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A survey was conducted of the ethical beliefs and behaviors of 498 Christian counselors, using the same 88-item instrument used in previous surveys of psychologists (Pope, Tabachnick, & Keith-Spiegel, 1987) and counselors (Gibson & Pope, 1993). Seventy-seven of the respondents were members of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS). Generally, CAPS members appear to have high regard for and high compliance with prevailing professional ethical standards. Response patterns from the overall sample were simplified with factor analyses, resulting in two scales of ethical beliefs and four scales of ethical behaviors. Scale scores were used to compare CAPS members with non-members and licensed therapists with unlicensed in a 2 x 2 analysis of variance. Similarly, scale scores were compared, based on CAPS membership and membership in other professional organizations, in a second 2 x 2 analysis of variance. Although CAPS members did not differ significantly from other Christian counselors, those with professional licenses and those belonging to non-religious professional mental health organizations were less inclined to report multiple role relationships and more inclined to report sexual countertransference feelings than other respondents. The implications of these findings and possibilities for future research are discussed.


Originally published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 16, 18-35.

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