LCPF Counsellors adhere to the ethical principles of counselling as set out by BACP and ACC professional bodies¹: Put simply these principles stress the following:-
Autonomy – the client is a free agent and in control of their decisions and actions
Beneficence – the counsellor will do all in his/her power to ensure that everything that occurs in counselling will be beneficial to the client
Non-Maleficence – The counsellor will refrain from anything which could be harmful to the client
Fidelity – the counsellor will ‘keep faith’ with the client and keep everything that is said confidential to the relationship and make clear any exceptional conditions that might apply, as well as provide information as to how any notes are kept safe and separate from personal identifying details so that no one, other than agreed by the client, may be privy to what happens in a session at any time.
N.B. Every counsellor is required to have supervision for the benefit of their clients. In such cases identities of clients are protected by the use of pseudonyms and alteration of identifying features when issues in the counsellor/client relationship are discussed.
Self care – the counsellor is responsible for looking after his/her own physical and mental wellbeing and should be taking any of his/her own difficulties to others for their counselling so as not to interfere with their competency with their own clients. This may entail breaks in counselling or referring clients elsewhere if the counsellor’s own mental health is impaired.
¹Details of the codes of conduct, complaints and disciplinary processes, and ethical principles can be found by searching the internet for the ‘Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC)’, ‘British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP)’ and the ‘Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care’.