Because we work with absolute confidentiality and abide by the BACP code of ethics
We maintain the following: Values, Ethical Principles and Personal Moral Qualities
(As laid out in the BACP Ethical Framework)
Values of counselling and psychotherapy
The Fundamental values of counselling and psychotherapy include a commitment to:
- Respecting human rights and dignity
- Protecting the safety of clients
- Ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationships
- Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application
- Alleviating personal distress and suffering
- Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the person(s) concerned
- Increasing personal effectiveness
- Enhancing the quality of relationships between people
- Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture
- Striving for the fair and adequate provision of counselling and psychotherapy services
Ethical principles of counselling and psychotherapy
Being trustworthy: honouring the trust placed in the practitioner (also referred to as fidelity)
Autonomy: respect for the client’s right to be self-governing
Beneficence: a commitment to promoting the client’s well-being
Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to the client
Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services
Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge and care for self
Personal moral qualities for counselling and psychotherapy
Empathy: the ability to communicate understanding of another person’s
experience from that person’s perspective.
Sincerity: a personal commitment to consistency between what is professed
and what is done.
Integrity: commitment to being moral in dealings with others, personal
straightforwardness, honesty and coherence.
Resilience: the capacity to work with the client’s concerns without being
Respect: showing appropriate esteem to others and their understanding of
Humility: the ability to assess accurately and acknowledge one’s own
strengths and weaknesses.
Competence: the effective deployment of the skills and knowledge needed to do
what is required.
Fairness: the consistent application of appropriate criteria to inform decisions
Wisdom: possession of sound judgement that informs practice.
Courage: the capacity to act in spite of known fears, risks and uncertainty.
The challenge of working ethically means that practitioners will inevitably encounter situations where there are competing obligations. In such situations it is tempting to retreat from all ethical analysis in order to escape a sense of what may appear to be unresolvable ethical tension. These ethics are intended to be of assistance
in such circumstances by directing attention to the variety of ethical factors that may need to be taken into consideration and to alternative ways of approaching ethics that may prove more useful. No statement of ethics can totally alleviate the difficulty of making professional judgements in circumstances that may be constantly changing and full of uncertainties.
By accepting this statement of ethics, members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy are committing themselves to engaging with the challenge of striving to be ethical, even when doing so involves making difficult decisions or acting courageously.
We aim to achieve our ethical way of working so that we may help our clients with whatever problems they may bring.