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What does ethical counselling mean?

Finding a counsellor that works ethically is very important for your own peace of mind and emotional safety. If you are looking for a therapist, I strongly recommend you opt for someone who practices ethically. But what does this *actually* mean?

In my case, as an ethical psychotherapist, I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and practice according to their code of ethics. This means in my practice I follow these principles:

Being trustworthy
I honour the trust placed in me as your counsellor, protecting client confidentiality and privacy.

Respect for your right as a client to be self-governing, agreeing with clients on how we will work together and working in partnership.

A commitment to promoting client’s wellbeing. This means ensuring your wellbeing is at the core of our work together.

A commitment to avoiding harm to clients, by communicating clearly what can be expected of me, any benefits, costs and commitments that clients may reasonably expect. Respecting the boundaries between our work with clients and what lies outside that work or not exploiting or abusing clients.

The fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services, valuing each client as a unique person

I am committed to fostering my self-knowledge (through supervision, training courses etc), integrity, and care for self. This includes being honest about the work, communicating our qualifications, experience and working methods accurately or working ethically and with careful consideration of how we fulfil our legal obligations.

You can read more about the BACP code of ethics here.

It’s worth noting that different therapists adhere to different regulatory bodies, BACP isn’t the only one, but if you are looking for a professional practitioner, their website is a good place to start.

Additionally, I am DBS-checked and fully insured. As part of my commitment in working ethically, I attend regular supervision sessions with a senior supervisor to ensure my counselling practice meets BACP’s ethical requirements, and I also attend personal counselling regularly.

This article is only to be used as a suggestion. If you have any specific concerns about your mental health, please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment for your mental health because of the information on this blog. If you’re unsure, do contact your GP or book a counselling appointment so we can discuss your needs in more detail.

If you’re experiencing severe anxiety or have thoughts of self-harm, please contact a trusted person in your life immediately or call SAMARITANS 116 123 (free from any phone) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also email