A therapists’ code of ethics is a set of guidelines that aid in navigating the complexity of their roles and responsibilities within the helping profession. The purpose of the code of ethics is to provide the professional standards for therapists with the purpose of protecting the well-being and dignity of the client served. Considering the importance of the Code of Ethics, it is important for clients to become familiar with the basic ethical guidelines that their therapist should be following prior to engaging in therapy. This will ensure that they remain knowledgeable about how their therapists should be acting and prevent any unethical behaviors.
At Puglisi Counseling, LLC it is imperative that all clinicians always maintain ethical and appropriate behaviors. However, Puglisi Counseling does not make the guidelines or create the rules that are within a therapists’ code of ethics. Depending on the licensure and type of educational background the therapist may have, they will most likely have their own board of ethics associated with their field. For instance, social workers will follow the guidelines of the National Association of Social Workers. Though each field may have a different governing board, the code of ethics considerably remains similar. The ethical guidelines put forth in a therapists’ code of ethics have been developed and approved by mental health professionals and associations with the intention of promoting the overall quality of life for all clients served.
It is the responsibility of each therapist to ensure that they have read and understood the code of ethics within their scope of practice. By maintaining this responsibility, therapists can ensure the integrity of their relationships with their clients. To help distinguish between ethical and unethical behaviors, below you will find the URL links to the different governing bodies of the mental health field, who will provide a better understanding of the Code of Ethics. While it is the expectation that most clinicians remain active in ensuring no harm comes to their clients and follow ethical guidelines, it is imperative that the client is aware of what could be considered harmful behaviors. Unfortunately, there are rare circumstances when a therapist is acting out of their scope of practice and may engage in unethical behaviors, which would then result in the client having a desire to report the behaviors. Knowing who to report to empowers clients to always remain in charge of their well-being. guidelines. We believe it’s in everyone’s best interest to become familiar with basic ethical guidelines before beginning therapy.
Any questions that may arise following your research of a therapists’ code of ethics can be discussed with your therapist in your initial consultation or during therapy sessions. Puglisi Counseling encourages clients to raise questions as they arise pertaining to the code of ethics, so that they can always have the knowledge necessary for advocating for themselves and ensure they are receiving the quality of treatment they deserve. If you suspect that your mental health professional is acting in a manner that may be considered unethical, there are several ways you can respond:
If you find yourself in immediate crisis, or a life-threatening emergency/danger, call your local law enforcement immediately (911).