Texas Professional Counselor Ebook Continuing Education

This interactive Texas Professional Counselor Ebook contains 13 hours of continuing education. To complete click the Complete Your CE button at the top right of the screen.

TEXAS Professional Counselor Continuing Education

Elite Learning

Includes mandatory topics required for license renewal.

ELITELEARNING.COM/BOOK Complete this book online with book code: PCTX1324 See inside front cover for your full 24-hour state package 13-hour Continuing Education Package $99.00


Chapter 1: Texas Laws and Regulations for Ethical Practice In Counseling (Mandatory) [6 CE Hours] This basic-level course will provide information specific to the state of Texas on ethical counseling practice. Topics will include state and federal legal guidelines, national association codes of ethics, issues of ethical concern in counseling, decision-making models, and guidelines to promote ethical practice. This course meets the requirements listed in the Texas Administrative Code, referred to as TAC, for the six-hour continuing education requirement in ethics for counseling practice. TAC including the Occupational Code, Counseling and Therapy Acts, the Texas Family Code, and HIPAA regulations will be reviewed. THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS


Chapter 2: Human Trafficking: Overview for Texas Healthcare Professionals (Mandatory) [1 CE Hour] 43 This basic-level course for healthcare professionals is an introduction into the complex crime of human trafficking, with a focus on sex and labor trafficking and the common symptoms and conditions that occur in trafficked persons. Healthcare professionals who complete this course will be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of trafficked persons and identify the interventions needed to care for these individuals. Additionally, this course lists national resources that provide vital services to trafficked persons and makes recommendations for patient and staff safety when addressing these potentially volatile scenarios. THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Chapter 3: Cultural Humility for Behavioral Health Professionals (Mandatory) [6 CE Hours] The purpose of this education program is to present an introduction to cultural humility and offers tools for psychologists and mental healthcare professionals to use when working with diverse patients in a culturally humble manner THIS COURSE FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENT FOR CULTURAL COMPETENCY


©2023: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge in the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal or professional services advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation or circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials.



Book Code: PCTX1324


What are the requirements for license renewal? License Expires

Contact Hours Required

Mandatory Subjects

- LPC: 4 hours must be in ethics, with 2 of those hours being directly related to Texas ethics. Licensees can claim 1 hour of ethics credit for passing the jurisprudence examination during a renewal period. - 1 hour human trafficking training (must be HHSC-approved) - 3 hours in cultural diversity or competency

24 (All allowed through home-study)

Every 2 years on the last day of the license holder’s birth month



Chapter 1: Texas Laws and Regulations for Ethical Practice In Counseling (Mandatory)

6 $44.95 PCTX06TL

Chapter 2: Human Trafficking: Overview for Texas Healthcare Professionals (Mandatory)

1 $11.95 PCTX01HU

Chapter 3: Cultural Humility for Behavioral Health Professionals (Mandatory)

6 $44.95 PCTX06CH 13 $99.00 PCTX1324

All 13 Hours

How do I complete this course and receive my certificate of completion? See the following page for step by step instructions to complete and receive your certificate. Are you a Texas board-approved provider? Colibri Healthcare, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6341. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Colibri Healthcare, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Colibri Healthcare LLC’s human trafficking course is approved by the HHSC. Are my hours reported to the Texas board? No, the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council requires licensees to certify at the time of renewal that he/she has complied with the continuing education requirement. The board performs audits at which time proof of continuing education must be provided. Is my information secure? Yes! We use SSL encryption, and we never share your information with third-parties. We are also rated A+ by the National Better Business Bureau. What if I still have questions? What are your business hours? No problem, we have several options for you to choose from! Online at EliteLearning.com/Counselor you will see our robust FAQ section that answers many of your questions, simply click FAQs at the top of the page, e-mail us at office@elitelearning.com, or call us toll free at 1-866-653-2119, Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm, EST. Important information for licensees: Always check your state’s board website to determine the number of hours required for renewal, mandatory topics (as these are subject to change), and the amount that may be completed through home-study. Also, make sure that you notify the board of any changes of address. It is important that your most current address is on file.

Licensing board contact information:

Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council George H.W. Bush State Office Building 1801 Congress Ave. | Suite 7.300 Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 305-7700 Website: https://www.bhec.texas.gov/


Book Code: PCTX1324


We offer a convenient 24-hour package designed to meet your Texas Professional Counselor CE requirements. Elite Learning offers a convenient package of courses to fulfill your Texas Professional Counselor 24-hour CE requirements, including mandatory subjects. Scan this QR code to review and purchase Elite Learning’s 24-hour package.

Professional Counselor 24 Hour CE Package

How to complete this book for CE credit:

Fastest way to receive your certificate of completion

Online Please read these instructions before proceeding. IF YOU’RE COMPLETING ALL COURSES IN THIS BOOK: • Go to EliteLearning.com/Book and enter code PCTX1324 in the book code box, then click GO . • If you already have an account created, sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one now. • Follow the online instructions to complete your final exam. Complete the purchase process to receive course credit and your certificate of completion. Please remember to complete the online survey. IF YOU’RE ONLY COMPLETING CERTAIN COURSES IN THIS BOOK: • Go to EliteLearning.com/Book and enter code that corresponds to the course below, then click GO . • Each course will need to be completed individually.

Course Name

Course Code

All 13 Hours in the book


Texas Laws and Regulations for Ethical Practice In Counseling (Mandatory)

Human Trafficking: Overview for Texas Healthcare Professionals (Mandatory)


Cultural Humility for Behavioral Health Professionals (Mandatory)




Book Code: PCTX1324

Chapter 1: Texas Laws and Regulations for Ethical Practice In Counseling (Mandatory) 6 CE Hours

Release Date: July 10, 2023

Expire Date: July 10, 2027

Faculty Author :

Training”,that were adoted nationally . As a trainer/evaluator she wrote “SOS: Share Our Skills” which is a guide for professional mentoring.Deborah served as an expert witness for Florida and Hawaii departments of education and assisted in writing state educational standards. Deborah Ellen Converse M.A., NBCT has no significant financial or other conflicts of interest pertaining to this course. objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. ● Provide required personal information and payment information. ● Complete the mandatory Course Evaluation. ● Print your Certificate of Completion. Sponsorship/commercial support and non-endorsement It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Deborah Ellen Converse M.A., NBCT obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stetson University and a master’s degree in Exceptional Student Education in Emotional Disabilities from the University of Central Florida. She holds National Board Certification as Exceptional Needs Specialist, Birth-21+. She has served as a teacher, principal, mentor, department chair, and performance evaluator. Deborah wrote two career education programs, “Special Partnership in Career Education” and “Supported Work and How to receive credit ● Read the entire course online or in print. ● Depending on your state requirements you will be asked to complete: ○ A mandatory test (a passing score of 75 percent is required). Test questions link content to learning Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity. Disclaimer The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative Disclosures Resolution of conflict of interest After completing this course, the learner will be able to: Š List and define ethical requirements from the Texas Administrative Code professional counselor rules of practice. Š Identify values, principles, and standards of the American Counseling Association, American School Counselor Association, and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics. Š List the directives from the National Board for Certified Counselors Course overview This course will provide information specific to the state of Texas on ethical counseling practice. Topics will include state and federal legal guidelines, national association codes of ethics, issues of ethical concern in counseling, decision-making models, and guidelines to promote ethical practice. This course meets the requirements listed in the Texas Administrative Code, referred to as TAC, for the 6-hour continuing education

to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

©2023: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers. Learning objectives

Š Define regulations and standards for confidentiality and required reporting. Š Explain regulations and standards for maintaining professional boundaries with clients. Š List the guidelines for technology- assisted counseling. Š Identify common ethical violations in counseling and best practice strategies to prevent them. Š Explain the process of shared decision-making models.

requirement in ethics for counseling practice. TAC including the Occupational Code, Counseling and Therapy Acts, the Texas Family Code, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations will be reviewed.

Page 1

Book Code: PCTX1324



The standards in the code of ethics for the American Counseling Association (ACA), the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) will be detailed as they relate to ethical practice. To organize the presentation of the extensive information from regulations found in the Texas law documents and the values, principals, and standards from the association codes of ethics, these documents will be divided into sections based on the topics they address. For example, when discussing informed consent, sections of the TAC, ACA, AAMFT, and ASCA that pertain to that topic will be reviewed. Ethical issues and guidelines related to technology-assisted counseling and therapy will also be reviewed, including the potential for ethical violations inherent in distance technology methods conducted across state lines. Unlike traditional face- to-face counseling methods, technology-assisted counseling relies on multimedia modalities that provide audio and visual communication between counselor and client. Ethical issues concerning, safety, security, confidentiality, competency, effectiveness, access, ease of use, and multicultural issues of technology use will be discussed.

No set of codes or regulations can cover every possible ethical issue that counselors may face, so decision-making models for mental health practitioners will be reviewed in this course. Though the models may differ, there are common elements that serve as the basis for decision- making to address ethical dilemmas in counseling. Strategies for implementing shared decision-making are discussed. A review of the literature on technology-assisted counseling and therapy are included that address ethical concerns, counselor ratings, and strategies for best practice. Case studies provide additional examples of ethics application in practice. This course narrows the topic of Texas law that regulates counseling to focus on ethical practice due to the magnitude of statutes, occupational codes, acts, and definitions related to counseling practice in general. From there, it is important to look at those areas of practice that present ethical dilemmas with the goal of prevention. Preventing ethical missteps, which may lead to violations, begins with the shared values, principles, and standards of the profession starting with the ethics regulations of the Texas statutes.


There are many references to ethical practice in Texas law related to professional conduct, prohibited actions, and the disciplinary consequences of practice that violates TAC requirements; however, there is no definition of ethics in the Texas law. TAC Rule §681.41, Subchapter B: General Ethical Requirements is detailed and can be divided into the following summarized components that inform ethical practice (Tex.reg, 2021b): ● False, misleading, exaggerated, and fraudulent claims ● Confidentiality ● Informed consent ● Required reporting ● Rules for payment, remuneration, solicitation, referral, and product sales to avoid personal interest conflicts ● Boundaries in client relationships to avoid prohibited sexual contact, nontherapeutic relationships, individuals who should not be included as clients, and accepting gifts, goods, and services for payment ● Rules for duty to inform in cases of potential imminent harm ● Termination of services ● Reporting unprofessional practice or activities ● Mental, physical, or medical impairment that precludes practice. The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (TBHEC), created in 2019 by the Texas 86th Legislature, is made up of four divisions including the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TBHEC,2019a). For this course the first two boards will be discussed. Referred to as the “Council,” the TBHEC has a regulatory role governing professional practice in behavioral health and social work providers to ensure the welfare of clients. This involves enforcing Chapter 502 of the Occupations Code that covers the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Act and Chapter 503, and the Licensed Professional Counselor Act.

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Inc. works with the state of Texas to administer the licensing exam for counselors and functions as an independent organization. The NBCC offers an additional national counseling certification (NCC) that is recognized in Texas, but that certification is not required to be a licensed professional counselor in Texas. The NBCC does support the standards of the national counseling and therapy organizations and does provide a code of ethics that contains the minimum ethical behaviors NCC must follow in practice (NBCC, 2016). The NBCC also provides resources, directives, and sanctions for NCCs if they violate the NBCC Code of Ethics. There are 95 directives, and the major components will be outlined in this course. The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) is an organization of state licensing boards. That develop, review, and regulate licensure; review statutes; consider disciplinary cases; and assist state boards in addressing issues in to develop new guidelines for practice. For example, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists refers licensees to review documents published by the AMFTRB, including Teletherapy & Telesupervision Guidelines II (2021), that presents best practice guidelines to implement technology-based therapy. It is important for the counselor to understand the resources that are available to assist them including collegial collaboration for decision making as well as local, state, and national professional sources of information. Common types of ethical violations that occur in the counseling profession include errors in informed consent; breach of confidentiality; inappropriate relationships with clients; false, fraudulent, or misrepresented statements; and boundary violations. These ethical dilemmas are addressed in the Texas Administrative Code, Texas Statutes, and the code of ethics of the ACA, the AAMFT, and ASCA, which will be the basis of this course.


All licensed professional counselors must follow Texas law governing ethical practice within the framework of the national association codes of ethics for their respective areas of practice. The three main sources for study of the values, principals, and standards of ethical practice cover the general category of counseling, marriage and family therapy, and school counseling.

These include the ACA Code of Ethics, AAMFT Code of Ethics, and ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors. The Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (TAMFT) is a state organization that supports and promotes marriage and family therapy.


Book Code: PCTX1324

Page 2

The organization includes continuing education resources for members and advocates to extend licensure, legislation, education, and research to advance professional practice. The Texas Counseling Association (TCA), a statewide organization whose members represent all fields of counseling, refers to the ACA Code of Ethics as a framework for ethical practice and states, “The American Counseling Association is the largest organization of counselors, representing over 65,000 members. The ACA Code of Ethics is a comprehensive overview of values, principles, and standards and the code of ethics adhered to by the Texas Counseling Association” (TCA, 2023). The University of Texas at Austin (2023) provides the following definition of values: “ Values are individual beliefs that motivate people to act one way or another. They serve as a guide for human behavior .” Ethical practice begins with an understanding of the professional responsibility of all counselors based on shared values, principles, standards, and rules that govern practice. The NBCC Code of Ethics The NBCC (2016) provides the following directives in their Code of Ethics that NCCs are required to follow and the 95 supporting minimum behaviors required to adhere to the directives should be viewed in their entirety: ● NCCs take appropriate action to prevent harm. ● NCCs only provide services for which they have education and qualified experience. ● NCCs promote the welfare of clients, supervisees, or recipients of professional services provided. Professional values are an important way of living out an ethical commitment. The following are core professional values of the counseling profession: 1. enhancing human development throughout the life span. 2. honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts. 3. promoting social justice. 4. safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship; and 5. practicing in a competent and ethical manner. American Counseling Association (ACA) According to the ACA (2014): ACA professional values provide the basis for ethical principles in accordance with state and federal law and are the foundation for ethical practice: The ACA principals are as follows (ACA, 2014): ● autonomy, or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life ● nonmaleficence or avoiding actions that cause harm ● beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being. ● justice, or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality ● fidelity, or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in professional relationships ● veracity, or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact. According to the ACA (2014), “Counselors’ actions should be consistent with the spirit as well as the letter of these ethical standards.” The ACA standards cover the following nine sections and are described as follows: Each section of the ACA Code of Ethics begins with an introduction. The introduction to each section describes the ethical behavior and responsibility to which

The TCA also references the ACA publication Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making (Forester-Miller & Davis, 2016) as a resource for selecting and implementing decision making models.

The American School Counselor Association (2022) publication ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors is noted by the TCA as a reference for counselors that “addresses the sensitive issues of working with minors in school settings” (TCA, 2023). The documents mentioned previously will be reviewed in subsequent sections of this course. ETHICAL PRACTICE: VALUES, PRINCIPLES, AND STANDARDS IN COUNSELING

Even though the codes of ethics are often viewed as aspirational as opposed to state and federal law, which provides rules to regulate the profession, a closer look reveals some commonalities between the law, ethical codes, and counselor responsibilities. The first step in the study of ethics, is to determine the foundations of ethical practice including definitions, values, standards, and principles related to counseling. ● NCCs communicate truthfully. ● NCCs recognize that their behavior reflects on the integrity of the profession, and thus, they avoid actions which can reasonably be expected to damage trust. ● NCCs recognize the importance of and encourage the participation of clients, students, supervisees. ● NCCs are accountable in their actions and adhere to recognized professional standards and practices. counselors aspire. The introductions help set the tone for each section and provide a starting point that invites refection on the ethical standards contained in each part of the ACA Code of Ethics. The standards outline professional responsibilities and provide direction for fulfilling those ethical responsibilities. Section A: The Counseling Relationship Section B: Confidentiality and Privacy Section C: Professional Responsibility Section D: Relationships with Other Professionals Evaluation Section E: Assessment, and Interpretation Section. F: Supervision, Training, and Teaching Section G: Research and Publication Section H: Distance Counseling, Technology, and Social Media Section I: Resolving Ethical Issues The codes of ethics, laws, and regulations stated throughout the course emphasize components of ethical practice that must be followed to achieve the highest the highest level of quality counseling for clients. The ACA Code of Ethics (2014) Section C outlines this responsibility to clients and the community as follows: ● Counselors aspire to open, honest, and accurate communication in dealing with the public and other professionals. ● Counselors facilitate access to counseling services, and they practice in a nondiscriminatory manner within the boundaries of professional and personal competence; they also have a responsibility to abide by the ACA Code of Ethics. ● Counselors actively participate in local, state, and national associations that foster the development and improvement of counseling.

Page 3

Book Code: PCTX1324


● Counselors are expected to advocate to promote changes at the individual, group, institutional, and societal levels that improve the quality of life for individuals and groups and remove potential barriers to the provision or access of appropriate services being offered. ● Counselors have a responsibility to the public to engage in counseling practices that are based on rigorous research methodologies.

● Counselors are encouraged to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return (pro bono publico). ● Counselors have a responsibility to read, understand, and follow the ACA Code of Ethics and adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) The aspirational core values of AAMFT inform the therapists practice and provide the foundation for therapeutic services to attain the highest level of quality practice. They are included in the Preamble. The core values of AAMFT embody (AAMFT, 2015): 1. Acceptance, appreciation, and inclusion of a diverse membership

6. Technology-assisted professional services : Therapy, supervision, and other professional services engaged in by marriage and family therapists take place over an increasing number of technological platforms. There are great benefits and responsibilities inherent in both the traditional therapeutic and supervision contexts, as well as in the utilization of technologically assisted professional services. These standards address basic ethical requirements of offering therapy, supervision, and related professional services using electronic means. 7. Professional evaluations: Marriage and family therapists aspire to the highest of standards in providing testimony in various contexts within the legal system. 8. Financial arrangements: Marriage and family therapists make financial arrangements with clients, third-party payors, and supervisees that are reasonably understandable and conform to accepted professional practices. 9. Advertising: Marriage and family therapists engage in appropriate informational activities, including those that enable the public, referral sources, or others to choose professional services on an informed basis. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Code of Ethics addresses the professional responsibility of the counselor using many of the same components as that of the ACA. The AAMFT professional responsibilities includes responsibilities to clients and the community, and commitment to service, advocacy, and public participation as follows (AAMFT, 2015): Marriage and family therapists are defined by an enduring dedication to professional and ethical excellence, as well as the commitment to service, advocacy, and public participation. The areas of service, advocacy, and public participation are recognized as responsibilities to the profession equal in importance to all other aspects. Marriage and family therapists embody these aspirations by participating in activities that contribute to a better community and society, including devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return. Additionally, marriage and family therapists are concerned with developing laws and regulations pertaining to marriage and family therapy that serve the public interest, and with altering such laws and regulations that are not in the public interest. Marriage and family therapists also encourage public participation in the design and delivery of professional services and in the regulation of practitioners. Professional competence in these areas is essential to the character of the field, and to the well-being of clients and their communities. represent beliefs counselors hold in common. Mindset standards correspond to behaviors and competencies that can be measured. Mindset standards (ASCA, 2019) are described as follows: The mindset standards include beliefs school counselors hold about student achievement and success. Although it may be possible to measure these beliefs, the mindsets are more readily recognized through the behaviors a school counselor demonstrates as a result of the implementation of a school counseling program. Therefore, the mindset standards do not have correlating competencies.

2. Distinctiveness and excellence in training of marriage and family therapists and those desiring to advance their skills, knowledge, and expertise in systemic and relational therapies 3. Responsiveness and excellence in service to members 4. Diversity, equity and excellence in clinical practice, research, education, and administration 5. Integrity evidenced by a high threshold of ethical and honest behavior within Association governance and by members 6. Innovation and the advancement of knowledge of systemic and relational therapies. The AAMFT Ethical Standards, in contrast to the core values, are the rules that therapists are obligated to follow and set the parameters by which their practice will be judged. The AAMFT (2015) states, “Ethical standards are rules of practice upon which the marriage and family therapist is obliged and judged. The introductory paragraph to each standard in the AAMFT Code of Ethics is an aspirational/explanatory orientation to the enforceable standards that follow.” The nine AAMFT standards are listed and explained as follows and will be detailed in forthcoming sections of the course. 1. Responsibility to clients: Marriage and family therapists advance the welfare of families and individuals and make reasonable efforts to find the appropriate balance between conflicting goals within the family system. 2. Confidentiality : Marriage and family therapists have unique confidentiality concerns because the client in a therapeutic relationship may be more than one person. Therapists respect and guard the confidences of each individual client. 3. Professional competence and integrity : Marriage and family therapists maintain high standards of professional competence and integrity. 4. Responsibility to students and supervisees : Marriage and family therapists do not exploit the trust and dependency of students and supervisees. 5. Research and publication : Marriage and family therapists respect the dignity and protect the welfare of research participants, and are aware of applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards governing the conduct of research. American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Referring to the stated purpose in ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2022) a reference to values can be found: “ Inform all educational stakeholders, including but not limited to students, parents/guardians, teachers/staff, administrators, community members, legal professionals, and courts of justice, regarding the ethical practices, values and expected behaviors of the school counseling professional .” Though the ASCA does not specifically list professional values in their document School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies, they do include mindset standards that


Book Code: PCTX1324

Page 4

● Ethical Rights : Fhe fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. The ASCA (2022) “specifies the obligation to the principles of ethical behavior necessary to maintain the highest standards of integrity, leadership and professionalism,” and states that counselors “have a primary obligation to the students, who are to be treated with dignity and respect as unique individuals.” The American School Counselor Association (ASCA, 2022) Ethical Standards for School Counselors provides standards in six categories that represent and clarify the ethical responsibility of professional school counselors. The standards, detailed in subsections, list 12 responsibilities to the student, 11 to parent/ guardian, 18 to the school, 14 to duties for intern supervision, and 13 to self. Additional responsibilities in the standards are to the legal/court process, the community, and the profession at large. The purpose of the ASCA ethical standards document is to, “Provide support and direction for self-assessment, peer consultation and performance appraisal regarding school counselors’ responsibilities to students, parents/guardians, colleagues and professional associates, school district and employees, communities, and the school counseling profession.” The ASCA ethical standards should be reviewed and studied in their entirety. based on integrity, competence, confidentiality, maintaining boundaries, cultural sensitivity, equality, veracity, autonomy, and advocacy for clients and the community at large. The codes of ethics within the national associations are aspirational, but violations of the standards in these codes can lead to sanctions for members. Licensed professional counselors have a responsibility to report any incidents of unethical behavior to their regulatory agency. The ACA (2014), provides the following guidance on this topic: Section D: Relationships with Other Professionals D.1.h. Negative Conditions Counselors alert their employers of inappropriate policies and practices. They attempt to effect changes in such policies or procedures through constructive action within the organization. When such policies are potentially disruptive or damaging to clients or may limit the effectiveness of services provided and change cannot be affected, counselors take appropriate further action. Such action may include referral to appropriate certification, accreditation, or state licensure organizations, or voluntary termination of employment.

School counselors believe: ● Every student can learn, and every student can succeed. ● Every student should have access to and opportunity for a high-quality education. ● Every student should graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary opportunities. ● Every student should have access to a school counseling program. ● Effective school counseling is a collaborative process involving school counselors, students, families, teachers, administrators, other school staff and education stakeholders. ● School counselors are leaders in the school, district, state, and nation. ● School counseling programs promote and enhance student academic, career, and social/emotional outcomes. The ASCA (2022) has developed standards that are the “ethical responsibility of all school counseling professionals.” The ASCA includes the following definitions in their document, ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors: ● Ethics : The norms and principles of conduct and philosophy governing the profession. ● Ethical Behavior : Actions defined by standards of conduct for the profession. ● Ethical Obligation : A standard or set of standards defining the course of action for the profession. Discussion The American Psychological Association (2023b) provides a definition of ethics that can apply to mental health practice including counseling and therapy: Professional ethics 1. The rules of acceptable conduct that members of a given profession are expected to follow. Code of Ethics 1. A set of standards and principles of professional conduct. The values, principles, standards, directives, and ethical concepts among the leading counseling and psychology associations show similarities in the fundamentals that inform practice and share several underlying themes. Ethical practice is the responsibility and obligation of counselors to maintain the highest standard of professional conduct and behavior as guided by the values, standards, norms, and laws of the association or governing body of the profession. The primary responsibility of the counselor to promote client welfare and ethical practice is founded on ideal of “do no harm,” promoting client autonomy, and fair treatment of clients. The codes of ethics of the ACA, AAMFT, ASCA are the framework of ethical practice, informing the professional obligation to support the welfare of clients. Ethical practice is Beyond the standards, principles, and values that inform ethical practice are the mandatory rules each state presents that must be adhered to by all licensed professional counselors. The TAC, administered by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (TBHEC), requires strict adherence to the rules regulating ethical practice. Disciplinary sanctions will address alleged violations following the procedures stated in the TAC and TBHEC rules (TBHEC, 2023). Procedures for ethical complaints and disciplinary action administered by the board will be explained in the section on ethical violations. A compilation of Texas statutes and rules for counseling and therapy can be found on the TBHEC website by accessing https://www.bhec. texas.gov/statues-and-rules/index.html. It should be noted that the practice of AAMFT is included because the TAC does define the terms “marriage and family counseling,” and “family counseling” in their Occupational Code on Marriage and Family Therapists. The Texas Board of


Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists is part of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. The TAC outlines the responsibilities of the counselor and marriage and family therapist (MFT). The Texas Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Act (Texas.gov, 2019a), in the Texas Occupation Code Chapter 502, provides the following definition: Marriage and family therapy (MFT)means providing professional therapy services to individuals, families, or married couples, alone or in groups, that involve applying family systems theories and techniques. The term includes the evaluation, diagnostic assessment, and remediation of mental, cognitive, affective, behavioral, or relational dysfunction, disease, or disorder in the context of marriage or family systems and may include the use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases.

Page 5

Book Code: PCTX1324


Chapter 502 provides the following clarification in the next line related to MFTs: The practice of marriage and family therapy does not constitute the practice of medicine and does not include prescribing medication, treating a physical disease, or providing any service outside the scope of practice of a licensed marriage and family therapist or a licensed marriage and family therapist associate. The Texas Licensed Professional Act (Texas.gov, 2019b) is found in the Texas Occupation Code, Chapter 503. Sec. 503.002. General Definitions. (4) “Licensed professional counselor” means a person who holds a license issued under this chapter and who: (A) represents the person to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words “licensed counselor” and offers to provide professional counseling services to any individual, couple, family, group, or other entity for compensation, implying that the person offering the services is licensed and trained, experienced, or expert in counseling; or (B) engages in any practice of counseling. Sec. 503.003. Definition: Practice of Professional Counseling (Texas.gov, 2019b). (a) In this chapter, “practice of professional counseling” means the application of mental health, psychotherapeutic, and human development principles to: Glossary of Terms: Texas Administrative Code Here are some definitions from the TAC regulations from Rule §681.2(Tex.reg, 2022). (5) Client(s)—A person(s) who requests and receives counseling services from a licensee or who has engaged in a therapeutic relationship with a licensee. (6) Consent for services—Process for receiving permission from the legally authorized person who agrees to services. (7) Consent Form—A document executed by the legally authorized person to ensure the client is aware of fees and arrangements for payment; counseling purposes, goals, and techniques; restrictions placed on the license by the Council; limits on confidentiality; intent of the licensee to use another individual to provide counseling treatment intervention to the client; supervision of the licensee by another licensed health care professional including the name, address, contact information, and qualifications of the supervisor; and the name, address, and telephone number of the Council for the purpose of reporting violations of the Act or this chapter. (8) Council—The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. (9) Counseling-related field—A mental health discipline using human development, psychotherapeutic, and mental health principles including, but not limited to, clinical or counseling psychology, psychiatry, social Texas Administrative Code: Chapter 681 The TAC, developed by the Texas State Legislature, includes guidelines for licensed professional counselors (LPC) in Title 22, Part 30, Chapter 681 (2022 a), and (2022 b) contains the following subchapters: A. General Provisions B. Rules of Practice C. Application and Licensing D. Schedule of Sanctions Subchapter B includes the Rules of Practice for Professional Counselors, and the entire chapter should be reviewed. In the interest of time and space components §681–31 through §681–53 of this chapter, which cover methods, practices, general ethical requirements, and specific violations will be discussed in

(1) facilitate human development and adjustment throughout life. (2) prevent, assess, evaluate, and treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and associated distresses that interfere with mental health. (3) conduct assessments and evaluations to establish treatment goals and objectives; and (4) plan, implement, and evaluate treatment plans using counseling treatment interventions that include: (b) In this section: (3) “Counseling” means assisting a client through a therapeutic relationship, using a combination of mental health and human development principles, methods, and techniques, including the use of psychotherapy, to achieve the mental, emotional, physical, social, moral, educational, spiritual, or career-related development and adjustment of the client throughout the client’s life. The Texas law is written by the legislative whose members may or may not have a counseling background and legal terminology may vary from that of practicing professionals. For that reason, some definitions from the statutes are included which may differ from the those in the pedagogy of counseling disciplines. A. counseling. B. assessment. C. consulting; and D. referral. work, marriage and family therapy, and counseling and guidance. Non-counseling related fields include, but are not limited to, sociology, education, administration, dance therapy and theology. (10) Executive Director—The executive director for the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. The executive director may delegate responsibilities to other staff members. Some additional definitions of note are found in TAC § 681.31(Tex.reg, 2020) covering professional counselor rules of practice that relate to marriage and family counseling: (3) marriage/couples counseling, which uses interpersonal, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, psychodynamic, affective, and family systems methods and strategies to achieve resolution of problems associated with cohabitation and interdependence of adults living as couples. (4) family counseling, which uses interpersonal, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, psychodynamic, affective, and family systems methods and strategies with families to achieve mental, emotional, physical, moral, social, educational, spiritual, and career development and adjustment through the life span. this course, including intersections with the codes of ethics of national professional counseling associations. The selected TAC sections are chosen to provide regulatory information beyond the aspirational goals and standards given in association codes of ethics. The TAC sections are intended to give details specific to Texas regulations that may not be included in the general study of ethics in counseling. It should be noted that the following TAC summary, and the subsequent inclusions of ethics codes and guidelines, may not include all sections, so alpha and numerical headings may not be consecutive. Documents will be summarized and condensed and should be studied in detail.


Book Code: PCTX1324

Page 6

Texas Administrative Code: General Ethical Requirements Subchapter B, §681.41 Subchapter B, §681.41 General Ethical Requirements (2021a) were adopted in November 2020 and amended in November 2021. This subchapter provides clear, concise, and detailed information, congruent with the ACA, AAMFT Code of Ethics and ASCA standards. Ironically, the common ethical violations, detailed later, are direct violations of the regulations specifically

stated in this subchapter. That is why it is imperative that LPCs follow this TAC and review it frequently to avoid potential ethical infractions in practice. The specific rules that govern ethical practice in Subchapter B §681.41 will be included by topic in subsequent sections of the course.


There are many similarities among the codes of ethics for the national associations that promote and enhance professional counseling though focus and terminology may vary across disciplines. Each is founded on commitment to the clients they The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics The American Counseling Association. (ACA, 2014) Code of Ethics was updated in 2014 and referenced by the Texas Counseling Association in 2023. The key components of the code of ethics will be included here, and it is important to review the document in its entirety. The specific standards in each section of the ACA Code of Ethics will be included throughout the course. Glossary of Terms: ACA Code of Ethics (2014) ● Assent: to demonstrate agreement when a person is otherwise not capable or competent to give formal consent (e.g., informed consent) to a counseling service or plan. ● Bartering: accepting goods or services from clients in exchange for counseling services. ● Confidentiality: the ethical duty of counselors to protect a client’s identity, identifying characteristics, and private communications. ● Culture: membership in a socially constructed way of living, which incorporates collective values, beliefs, norms, boundaries, and lifestyles that are cocreated with others who share similar worldviews comprising biological, psychosocial, historical, psychological, and other factors. ● Distance Counseling: The provision of counseling services by means other than face-to-face meetings, usually with the aid of technology. ● Encryption: process of encoding information in such a way that limits access to authorized users. ● Informed Consent: a process of information sharing associated with possible actions clients may choose to take, aimed at assisting clients in acquiring a full appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of a given action or actions. The regulatory board has developed a glossary devoted to technology assisted-counseling to assist counselors in implementing technology in practice. Glossary: AMFTRB Technology Assisted Counseling (AMFTRB, 2021): ● Asynchronous: Communication is not synchronized or occurring simultaneously. ● Electronic communication: Using websites, cell phones, email, texting, online social networking, video, or other digital methods and technology to send and receive messages, or to post information so that it can be retrieved by others or used later. ● HIPAA compliant: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed. This includes covered entities (CEs), anyone who provides treatment, payment and operations in healthcare, and business associates

serve, the highest level of quality practice, and adherence to all state and national laws governing licensed counselling. The terminology from the national association is included in this section. ● Interdisciplinary Teams: teams of professionals serving clients that may include individuals who may not share counselors’ responsibilities regarding confidentiality. ● Multicultural/Diversity Competence: counselors’ cultural and diversity awareness and knowledge about self and others, and how this awareness and knowledge are applied effectively in practice with clients and client groups. ● Multicultural/Diversity Counseling: counseling that recognizes diversity and embraces approaches that support the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of individuals within their historical, cultural, economic, political, and psychosocial contexts. ● Personal Virtual Relationship: engaging in a relationship via technology and/or social media that blurs the professional boundary (e.g., friending on social networking sites); using personal accounts as the connection point for the virtual relationship. ● Pro bono publico : contributing to society by devoting a portion of professional activities for little or no financial return (e.g., speaking to groups, sharing professional information, offering reduced fees). ● Professional Virtual Relationship: using technology and/ or social media in a professional manner and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries; using business accounts that cannot be linked back to personal accounts as the connection point for the virtual relationship (e.g., a business page versus a personal profile). ● Serious and Foreseeable: when a reasonable counselor can anticipate significant and harmful possible consequences. ● Virtual Relationship: a non–face-to-face relationship (e.g., through social media). (BAs), anyone with access to patient information and who provides support in treatment, payment, or operations. Subcontractors, or business associates of business associates, must also comply (HHS, 2021). ● HITECH: The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 addresses the privacy and security concerns associated with the electronic transmission of health information, in part, through several provisions that strengthen the civil and criminal enforcement of the HIPAA rules (HITECH Act Enforcement of Interim Final Rule; HHS, 2016b). ● Synchronous: Communication which occurs simultaneously in real time. ● Telesupervision: Refers to the practice of clinical supervision through synchronous or asynchronous two-way electronic communication including but not limited to telephone, videoconferencing, email, text, and instant messaging, for the purposes of developing trainee marital and family therapists, evaluating supervisee performance, ensuring rigorous legal and ethical standards within the bounds of licensure, and as a means for improving the profession of marital and family therapy.

Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Board The AMFTRB is an organization of state boards that administer the MFT National Exam required to obtain a license and regulate the rules for licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs).

Page 7

Book Code: PCTX1324


Page i Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104


Powered by