Questions of Ethics in Counselling and Therapy

Questions of Ethics in Counselling and Therapy

Questions of Ethics in Counselling and Therapy

Questions of Ethics in Counselling and Therapy


This book contains thirty-nine questions and answers about ethics in counseling and therapy, training, counselling supervision, research and other important issues. The authors bring psychodynamic, person-centered, integrative or eclectic approaches to their selection of questions and answers. They also bring a variety of experience from independent practice, institutional and voluntary agency settings.


This book aims to explore and describe our thinking about what constitutes ethics in practice in individual and couple counselling and counselling-related activities, through the exploration of a number of questions. The book is written for a wide readership – trainees, practising counsellors and therapists, trainers and counselling supervisors, employers and service providers, those people who have sought or are thinking of seeking counselling or therapy and those with a more general interest in the profession.

The largest section of the book looks at questions of ethics in practice for counsellors and therapists, starting from the stand-point of the British Association for Counselling, which considers there is no generally accepted distinction between counselling and psychotherapy (BAC 1997: 3.3). For those seeking more specific definitions of these activities see Appendix 1. Counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology, as activities, do not exist in isolation, however, and there are also sections looking at questions of ethics in training, counselling supervision and research and at more general issues of interest. Counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology are practised in settings (agency, institution or independent practice) which in turn influence the work and, to some extent, the kinds of ethical dilemmas that can arise in practice. Examples of this will arise throughout the book.

All the contributors to this book belong to one or more professional associations and these memberships clearly inform our practice. Our aim is to explore issues and offer thoughts from a range of perspectives. Some questions focus on occasions where there are conflicting ethical priorities and where there may be no guidance from codes.

Finally, we are aware of those who have reservations about the activities of counselling and psychotherapy. The authors share the . . .

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