Providing Faith-Based Services

ProvidingFaith-Based Services

ProvidingFaith-Based Services

Whilethe Julea Ward freedom of conscience act aims at protecting thestudent’s right to emphasize his/her conscience in the event of anobjection to providing certain counseling services, I am of theopinion that all the counseling students should learn to accept anycases presented before them. Section C.2.a of the ACA Code of Ethicssuggests that while culturally diverse counseling proficiency isneeded through all the counseling spheres, counselors can attainpersonal consciousness, understanding, sensitivity, skills, as wellas dispositions regarded as appropriate to becoming a culturallycapable counselor in working with individuals from diversepopulations (American Counseling Association, 2014). In light of thiscode, students learning to accept any cases presented before themwill propel them to become competent counselors.

Acounselor’s right to refuse treatment to a particular client onreligious grounds may be perceived as discrimination based on thecodes of ethics. The general principle (Principle E) of the AmericanPsychological Association (2010) articulates that psychologists needto esteem the value as well as self-respect of all individuals, andtheir rights to discretion, privacy, as well as autonomy. Theprinciple outlines that psychologists need be aware of as well asesteem individual, ethnic, as well as role dissimilarities togetherwith the ones that are grounded on religion, gender, and sexualorientation when working with members of such categories. While acounselor’s right to decline service to a client on the grounds ofreligious beliefs may be deemed as an act of discrimination, thecodes of ethics offer guidelines to tackle the possibility ofimposing values as well as the transfer of clients.

SectionA.4.b of the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) articulates that counselorsneed to be cognizant of as well as evade imposing their individualbeliefs, attitudes, values, in addition to behaviors on theirclients. The other code of ethics that govern counselors imposingvalues on clients is in Principle III section C of the AAPC ethicscodes. The principle states that pastoral counselors should showsensitive regard for the social, moral, as well as religious beliefsand values of clients and communities. The principle further saysthat pastoral counselors need to avoid imposing their beliefs onothers even though they may express them when applicable during theprocess of pastoral counseling.

Concerningthe transfer of clients, Section A.11.b outlines that counselors needto refrain from referring current or prospective clients solely onthe grounds of the counselor’s personally held beliefs, behaviors,values, or attitudes. According to this section (A.11.b), Counselorsare to respect the clients’ diversity and find training in sectorsthat they sense they are prone to force their values onto theclients. The transfer of clients is also addressed by the AACC Codeof Ethics in 1-250-a. The section states that referrals should onlybe allowed in cases where the needs of the client are beyond thescope of practice or ability of the counselor or when in cases ofinappropriate, unsuccessful, or unavailable consultation (AACC,2014). Counselors can remain true to their own values whilepracticing ethically and professionally by seeking training in areasthey feel incompetent or need to widen their understanding.


AmericanCounseling Association. (2014). ACAcode of ethics. Retrievedfrom

AmericanPsychological Association. (2010). Ethicalprinciples of psychologists and code of conduct: 2010 amendments.Retrieved from&nbsp

AmericanAssociation of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). (2010). AAPCCode of Ethics.Retrieved from

AmericanAssociation of Christian Counselors (AACC). (2014). AACCcode of ethics.Retrieved from

Stateof Michigan. (2012, June 12). JuleaWard freedom of conscience act.Ann Arbor, MI: Author. Retrieved from