Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Richard Cohen

Pam's House Blend has a post up on Richard Cohen. Cohen, the president of P-Fox (Parents and Friends of Ex-gays) a "sexual reorientation" group, has received a liftime ban from the American Counseling Association, the nation's largest professional group for licensed counselors.

Pam includes a link to a copy of the expulsion letter:

Image Hosted by
Mrs. Pastor is a member of the ACA, so I thought I'd look up the specific ethical guidelines Cohen was found to have violated. I've extracted them from this pdf file, adding in bold the paragraphs mentioned in the letter:
A.1.a: Primary Responsibility. The primary responsibility of counselors is to respect the dignity and to promote the welfare of clients.

A.1.b: Positive Growth and Development. Counselors encourage client growth and development in ways that foster the clients' interest and welfare; counselors avoid fostering dependent counseling relationships.

A.5.a: Personal Needs. In the counseling relationship, counselors are aware of the intimacy and responsibilities inherent in the counseling relationship, maintain respect for clients, and avoid actions that seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients.

A.6.a: Avoid When Possible. Counselors are aware of their influential positions with respect to clients, and they avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of clients. Counselors make every effort to avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. (Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, or close personal relationships with clients.) When a dual relationship cannot be avoided, counselors take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs.

C.3.b: Testimonials. Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence.

C.3.f: Products and Training Advertisements. Counselors who develop products related to their profession or conduct workshops or training events ensure that the advertisements concerning these products or events are accurate and disclose adequate information for consumers to make informed choices.

The ACA leans progressive. Could these charges be spun as politically motivated? The first and third, maybe. The rest, no way. And in any case, Cohen agreed to the standards, and to the ACA's right to interpret them through its ethics committee.

It's a fair cop. That's why Cohen chose not to appeal the decision.

At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was just looking around the net for web sites related to relationship rescue and came across your blog. I was going to add a blog to my site, for relationship rescue and of course other related material, but I'm not sure if it would work.
I'm a bit worried about getting un-wanted 'rude' posts rather than ones related to relationship rescue on my site...... perhaps I just try it out - then you can come and post on it :)

Take care


Post a Comment

<< Home