An Introduction to Professional Issues in Counselling

According to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) ther are several situations in which a counsellor must act responsibly. These situations are covered by ethical standards. Ethics are defined as "values, principles, and personal moral qualities" (BACP, p. 6). These qualities reside in each individual but having a code of ethics will give everyone a common foundation to work from. Many situations that appear in a counselling setting may push the ethics of an individual but with a common foundation, they will understand what to do in each situation.

This ethical principle speaks to a counsellor need to be trustworthy. They must allow the trust to happen between them and the client without breaking this trust. The counsellor strictly adheres to a policy of confidentiality to help foster this trust.

The counselling session is autonomous in itself and the counsellor understands the client has the right to engage or not engage in the counselling process. Hopefully, the client wants to engage in their own healing because it happens faster when the client is engaged. Counsellors who respect their clients will make sure they have proper consent before they seek out information from third parties or before they give information out about the client. They will also make sure that if there are conflicts of interest that they are revealed to the client immediately and appropriate referral will be made. When a counsellor understands the client’s autonomy they do not manipulate a client for personal or professional gain.

It is critical to the counsellor to understand the importance of "doing no harm." A counsellor helps the client receive a professional assessment and once this happens the counsellor must work within their scope of practice. in other words, they must only practice those counselling techniques that they have been trained&nbsp.to do.&nbsp.