The ethical provisions of any profession are extremely important to the professional, but are more important to the patient/client. Putting the patient/client at ease is the first step. Privacy and confidentiality are major ideals within the profession. The government regulates privacy and confidentiality with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act guarantees that the patient/clients file is not given to anyone or any organization without explicit instructions from the patient/client.
Following the privacy and confidentiality is the fact that every patient/client has the right to have trained and currently certified professional working with them. Patients/Clients have the right to discuss with the professional the basis for his counseling career and what certifications he/her has in relation to the profession. This gives accountability and responsibility to make the patient/client feel at ease and know they are being treated by a legitimate professional. Evaluation, assessment and treatment must be explained in detail to the patient/client.
All questions are to be answered and no treatment should be given without the understanding and consent of the patient/client (American Psychological Association, 2002). The ethical policies and procedures are often very general in description when read. It allows for a lot of gray area, but that is only because it is impossible to assess every possible situation that can arise in the ethics of the profession. Therefore, the policies and procedures are guidelines that any professional will follow to the best of their ability.
The professionals will always give the patient/client the information needed about the assessment and treatment they believe is necessary. The patient/client always has the right to say no at any time, but when acting properly, the patient/client will understand and there is not gray area, only understanding and help (American Psychological Association, 2002).
American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved November 18, 2008 from http://www. apa. org/ethics/code2002. pdf