Ethics Codes & Practice Guidelines

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Ethical Standards & Practice Guidelines for Assessment, Therapy, Counseling, & Forensic Practice

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP

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I gathered the following links to therapy, counseling, forensic, and related ethics (and practice) codes to help practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and educators keep up with this rapidly changing area. 

These codes--developed by professional organizations (e.g., of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family counselors)--are listed only if they appear online for the public without charge.

NOTE: Links to related resources are listed at the end.

"Awareness of the ethics codes is crucial to competence in the area of ethics, but the formal standards are not a substitute for an active, deliberative, and creative approach to fulfilling our ethical responsibilities. They prompt, guide, and inform our ethical consideration; they do not preclude or serve as a substitute for it. There is no way that the codes and principles can be effectively followed or applied in a rote, thoughtless manner. Each new client, whatever his or her similarities to previous clients, is a unique individual. Each situation also is unique and is likely to change significantly over time. The explicit codes and principles may designate many possible approaches as clearly unethical. They may identify with greater or lesser degrees of clarity the types of ethical concerns that are likely to be especially significant, but they cannot tell us how these concerns will manifest themselves in a particular clinical situation. They may set forth essential tasks that we must fulfill, but they cannot tell us how we can accomplish these tasks with a unique client facing unique problems. . . . There is no legitimate way to avoid these struggles."--Ethics in Psychotherapy & Counseling, 4th Edition

Related Resources:

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