Group Counseling ACA Code of Conduct Overview

The ACA code of conduct is an ethical guideline provided to counselors to ensure that they behave in a manner that can enhance the life quality of the society through promoting the professional counselors development, counseling profession advancement, and employment of the counseling practice and profession to encourage diversity and human dignity. The ACA does not have a special document for group counseling; however, it has special sections that address group counseling. This means that a group counselor must satisfy all ACA code of ethics requirements given to guide all counselors, and specifically considerations given for group counseling.

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According to ACA (2014), the code sections that are relevant to group counseling include Section A.9. Section A.9.a guides that a counselor on group screening where is required to screen the anticipated participants of group counseling to the highest level possible, and choose individuals whose goals and needs are compatible with group goals. The counselor should ensure that the selected members cannot hinder the process of the group. In addition, the counselor should ensure that the wellbeing of members will not be endangered by the experience of the group.

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Section A.9.b is also specifically given for the group counselors. In this section, counselors are required to take sensible precautions to safeguard clients from psychological, emotional or physical trauma. This section ensures that the counselor prioritizes on the wellbeing of the clients or participants. Another group counseling relevant sections is section B.4 regarding groups and families. According to section B.4.a, a counselor handling group therapy need to explain clearly the parameters and importance of confidentiality for the particular group. This enhances the protection of the client’s information to ensure that this information is not misused or used to harm the client outside the group therapy.

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