• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Developing and maintaining a secure framework for professional practice is a core part of any counselling and psychotherapy training, as all therapists need to understand the key values, ethics and laws that underpin the profession today. But what does being a member of a ‘profession’ actually mean, and what does being a ‘professional’ actually involve? Structured around the BACP Core Curriculum, and with the help of exercises, case studies and tips for further reading this book covers everything from the requirements of the BACP Ethical Framework to broader perspectives on good professional practice. It includes:  • Practising as a therapist in different roles and organizational contexts  • Working with key issues, including difference, vulnerable clients and risk  • Understanding the law and relevant legal frameworks for practice  • Working ethically, including contrasting models and approaches to ethics.

Understanding the legal context of professional practice
Understanding the legal context of professional practice

Professional practice is partly defined by our profession’s overall relationship to the law, as in whether or not we are subject to statutory regulation. For many counsellors, the law can be experienced as a challenging and unfamiliar area of practice, characterised by inflexible rules and unforgiving complexity. This chapter aims to provide an introduction to the key areas of the law which are necessary for engaging confidently with the legal context of our work. It covers:

  • defining the law and relevant legal frameworks for practice;
  • understanding the professional, legal and ethical aspects of confidentiality;
  • applying data protection principles to counselling records;
  • using contracts with clients.
Learning context

The legal context for professional counselling practice is set out ...

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