Professionalism and Ethics Counselling

Ethics and Professionalism:
While the Hippocatic Oath from circa 400 B.C. (Perkin, 1980) is one of the first known professional codes of ethics for the helping professions in modern times which followed World War II, and further responses to other major developments (Pettifor, 2001). The disclosure of atrocities in the name of science in Nazi Germany led to the articulation of ethical guidelines for research within human subjects. The rapid professionalization of psychology, counselling and psychotherapy post World War II contributed to formal regulation of practice including the development of codes of ethics (Pettifor et al, 1996). Furthermore, Pettifor (2001) states the need to define standards for the regulation of practice in order to make explicit rules and regulations rather than to develop a theoretical foundation for the articulation of ethical and moral principles is still apparent in modern times. For example the rules regarding obtaining informed consent from clients and research participants was seen as a means to protect these individuals from harm as well as to protect professionals from complaints.
Clarkson (1995) states that being a professional counsellor comes with its complications, however a professional counsellor must be qualified and must abide by the standards set by their organisation. Furthermore, Williams (1995) states that professionals must attain a valid licence and a code of ethics in order to be able to demonstrate ethical choices, values and practices in decision making, and furthermore commit to the practice of personal and professional values (ASPH, 2006).
According to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the overall aim of counselling is to provide an opportunity for the client to work towards living in a more satisfying and resourceful way (NHS, 2005). All counsellors are responsible for their own professional ethical practice, whatever the setting. The BACP (Ethical Framework for Good Practice...