Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy 

IACP Code of Ethics and Practice:

This Code of Ethics is designed to serve us in the interests of our profession. It seeks to protect our clients and ourselves. While this code cannot address all ethical and practice-related issues, it aims to provide a framework within which the optimum level of good practice will be maintained and offers us a moral compass to guide our work and serves to protect our professional standing.

In joining the Association, IACP members agree to fully comply with the provisions of the Code of Ethics and Practice in relation to their work as counsellors and psychotherapists.  In so doing, they agree, as IACP practitioners, to behave in an ethical manner in accordance with the code of ethics and practice. Practitioners are required to constantly examine ethical aspects of their work. In situations where ethical decisions are complex, and when different ethical principles and values come into conflict, the best decision comes from a systematic and critical consideration of the issue. 

An agreed commitment to best ethical practice and accountability. Its underpinning principles include:

  1. Autonomy:  Respect for the autonomy and freedom of choice of each client and each practitioner

  2. Beneficence:  A commitment to the welfare and well-being of each client.

  3. Non- Malfeasance:   A duty to avoid harm to any client.

  4. Justice:  An adherence to justice, honesty and fairness in the treatment of each client.

  5. Care:  The professional care of clients and colleagues, and an obligation to practitioner self-care       


These five principles inform and shape the core values of:

  • Respect for the rights and dignity of the client

  • Professional responsibility

  • Competence

  • Integrity

It is also important for clients to know their rights. Client have the right to complain and need to know, how and where to complain. If you feel your therapist has not been professional and followed the code of ethics set out by IACP.
Sometimes, a grievance offers the client an opportunity to become assertive and have a positive empowering experience, addressing the issue with their therapist first, before embarking on an official complaints procedure. Afterall, this could be part of their journey.

A full copy of IACP code of ethics & complaints procedure is available on their website,

the links are provided at the bottom of this page.

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