a proper and ethical manner. The basic moral values and principles, which are specified as key areas, have provided proper guidance for many people involved in this field. It is thus concluded that the framework of interest has helped people working in these sectors in fulfilling their duties correctly and ethically.


  • Bond, T., (2015). Standards and ethics for counselling in action. Sage.
  • Eriksen, C., Bor, R. and Oakes, M., (2015). Professional Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy. The Beginner's Guide to Counselling & Psychotherapy, p.398.
  • Fleet, D., Burton, A., Reeves, A. and DasGupta, M.P., (2016). A case for taking the dual role of counsellor-researcher in qualitative research. Qualitative Research in Psychology13(4), pp.328-346.
  • Gallagher, T. and Haworth, R., (2015). Professional and ethical issues. Handbook of Professional and Ethical Practice for Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists, p.108.
  • Gupta, A.K. and Menon, A., (2015). Ethics in Counselling and Psycho-Therapy: What We Need to Learn—South Asian Perspective. In Mental Health in South Asia: Ethics, Resources, Programs and Legislation (pp. 63-77). Springer Netherlands.
  • Lane, P. and Boden, J., (2015). Selfharm and suicide risk Identifying some of the professional and ethical. Handbook of Professional and Ethical Practice for Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
  • Musgrave, A., (2014). The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's 2014 Consultation on Ethics: Blog Extracts. Self & Society42(1-2), pp.35-36.
  • O’Donnell, G.M. and Gersch, I.S., (2015). Professional and ethical issues when working with children and adolescents. Handbook of Professional and Ethical Practice for Psychologists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists, p.184.
  • Palmer, S. ed., (2015). The Beginner's Guide to Counselling & Psychotherapy. Sage.
  • Terry, N. and Reeves, A., (2015). How do counsellors and psychotherapists understand diet and nutrition as part of the therapy process? A heuristic study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research15(4), pp.309-319.
  • Tribe, R. and Morrissey, J. eds., (2015). Handbook of professional and ethical practice for psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists. Routledge.
  • Ward, T., (2016). Routes into the profession of counselling, counselling psychology and psychotherapy in the United Kingdom. The Trainee Handbook: A Guide for Counselling & Psychotherapy Trainees, p.16.
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