Ethics Policy and Code of Ethics

Ethics Policy

The American Association of Couples and Sex Therapists has adopted the following Code of Ethics in recognition of our objectives and commitment to a high standard of care. The Code of Ethics is applicable to all AACAST members, regardless of certification status. In addition, adherence to the Code of Ethics is a condition of membership in AACAST, and AACAST Certification.

The Code of Ethics set forth is designed to achieve standards of professionalism and ethical guidelines for members of AACAST. In addition to providing membership to health and mental health professionals, AACAST is a professional organization dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to the public. Therefore, it is the responsibility of AACAST to promote standards of practice in order to benefit and protect the public. All members of AACAST must honor and adhere to the AACAST Code of Ethics. Further, AACAST staff and instructors abide by and provide clinical services and educational and training opportunities that teach and train participants and licensees to treat any client in an ethical and clinically sound manner that is consistent with the CAMFT Code of Ethics. AACAST staff and instructors will be expected to abide by same ethical expectations. In the event that an instructor for a particular event is a member of another professional association, he or she will be expected to teach and train in accordance with that Code of Ethics.

AACAST does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin (ancestry), citizenship, physical or mental disability, marital status, medical condition, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include selection of staff, volunteers, instructors, and provision of training services. AACAST is committed to providing a hospitable and inclusive and environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, and course participants. AACAST affirms and values that social diversity contributes richness to the community and enhances the quality of our organization for participants, instructors, and staff. AACAST encourages an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect, and believes diversity in all aspects of our operations improve morale, creative thinking, and greater cohesion.

The members of AACAST are licensed professionals from various state licensing boards and bodies. AACAST recognizes, acknowledges, and requires that members adhere to the Code of Ethics set forth by their licensing entity, in addition to the AACAST Code of Ethics.

Code of Ethics

I. Membership in AACAST represents mental health professionals with a particular expertise in the integrated field of couples and sex therapy. Therefore, all members shall maintain the highest standard of care and be accountable and responsible as an individual to these standards. The Code of Ethics set forth is for the benefit and protection of the public.

II. All members agree to clarify knowledge, skills, training, education, and limitations of competence to the client accurately and honestly. Members agree to refer clients to a colleague or other appropriate professional if it becomes apparent that a client’s issues are beyond the member’s competence.

III. All members agree to make every reasonable effort to protect the confidentiality and welfare of their clients.

IV. All members agree to refrain from participating in any dual or sexual relationship with their clients.

V. All members agree to participate in continuing education, specifically in the field of couples and sex therapy in order to provide the highest standard of care to their clients.

Membership in AACAST may be terminated by the Board of Directors for sufficient cause including, but not limited to, violations of the Code of Ethics.

The AACAST Code of Ethics is subject to revision at any time as circumstances and experience merit.

Rev. 08/16