Ethical Decision Making Resources

Hello! I hope everyone is thawed out from that freezing weather we had.

I wanted to talk about ethical consultation for this blog. As counselors, we oftentimes come across concerns or questions that may need extra consultation. We can consult with colleagues or supervisors, but sometimes we just need a little extra support.

It is best practice to have an Ethical Decision-Making Model to follow. You can choose one that fits your style, as there are several.  One example an ethical decision-making model  comes from the ACA:

The Ethical Decision-Making Model at a Glance

1. Identify the problem.

2. Apply the ACA Code of Ethics.

3. Determine the nature and dimensions of the dilemma.

4. Generate potential courses of action.

5. Consider the potential consequences of all options and determine a course of action.

6. Evaluate the selected course of action.

7. Implement the course of action.

Sometimes after running through a decision-making model, we still have questions. The American Counseling Association has a service that offers consultation for members. I have used this service and it not only was super helpful, but it gave me peace of mind that I was following ethics and doing no harm to my client. Their website offers this:

“The American Counseling Association is pleased to help members with inquiries on ethical practice, career counseling and advice regarding the profession.

Please kindly note that this service is not designed to function as a real time hotline. Inquiries are prioritized, and the ACA standard is to respond within three business days of receipt.

Please send an email request to [email protected] to schedule a consultation.

Thank you in advance for your patience.”

I hope you are all having a great 2022 so far.

Lena Abourezk


ACA Applicable Code:


C.2.e. Consultations on Ethical Obligations

Counselors take reasonable steps to consult with other counselors, the ACA Ethics and Professional Standards Department, or related professionals when they have questions regarding their ethical obligations or professional practice.


Extra Resources

Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making Holly Forester-Miller, Ph.D. and Thomas E. Davis, Ph.D.

Forester-Miller, H., & Davis, T. E. (2016). Practitioner’s guide to ethical decision making (Rev. ed.). Retrieved from’s-guide-toethical-decision-making.pdf


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