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
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
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
American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2014):
A.6.Managing andMaintaining Boundariesand ProfessionalRelationships
Counselors consider the risks andbenefits of extending current counseling relationships beyond conventionalparameters. Examples include attending a client’s formal ceremony (e.g., awedding/commitment ceremony orgraduation), purchasing a service orproduct provided by a client (exceptingunrestricted bartering), and visiting a client’s ill family member in the hospital. Inextending these boundaries, counselorstake appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentationto ensure that judgment is not impairedand no harm occurs.
If counselors extend boundaries asdescribed in A.6.a. and A.6.b., theymust officially document, prior to theinteraction (when feasible), the rationalefor such an interaction, the potentialbenefit, and anticipated consequencesfor the client or former client and otherindividuals significantly involved withthe client or former client. When unintentional harm occurs to the clientor former client, or to an individualsignificantly involved with the clientor former client, the counselor mustshow evidence of an attempt to remedysuch harm.
F.10.Roles and RelationshipsBetween CounselorEducators and Students
F.10.f.Extending Educator–Student Boundaries
Counselor educators are aware of thepower differential in the relationshipbetween faculty and students. If theybelieve that a nonprofessional relationship with a student may be potentiallybeneficial to the student, they take precautions similar to those taken bycounselors when working with clients.Examples of potentially beneficial interactions or relationships include, butare not limited to, attending a formalceremony; conducting hospital visits;providing support during a stressfulevent; or maintaining mutual membership in a professional association,organization, or community. Counselor educators discuss with studentsthe rationale for such interactions, thepotential benefits and drawbacks, andthe anticipated consequences for thestudent. Educators clarify the specificnature and limitations of the additionalrole(s) they will have with the studentprior to engaging in a nonprofessionalrelationship. Nonprofessional relationships with students should be timelimited and/or context specific andinitiated with student consent.