Code of Ethics and Synopsis of State Laws

Code of Ethics and Synopsis of State Laws

Identify whether you are seeking a marriage and family therapist license or professional counselor license. What is the process you need to follow to obtain licensure in your state (Maryland)? Discuss the state’s (Maryland) limits to confidentiality.

The license I am seeking is that of a professional marriage counselor. The first level is prior to one gaining experience and the other after gaining experience. The process of obtaining a marriage counselors license in Maryland follows the following procedure: One first needs to take two tests. The first step is a licensing examination referred to as the National Counselor Examination (NCE). It is applied through the Maryland Board of Professional Counsellors and Therapists, where one is issued with a registration form and the green light to sit for the test. An application which must be signed with ink is then sent to the NBCC (Gaston, 2009).

The second exam is a jurisprudence exam which is the Maryland Law test. Upon finishing the exam, one then proceeds to work under supervision. This is a requirement for one to reach the LCPC status. The number of hours supervised depends on the education level of the applicant. The supervisor is a clinical professional counselor, marriage, and family therapist (Gross & Callahan, 2006). After the supervision, an application letter is filled out which automatically certifies an individual as a certified LCPC. The form is later filled with more information if one intends to continue on with the program itself. The process is begins if one has a degree in professional counseling. The state caters for confidentiality in the entire process as no information concerning the applicant will be released to unauthorized systems, or systems that may compromise the overall process of the testing and certification process (Gaston, 2009).


Discuss what the AAMFT Code of Ethics and ACA Code of Ethics state about confidentiality based on the licenses that you are obtaining

Each of the codes of ethics has something different to say concerning the confidentiality of the license being obtained. The AAMFT stresses that disclosure of patients, files and information is not permissible until when is required, permitted or mandated by law. The client is allowed access to only permissible records that directly involve the client, he or she is not allowed access in the event that a practitioner believes that access will cause potential harm to the client (AAMFT, 2015). The therapists are also expected to safeguard the records and arrange for transfer in case of shift/ change in work description. According to the ACA code of ethics, counselors obtain the permission from the clients in order to offer the best therapy service that was done to an identifiable client at an earlier stage.

How could you use the AAMFT Code of Ethics and the ACA Code of Ethics to advocate change for the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy or Licensed Professional Counselor depending on the licenses you are seeking?

I would apply each and every code of ethic and conduct discussed in the two clauses. It is obvious that the codes of ethics ensure nothing but sound business practices (ACA, 2014). I would then encourage fellow practitioners to perform within its boundaries. They advocate for providing quality work and maintaining patient confidentiality. They are hence important tropes and  standpoints that need to be considered. In encouraging fellow practitioners to apply the ethical codes of conducts found in these two sources, I am advocating change in the field of marriage counseling. This is by ensuring the provision of quality counseling which can only be achieved when all counselors follow the ethical codes of conduct (AAMFT, 2015).

Using the AAMFT Code of Ethics or ACA Code of Ethics evaluate how you see your value system and how it might conflict with what you are ethically bound to do as a counselor/therapist.

The AAMFT code of conduct against the issuance of gifts will be in direct violation of my work ethics (AAMFT, 2015). I believe that each patient who was been highly cooperative during the overall cause of the therapy and has even shown notable results deserves some form of a token of appreciation. This can be a free therapy session. I believe that offering the gifts might be an important marketing trope as the clients may refer me to other individuals, and may also foster a strong relationship between them that might to some extent help in the course of the counseling. The codes state that one should consider the effect the issuance of the gift has on the client. I believe that issuance of gifts to all individuals is beneficial toward the overall effect it has on the orientation of the work. This presents a conflict between the overall required code of ethics and how I do my job, based on my beliefs for the best results.

  1. Compare the ethical codes of your professional organization with your state’s (Maryland) statutes governing the practice of marriage and family therapist or licensed professional counselor and how is privileged communication defined?

Privileged communication is defined, according to the organizational and the AAMFT/ ACA codes / as the right to communicate any information, whether confidential or not to other practitioners, in cases where such a practice is paramount for the overall benefit of the patient or in the case of an emergency. In terms of comparison, the codes are to some extent similar although the ones for the organization advocate for conduct relating to the company alone (ACA 2014). To elaborate this much further, the AAMFT/ACA codes of conduct constitute those which apply generally to all of the practitioners globally, while the organizational ones go hand in hand with those contained in the organizational constitution. For example, one ethical practice that needs to be followed with utmost precision is the act of greeting any new patient a practitioner meets in the hallway and so forth (AAMFT, 2015). The ones advocated in the above sets of conducts does not say anything of the sort. This shows the disparity that exists between them.

How is a duty to warn or protect defined, and what are the limitations? How are ethical complaints handled in your state (Maryland)?

All practitioners (Marriage counselors) have the right to warn and protect (Gross & Callahan, 2006). This is defined as the act of revealing to the patient all the risks and merits that are involved in a certain practice hence they are fully aware of what they are getting themselves into. The right to protect is defined as follows, the practitioner holds the right to deny the patients access to any information that may be harmful to him or her. Ethical complaints are first investigated upon to determine which side is at correct and which side is not. If the marriage counselor is ruled to be not at fault, the complaint is discarded (ACA, 2014). In the case that the practitioner is found out to have ignored some important code of conduct, that all professionals are expected to abide by, he or she is issued a warning.

Identify whether you are seeking a marriage and family therapist license or professional counselor license. What is the scope of practice in your state (Maryland) for the license you are seeking? That is, what are the limitations of practice for a registered intern

The working range for a professional marriage counselor is quite large (Gross & Callahan, 2006). The first and most common option is a private practice. This is where one sets up his or her own joint and tends to patients independently. He or she may distribute his or her contacts or may start a marketing campaign complete with a website and so forth. Another option that is available is being hired in marriage counseling firms to act as part of the firm. Finally, an option that is well and readily available is being hired in a hospital to counsel couples. Many modern state of the art hospitals offer marriage counseling options (Gaston, 2009).

Identify ethical and culturally relevant strategies for establishing and maintaining in-person and technology-assisted relationships

One such strategy is through the use of mobile technology. Marriage counselors should be an integral part of social networking sites. This allows connection and interaction between the marriage practitioners themselves and the patients involved in the counseling process. Use of video calls is also an elaborate strategy of conducting long distance therapies. For the purposes of maintaining person to person relationships, phones may be used. Messaging apps such as snap chat may  also be used to foster this relationship between the counselors and the patient. Many technologically oriented factors which are ethical can be used to foster the relationships between the counselors and the patients which provide a strong therapy quality.


AAMFT (2015). Code of Ethics – AAMFT.

ACA (2014). Code of Ethics.

AMFT (2011). Marital and Family Therapy, ( -AMFT website

Gaston, B. (2009). The ACA encyclopedia of counseling. Alexandria, Virginia: American Counseling Association.

Gross, J. & Callahan, M. (2006). File for divorce in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia. Naperville, Ill: Sphinx Pub.

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