Download a printable version

Our ethics  focus is on providing an opportunity for practitioners to express their commitment to ethical practice. This service will benefit those practitioners who work with the potentially vulnerable and who do not have access to an ethical body. 
Acknowledgement is only available to those who express a commitment to ethical principles. Application for a certificate of  acknowledgement requires a statement contained within an PCAc dissertation or essay which expresses commitment to client and self care. 

Download a printable version

We base these Principles on universally accepted ethics. Our principles promote respect, freedom, autonomy and transcendence, while nurturing the same qualities in others.

These ethics have been designed to be appropriate to the courses we offer.


1. Do as you will and harm none.

While exercising autonomy and freedom, a practitioner will be aware of other entities that could be affected by those actions and avoid unnecessary suffering.

2. Treat others, as you would like them to treat you.

A practitioner will value other individuals equally as they value themselves. A practitioner will not extort or mislead a client for their own gain .A practitioner will respect the material, psychological and spiritual resources of the client, and avoid exploitation in these areas either to increase the practitioner's material wealth or self esteem. Respect and acceptance of the client’s cultural background will be demonstrated. Sexual, spiritual and philosophical differences will be respected. The practitioner will provide safety and hold adequate insurance to accommodate any mistakes and a complaints procedure that is easily accessible.


3. The secret of a well-nourished self is the ability to nourish others.

A practitioner is committed to his or her own continued personal development through reading, education and training. A practitioner will attend to their own needs (psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual) so they are strong enough to attend to the needs of clients. A practitioner will not allow their work to drain resources. A practitioner will seek support for their practice such as regular (monthly) supervision with a mature and experienced practitioner or supervision group and seek psychological therapies when appropriate.


4. Empathic Consideration

Consider that clients have their own view of the world and choose to respect it. A practitioner will not criticise, belittle or imply superiority. Empathy is strongest when the practitioner accepts and enters the client’s frame of reference.


5. Authentic approach

A practitioner will practice in a genuine and congruent manner. The practitioner will not use a façade during practice, will not use their practice to fascinate or entertain, unless this has been agreed beforehand. Practitioners will endeavour to provide a service, which is advertised honestly and without misleading information. The practitioner will provide a description of their service, which is easy to understand from the client’s frame of reference, and will be prepared to explain their approach and experience. A practitioner will not claim to have abilities that are not verifiable. A practitioner will by their authentic approach, encourage client autonomy.


6. Therapeutic Intention

A practitioner will provide a service, which is designed to benefit the client therapeutically and encourage the client’s own personal transcendence. The practitioner will endeavour to leave the client feeling better or at least no worse, than when they entered the session. A practitioner will not begin a session if they suspect the client will be adversely affected either due to expressed mental health problems or lack of maturity.


7. There are no absolutes autonomy in the present moment

The client will be encouraged to see the future as choices and will be encouraged to live in the present moment. The practitioner will not encourage any particular course of action and will leave all decisions to the client. the practitioner will not present anything as an absolute truth whether it be the future, or the practitioners own personal truth.


8. Protect the vulnerable.

A practitioner will make an assessment to ascertain if a client is suitable for their service. A practitioner will not work with people under 16 years of age, people with psychosis/mental health problems unless it is controlled. A practitioner will be prepared to contact outside agencies if a concerned about the well being of a client or an individual known.


9. Confidentiality.

A practitioner will not allow any information from sessions to be revealed. This will be except under circumstances where a practitioner is legally required to do so, or if the practitioner suspects that the client may harm himself or herself or if they suspect that someone known to the client is at risk of harm. In such a case the client will be informed of the decision to disclose.


10. Insurance

A practitioner will hold personal insurance for their business. If working as part of a team or company they are required to be insured as part of that team or company.

11. Reverence for life, health and self-determination.

A practitioner will use conduct, which preserved and protects life and the quality of life experienced by all entities. The right of an individual to choose their own thinking is paramount to their continued transcendence and the practitioner will allow the individual to follow their own path unhindered through action, speech or implication. The practitioner will break confidentiality if an individual's self-determination is likely to cause harm to others or to the client themselves.


12. Trustworthiness.

A practitioner will treat all information, money and possessions of the client with respect. The practitioner will not recommend any service or product unless it is in the client's best interest to receive it. A practitioner will honour all agreements made with client unless it conflicts with other ethical principles.


13. Respect professional relationship boundaries.

The practitioner will offer a professional service based on an agreed contract. A practitioner will not form a relationship with the client outside the boundaries of the contract. A practitioner will not engage in courtship rituals with clients or sexual behaviour. If because of circumstances outside the practitioners control such as the client becoming a family member through marriage or a work colleague then supervision will be sought and the contract altered to accommodate, or a referral be offered to the client.


14. Authentic and therapeutic Speech.

All speech from the practitioner will be truthful and will be presented without ego driven rhetoric. Speech will be used to inform about facts. If speech is based on a hypothesis then the practitioner will make this clearly understandable to the client. A practitioner will avoid misleading speech.


15. Clear Consciousness and thinking.

A practitioner will endeavour to keep thinking clear when in practice. A practitioner will be mindful about their mental state before a session. A practitioner will not allow stress to affect the quality of practice and endeavour to employ methods to become grounded before starting any work with a client. A practitioner will not take illegal drugs or medication that affects clear thinking before a session. The practitioner will not have alcohol in their system when working with a client.





Below:  is a book which discusses ethics and principles in care and counselling. It discuses dependency on a service and how to encourage autonomy. 

Alex H Parker Northumberland