why do we need an ethical framework in counselling

We are delighted to present the new Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions which was formally adopted on 1 July 2016. Use our quick selection tools below to see how the changes may affect you or read How to use to get started. See the latest for BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
ethics, at the time of writing counselling is not regulated by the UK government, no single ethical body oversees counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. The reason for this is that counselling is to some extent an emerging profession and due to the differing perspectives and approaches in counselling and psychotherapy, therapists have tended to choose ethical bodies which align themselves to the modality of therapy they practice, and the training courses they have undertaken.


Membership is voluntary although employers would expect that counsellors they employ would be members of an ethical body, students who are in practice should also be members.


One such organisation,The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy founded in 1977 ( Pthat counsellors abide by and are known as a Code of Ethics in the case of the BACP. Ethical bodies have three main functionsP (1) to provide information on counselling and psychotherapy services and set standards which give the general public confidence in the professionP (2) a route to complain if they feel dissatisfied with the service they have received from a counsellor (3) if the complaint is upheld then a therapist can find themselves receiving a sanction.


A sanction Pundertake more training, submit a report to an ethical committee explaining how they have altered their practice so the same problem doesnt arise again. P In extreme cases counsellors can be struck off which means their membership of the organisation is terminated. Pin form of well researched information, P continued professional development, Ptraining courses, and aP Pwhen dealing with the government of the day and any legislation they propose.


They also set down the limits of confidentiality which can differ from say that of a doctor. For instance at the time of writing this guide if a Doctor treats a patient who has a knife or a gunshot wound they would be ethically obliged to report this to the police, a counsellor or psychotherapist is under no ethical obligation to do this.


The legal obligations of your counsellor are covered in the section Although the BACP are perhaps the most well known from the publics point of view, there are a number of ethical bodies that issue codes of practice in Counselling and PsychotherapyP in the UK these are: This list is not exhaustive, and it is possible for a Counsellor/ Psychotherapist to be a member of more than one organisation.