The American Counseling Association’s (2014) Code of Ethics states

Significance of Theory

The American Counseling Association’s (2014) Code of Ethics states that counselors have a public responsibility to use treatment modalities that are grounded in theory and/or have empirical support. Failure to work from an orientation that is supported by theory increases the potential for harm to the client. As a counselor, your primary ethical standard is to protect the welfare of the client. For this reason, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards mandate that counselors-in-training must understand theories in order to conceptualize client issues and provide appropriate interventions consistent with current professional literature.

With current literature providing new and emerging theories, you must be cautious and critical to ensure that you base your practice on a “good” theory. Thus, in formulating your professional orientation and approach to clinical mental health counseling, it is important to evaluate theory against current research and trends in the profession.

For this Discussion, you analyze the significance of using theories to clinical mental health counseling practice and factors that impact developing theoretical orientations.

To prepare for this Discussion: 

  • Review Chapter 4 in the course text Orientation to the Counseling Profession: Advocacy, Ethics, and Essential Professional Foundations. Focus on the role of theory and how it influences counseling practice. Also, review the components of a good theory. Think about how you would use these components to evaluate a new theory.
  • Go to the “Code of Ethics” on the American Counseling Association (ACA) website and review section C.7. Think about your ethical responsibility as a counselor to incorporate theory in your practice and consider why this is important.
  • Review the article, “Differentiating Between Counseling Theory and Process.” Focus on the significance of theory in counseling practice.

With these thoughts in mind:

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources using appropriate APA format and style.

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