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Ethics

Q.1. How do ethics fit with working with people with different identities and from different cultures?

Q.2. Acting courageously, is a phrase used in the statement around ethics? Why wasn't this at the beginning of the section?

The starting point is reading the Ethical Framework in advance of working with clients. You do not need to know every detail but it greatly helps to be familiar with the general spirit in which we approach our work. You can use the section Our commitment to clients as a convenient summary and overview. Ethics is designed to help you understand the thinking behind how we work with our clients and can be used as a resource in supervision to think through any issues or dilemmas that may arise in any aspect of our work.

Good practice considers the practicalities of putting our ethics into action. Every part of the Ethical Framework is written to be compatible with each other. As the name suggests it is Framework rather like scaffolding it creates shared structure on which we all stand but with space and platforms for practitioners to move around and position themselves to respond to the needs of different contexts and client groups.

When you have a specific concern use the Glossary an index to help you find different topics within the Framework. There may also be Good Practice Guidance that is relevant or other resources on the BACP website. All this additional material is intended to be helpful as non-binding practice guidance about which you can use your judgement about what is relevant or useful. The binding words are those used in the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and therefore should be your ultimate point of reference.

These are the best ways of using the Ethical Framework and building it into your practice. They are so much better than ignoring the Framework until something goes wrong and then searching for something to justify what has occurred. If this happens you will probably be in a state of heightened anxiety and struggling to think straight. Some people in this situation will focus on a point that seems to ease their sense of desperation or anxiety and distort its meaning by losing sight of the its wider context and purpose. This is an understandable response but seldom helps to resolve the situation. It is so much better to have a good overall understanding of the Ethical Framework in advance of facing the challenges and issues that we all encounter in our work.