Code of Ethics for Good Practice in Counselling
Here are some of the codes of ethics for the counsellors. It is intended to guide the practice particularly of counselling and psychotherapy. Being ethically mindful and willing to be accountable for the ethical basis of practice are essential requirements of the counsellors.
Therefore as accredited member of The National Counselling Society (NCS) in my own practice with the clients I will:
- Offer a non-judgmental professional service, free from discrimination, honouring the individuality of the client.- Establish the helping/therapeutic relationship in order to maintain the integrity and empowerment of the client without offering advice.
- Be committed to ongoing personal and professional development which to me is core to maintain, develop and enhance skills, knowledge and competence both professionally and personally in order to improve my performance as a professional counsellor.
- Ensure client understanding of the purpose, process and boundaries of the counselling relationship.
- Offer a promise of confidentiality and explain the limits of duty of care.
- For the purpose of advocacy, receive written permission from the client before divulging any information or contacting other parties.
- Endeavour to make suitable referral where necessary competent service cannot be provided.
- Undertake regular supervision and debriefing to develop skills, to monitor my own performance and sustain professional accountability.
- Not act as or practice legal counsel on behalf of or to a client when practicing as a counsellor or act as an agent for a client.
- Be responsible for my own updating and continued knowledge of theories, ethics and practices through journals or relevant bodies.
- Be committed to the above code of ethics and to the code of ethics of the bodies which I am a member.
Contracting with The Client (Counsellor-Client Contract)
I will adhere to the following points regarding the Counsellor-Client contract: here is some of the code of ethics regarding the contract with the client which as a counsellor I adhere and which I do before I commence a session with the client.
* Counsellor are responsible for reaching agreement with their clients about the terms on which counselling is being offered, including availability, the degree of confidentiality offered, arrangements for the payment of any fees, cancelled appointments and other significant matters. The communication of essential terms and any negotiations should be concluded by having reached a clear agreement before the client makes any commitment (or liability of any kind) to treatment.
* The counsellor has a responsibility to ensure that the client is given a free choice whether or not to participate in counselling, and it is important that the client is given opportunities to review their participation in their treatment. Reasonable steps should be taken in the course of the counselling relationship to ensure that the client is given an opportunity to review the counselling.
* Counsellor must avoid conflicts of interest wherever possible. Any conflicts of interest that do occur must be discussed in counselling supervision and where appropriate with the client and/or associated parties.
* Records of appointments should be kept and clients should be made aware of this. If records of counselling sessions are kept, clients should also be made aware of this. At the clients request information should be given about access to these records, their availability to other people, and the degree of security with which they are kept.
* Counsellor must be aware that computer-based records are subject to statutory regulations. It is the counsellor’s responsibility to be aware of any changes the government may introduce in the regulations concerning the clients right of access to his/her records.
* Counsellor is responsible for addressing any client dissatisfaction with counselling services received.
With The Client
The counsellor is responsible for setting and monitoring boundaries throughout the counselling sessions and will make explicit to clients that counselling is a formal and contracted relationship and nothing else.
The counselling relationship must not be concurrent with a supervisory, training or other form of relationship (sexual or non-sexual).
With Former Clients
The counsellor remains accountable for relationships with former clients and must exercise caution over entering into friendships, business relationships, training, supervising and other relationships. Any changes in relationships must be discussed in counselling supervision. The decision about any change in relationships with former clients should take into account whether the issues and power dynamics presented during the counselling relationship have been resolved.