The ethical issues that a professional counselor faces in the field are as diverse and complex as the clients they serve. Personal, professional, and cultural interpretations of a given situation can have a major impact on how that issue is conceptualized and ultimately addressed. In the absence of specific guidelines, two counselors may come to two very different resolutions for the same issue. As such, ethical codes have been developed and refined over time to guide the practices of counselors and protect the welfare of the individuals they serve. Ethical codes, typically established by organizations that govern or guide a profession (e.g., American Counseling Association [ACA], American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy [AAMFT]), outline specific expectations of behavior that set the standard for ...

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