Core Values of Counseling

Certain values are considered core to counseling and are reflected and expressed in the practice of counseling. All counselors are expected to embrace these and similar set of core values as essential and integral to their work. These values are:

  • Respect for human dignity. This means that the counselor must provide a client unconditional positive regard, compassion, non-judgmental attitude, empathy, and trust.
  • Partnership. A counselor has to foster partnerships with the various disciplines that come together to support an integrated healing that encompasses various aspects such as the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. These relationships should be of integrity, sensitivity, and openness to ensure health, healing, and growth of clients.
  • Autonomy. This entails respect for confidentiality and trust in a relationship of counseling and ensuring a safe environment that is needed for healing. It also means that healing or any advice cannot be imposed on a client.
  • Responsible caring. This primarily means respecting the potential of every human being to change and to continue learning throughout his/her life, and especially in the environment of counseling.
  • Personal integrity. Counselors must reflect personal integrity, honesty, and truthfulness with clients.
  • Social justice. This means accepting and respecting the diversity of the clients, the diversify of individuals, their cultures, languages, lifestyles, identities, ideologies, intellectual capacities, personalities, and capabilities regardless of the presented issues.

From such core values, the Ethical Principles of Counseling are broadened.: The following principles contextualize the core values in action. They form the foundation for ethical practice as expressed by The New Zealand Association of Counselors (Ethical Principles for Counselors).

Counselors shall:

  1. Act with care and respect for individual and cultural differences and the diversity of human experience.
  2. Avoid doing harm in all their professional work. Actively support the principles embodied in the Treaty of Waitangi (a formal agreement between the British Crown and Maori signed on February 6, 1840, at Waitangi in the Bay of islands, which technically made over 500 Maori chiefs to become a British Colony starting with the initial 43 Northland Chiefs.
  3. Respect the confidences with which they are entrusted.
  4. Promote the safety and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
  5. Seek to increase the range of choices and opportunities for clients.
  6. Be honest and trustworthy in all their professional relationships.
  7. Practice within the scope of their competence.
  8. Treat colleagues and other professionals with respect.