Code of Ethics

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The Biblical Foundation of the Code of Ethics

  • Conflicts, difficulties, power struggles, trials and tribulations are normal and to be expected, whether the one is a Christian or not. (John 16:33; Psalm 37:7; Romans 2:9)
  • We are to grow and mature through these things that we experience. (James 1:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • We are to encourage and support each other. (John 15:17; Ephesians 4:32; John 13:35)
  • We are to demonstrate the lordship of Christ in our lives by servant like leadership, a sense of community, and the lifestyle that reflects the will of God. (Matthew 20:25-28; Colossians 3:12-17: John 12:28)
  • We are to admonish each other, especially those in positions of leadership and trust. It may even be necessary to discipline each other in love, being constructive rather than judgmental. In so disciplining, we must always be mindful of our own shortcomings (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; Galatians 6:1

A Code of Ethics for Georgia Christian Counselors and Therapists
compiled by the Board of Examiners for Georgia Christian Counselors and Therapists

1. Personal Commitment as a Christian

Called by God, the counselor recognizes that Jesus Christ is Lord of his personal life as well as that of the counseling process. As such, he seeks guidance from the Holy Spirit for personal choices with regard to his own physical mental and spiritual health. In addition, he depends on God’s direction as he ministers to those in charge. He recognizes that Jesus was the perfect reflection of the Father who manifested Himself in Him.

2. Love and Concern for Clients

The counselor recognizes the value of human life, independent of race, religion, gender, income, education, or ethnic background. He acknowledges that life begins at conception. He upholds the God given right of every human being to take his own personal decisions, while encouraging responsible Spirit led choices. The counselor refrains from any undue invasion of privacy, but takes appropriate action to help and protect those in danger. Any sexual intimacy or invasion of sexual space in counseling is totally inappropriate.

3. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is strictly enforced. Appropriate record keeping and storage is essential to protect privacy. Nothing concerning the client or any related information should be divulged anyone without written consent. The client must be informed of any legal exceptions to this code, set by civil laws, regulations and judicial precedent. The counselor is responsible for staying informed of any such legal constraints.

4. Competency

The counselor is to be realistic and honest about his level of expertise. He is to take responsibility for his continued education, any needed consultation, and for his own continuing spiritual growth. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and readily refers clients when wisdom dictates, whether due to lack of time or expertise, or for personal reasons. He strives for balance in life and does not allow his professional responsibilities to intrude on his own personal health, or that of his family.

5. Confrontation of Unethical Conduct and/or Malpractice

The counselor should evaluate the relative benefit of investing in malpractice insurance, as the Board of Examiners carries no legal responsibility for the certified counselor. The board will have a working Ethics Committee which can provide consultation to individual Christian counselors you may be confronting ethical dilemmas and may want some guidance, but the Board bears no responsibility for the outcome of such.

In the event that a certified counselor becomes aware of unethical behavior and/or possibly damaging counsel given by another certified counselor, the first certified counselor is under obligation to confront the offending one. The method prescribed in Matthew 18: 15-17 should be followed. Where laws have been broken, there may be legal responsibility to report as well.

If the Board of Examiners becomes aware that a member has been accused of unethical conduct, the Ethics Committee of the Board will investigate the situation and recommend discipline, including revocation or suspension of certification if appropriate. If such action is indicated, the Ethics Committee will maintain loving and concerned liaison with the person and others involved as appropriate. and will encourage repentance, forgiveness, and restoration of certification whenever possible.

6. General Prudential Role

The life and practice of the Christian counselor should be lived with true regard for the One who gave Himself for us, “that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14)