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Professional Association Codes of Ethics On Out-of-Office Experiences and Therapy outside the Office's Walls

such as home visits, attending patients' graduation, wedding, confirmation, etc.,
equine therapy, adventure therapy, hospital visits & much more

Complete comparative list of different Codes of Ethics on a variety of topics

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

See our online course on Out-of-Office Therapy

Table Of Contents

Codes of Ethics Which Reference Out-of-office Interactions or Therapy Outside the Office Walls:
    American Counseling Association Code of Ethics
    American Psychiatric Association

Codes of Ethics Which DO NOT Reference Out-of-office Interactions or Therapy Outside the Office Walls:
    American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
    American Mental Health Counselors Association
    American Psychological Association
    Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
    Australian Psychological Society
    California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
    Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
    Canadian Psychological Association
    National Association for Addiction Professionals
    National Association of Social Workers
    National Board for Certified Counselors
    United States Association for Body Psychotherapy


American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2014):

A.6. Managing and Maintaining Boundaries and Professional Relationships

A.6.b. Extending Counseling Boundaries
Counselors consider the risks and benefits of extending current counseling relationships beyond conventional parameters. Examples include attending a client's formal ceremony (e.g., a wedding/commitment ceremony or graduation), purchasing a service or product provided by a client (excepting unrestricted bartering), and visiting a client's ill family member in the hospital. In extending these boundaries, counselors take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no harm occurs.

A.6.c. Documenting Boundary Extensions
If counselors extend boundaries as described in A.6.a. and A.6.b., they must officially document, prior to the interaction (when feasible), the rationale for such an interaction, the potential benefit, and anticipated consequences for the client or former client and other individuals significantly involved with the client or former client. When unintentional harm occurs to the client or former client, or to an individual significantly involved with the client or former client, the counselor must show evidence of an attempt to remedy such harm.

F.10. Roles and Relationships Between Counselor Educators and Students

F.10.f. Extending Educator– Student Boundaries
Counselor educators are aware of the power differential in the relationship between faculty and students. If they believe that a nonprofessional relationship with a student may be potentially beneficial to the student, they take precautions similar to those taken by counselors when working with clients. Examples of potentially beneficial interactions or relationships include, but are not limited to, attending a formal ceremony; conducting hospital visits; providing support during a stressful event; or maintaining mutual membership in a professional association, organization, or community. Counselor educators discuss with students the rationale for such interactions, the potential benefits and drawbacks, and the anticipated consequences for the student. Educators clarify the specific nature and limitations of the additional role(s) they will have with the student prior to engaging in a nonprofessional relationship. Nonprofessional relationships with students should be time limited and/or context specific and initiated with student consent.

American Psychiatric Association Principles of Medical Ethics (ApA, 2013): Library/Practice/Ethics Documents/principles2013--final.pdf

Section 6 A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care.

1. Physicians generally agree that the doctor-patient relationship is such a vital factor in effective treatment of the patient that preservation of optimal conditions for development of a sound working relationship between a doctor and his or her patient should take precedence over all other considerations. Professional courtesy may lead to poor psychiatric care for physicians and their families because of embarrassment over the lack of a complete give-and-take contract.

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