AAMFT Code of Ethics-Social Justice Need

AAMFT Code of Ethics-Social Justice Need

June 2, 2020
Petition to
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
Signatures: 18Next Goal: 25
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ryne Zuzinec

Currently as it stands, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy's Code of Ethics has limited mention of the need for social justice. Currently, the only mention of equality is the following:

                                            Aspirational Core Values
The following core values speak generally to the membership of AAMFT as a professional association, yet they also inform all the varieties of practice and service in which marriage and family therapists engage. These core values are aspirational in nature, and are distinct from ethical standards. These values are intended to provide an aspirational framework within which marriage and family therapists may pursue the highest goals of practice.

The core values of AAMFT embody:

  1. Acceptance, appreciation, and inclusion of a diverse membership.
  2. Distinctiveness and excellence in training of marriage and family therapists and those desiring to advance their skills, knowledge and expertise in systemic and relational therapies.
  3. Responsiveness and excellence in service to members.
  4. Diversity, equity and excellence in clinical practice, research, education and administration
  5. Integrity evidenced by a high threshold of ethical and honest behavior within Association governance and by members
  6. Innovation and the advancement of knowledge of systemic and relational therapies.

Other mental health organizations address the issue of social justice as well. For example:

The American Counseling Association's Code of Ethics Preamble

  1. enhancing human development throughout the life span;
  2. honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts;
  3. promoting social justice;
  4. safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship; and
  5. practicing in a competent and ethical manner

However, the only association that appropriately addresses the issue of social justice is the National Association of Social Workers:

Value: Social Justice

Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.

Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers' social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment,discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.

What We are Asking For

It is with this in mind that we, the petitioner's, ask that the AAMFT address the need for addressing the need for intersectionality in our code of ethics. On June 1st, the AAMFT addressed the need for "MFT responsibility to counter racism." But, in other domains and areas of the AAMFT are lacking.

In this document published, the AAMFT states: "It is a core value in AAMFT to support, promote, and protect diversity, to value all individuals and groups as free from prejudice and oppression as possible, and to foster a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic."


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Signatures: 18Next Goal: 25
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Decision Makers

  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy