An organization's code of ethics forms a system to guide the counsellor through appropriate approaches and it protects the human dignity of the client. It is acknowledged that the Singapore Association for Counselling Code of Ethics (SAC) has many similarities and differences compared to the American Counselling Association Code of Ethics (ACA). This paper will compare the two code of ethics using the systemic perspective model which comprises of eight specific areas, mindset, emotional, physical/biological, philosophy, culture, political/economic, social and environment.
Systemic perspective model is based on a framework whereby different ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, it can be concluded that both associations are largely in consensus with regards to a counsellor's dealings with clients facing this crisis despite the ostensible disparity in mindsets of a typical Asian and Western society. In my perspective, I fervently believe that a counsellor should always set aside his prejudices and maintain a definite ethical standard, prioritise his clients welfare and only then can a counsellor address his clients' emotional needs, which I will touch on in the next section.
People with alternative sexual orientations often face periods of emotional crisis as they come to grips with their sexual identity. It is necessary and ethical for counsellors to facilitate the emotional needs of their clients. They must be sensitive to their conflicted feelings and pay attention to their emotional state, which may be fragile at such junctures. This will help to build a sense of trust between client and counsellor, and enable the latter to be more aware of the special needs of each individual in such circumstances. In this aspect, the ACA focuses more on the imperative role a counsellor provides when it comes to the catering of emotional needs of his clients. A counsellor must never disregard his clients psychological or mental distress and should never mix up his own emotional problems with his clients as this impairment is likely to harm a client or others (See ACA C.2.g. Impairment) Evidently, the main difference between the SAC and ACA is that ACA is more of the counsellor being self aware of his own personal values to avoid imposing values that are inconsistent with counselling values. The SAC counsellors should not be too emotionally involved with the client and cross the line of not having a professional relationship with the client, as this will affect the counsellors' professionalism and attitude in dealing with the client.
Physical / Biological
Counsellors should be aware of the physical / biological behaviour of their clients, in order to treat them effectively. Particularly in the case of homosexuals, they may demonstrate physical behaviour which reflect their mental condition. Under no circumstances should counsellors ignore these symptoms, as they may be necessary in the treatment of the client. In both America and Singapore, counsellors who are not familiar with these are encouraged to refer their clients to more experienced colleagues. ACA is more strict on the issue of a counsellor and client relationship. Having a sexual relationship with current clients, romantic partners or their family members are prohibited. Counsellors are not allow to see former clients, their romantic partners or their family members for a period of 5 years following the last professional contact. If there is a need to engage a professional contact again, counsellors need to produce documents in written form whether is it appropriate to continue the professional relationship, if not causing harm....