WHAT WE BELIEVE
Statement of Faith:
As a Christian counseling
organization, CounselCare Connection affirms and believes the following
The Holy Spirit
Eternal Security and Assurance of the Believer
The Creation of Man and His Fall
Heaven and Hell
The Eternal State
The Christian Walk
CounselCare Connection Staff adhere to the following ethical standards regarding various critical issues: AACC CODE OF ETHICS
Introduction and Mission
Code is designed to assist AACC members to better serve their clients and
congregants and to improve the work of Christian counseling worldwide. It will help achieve the primary goals of the
AACC—to bring honor to Jesus Christ and his church, promote excellence in
Christian counseling, and bring unity to Christian counselors.
A New Code for an Emerging Profession
Code is a comprehensive, detailed, and integrative synthesis of biblical,
clinical, systemic, ethical, and legal information. It was created this way because vaguely
worded, content limited, and overly generalized codes are insufficient for the
complexities of the modern, 21st-century counseling environment. A more comprehensive and behavior-specific
ethical code is needed for Christian counselors (and all mental health and
ministerial professions, we believe) because of:
(1) the mounting evidence of questionable and
incompetent practices among Christian counselors, including increasing
complaints of client-parishioner harm;
the largely unprotected legal status of
Christian counseling, including the increasing state scrutiny, excessive
litigation, and unrelenting legalization of professional ethics; and more
the vitality and growing maturity of
Christian counseling—including its many theories and controversies—indicating
the need for an overarching ethical-legal template to guide the development of
biblical and empirically sound Christian counseling models.
Code—beyond defining the boundaries of unethical practice—affirmatively
educates counselors in the direction of becoming helpers of ethical excellence,
capable of more consistently securing the best counseling outcomes. This Code shows four streams of
influence. These include (1) the Bible
(both Old and New Testaments) and historic orthodox Christian theology;** (2)
accepted standards of counseling and clinical practice from Christian counseling
and the established mental health disciplines; (3) codes of ethics from other
Christian and mental health professions; and (4) current and developing
standards derived from mental health and ministry-related law.
mission of this Code is to
help advance the central mission of the
AACC—to bring honor to Jesus Christ and promote excellence and unity in
promote the welfare and protect the dignity
and fundamental rights of all individuals, families, groups, churches, schools,
agencies, ministries, and other organizations with whom Christian counselors
provide standards of ethical conduct in
Christian counseling that are to be advocated and applied by the AACC (and ABCC
and CCN) and that can be respected by other professionals and institutions.
Code defines biblically based values and universal behavioral standards for
ethical Christian counseling. We intend
this Code to become a core document by which Christian counselors, clients, and
the church oversee and evaluate Christian counselors and counseling values,
goals, process, and effectiveness.
Furthermore, the Code asserts a Christian counseling standard of care
that invites respect and application by the courts, the regulatory bodies of
church and state, insurance and managed care groups, other professions, and by
I. ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS
First, Do No Harm
Christian counselors acknowledge that the first rule of professional-ministerial ethical conduct is: do no harm to those served.
1-101 Affirming the God-given Dignity of All Persons
Affirmatively, Christian counselors recognize and uphold the inherent, God-given dignity of every human person, from the pre-born to those on death's bed. Human beings are God's creation-in fact, the crown of His creation-and are therefore due all the rights and respect and ordered logic that this fact of creation entails.
Therefore, regardless of how we respond to and challenge harmful attitudes and actions, Christian counselors will express a loving care to any client, service-inquiring person, or anyone encountered in the course of practice or ministry, without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual behavior or orientation, socio-economic status, education, denomination, belief system, values, or political affiliation. God's love is unconditional and, at this level of concern, so must that of the Christian counselor.
1-102 No Harm or Exploitation Allowed
Prohibitively, then, Christian counselors avoid every manner of harm, exploitation, and unjust discrimination in all client-congregant relations. Christian counselors are also aware of their psychosocial and spiritual influence and the inherent power imbalance of helping relationships-power dynamics that can harm others even without harmful intent.
1-123 Application to Abortion
Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for abortion and the abortion-related activities of clients. All counselors will consider and inform clients of alternative means to abortion and, as far as it is possible, will continue to serve clients and work compassionately with them through the abortion crisis.
1-125 Application to Premarital and Extramarital Sexual Behavior
Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for the pursuit of or active involvement in pre-marital and extra-marital sexual behavior by clients-promoting an affair is never proper counsel as a solution to marital problems. We acknowledge that sex is God's good creation and a delightful gift when confined to one man and one woman in marriage. We may agree to and support the wish to work out issues of sexual behavior, identity, and attractions, but will encourage sexual celibacy or biblically proscribed sexual behavior while such issues are being addressed.
1-126 Application to Homosexual and Transgendered Behavior
Christian counselors refuse to condone or advocate for the pursuit of or active involvement in homosexual, transgendered, and cross-dressing behavior, and in the adoption gay & lesbian & transgendered lifestyles by clients. We may agree to and support the wish to work out issues of homosexual and transgendered identity and attractions, but will refuse to describe or reduce human identity and nature to sexual reference or orientation, and will encourage sexual celibacy or biblically proscribed sexual behavior while such issues are being addressed.
Christian counselors differ, on biblical, ethical, and legal grounds, with groups who abhor and condemn reparative therapy, willingly offering it to those who come into counseling with a genuine desire to be set free of homosexual attractions and leave homosexual behavior and lifestyles behind. Either goal of heterosexual relations and marriage or lifelong sexual celibacy is legitimate and a function of client choice in reparative therapy.
It is acknowledged that some persons engaged in same-sex change or reparative therapy will be able to change and become free of all homo-erotic behavior and attraction, some will change but will still struggle with homosexual attraction from time to time, and some will not change away from homosexual practices.
Read the complete AACC CODE OF ETHICS