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Scientific Basis

Ethical Fundamentals

Principles of Acting



1.  Counseling and social environment    
Our life is constantly influenced by high demands on all of us personally, in our families, our professions and our society. With this background "individual psychological counseling" offers "help for self-help" in a sense of the principle of subsidiarity.    
2. Goals of Counseling    
Individual psychological counseling offers a chance of solving problems and conflicts in all fields of life:
  • marriage and relationship
  • friendship and community as well as
  • profession and occupancy

Counseling takes place in a constructive dialogue between client and counselor in a setting of one on one, couples, families and/or groups. The insights attained during counseling point out ways for an improvement of the client’s quality of life and relationship. They expand the human, professional as well as the intellectual vision of clients.

The focus of counseling is put on the encouragement of personal responsibility and on a beneficial contribution for society.  “Individual psychological counseling” is not based on promises or offers for solving strategies in problem solving. In fact it is a search for ways of action the client can and wishes to precede himself or herself as well as ways for the prevention of future conflicts. The Association of  Individual Psychological Counselors and Coaches “ViBD e.V.” distinguishes itself from any ‘welfare promising’ groups, associations and sects.
3.  Counseling is not therapy    
Counseling takes place prior to psychotherapy and is different in any aspect. Counseling focuses on answers for current problems in life whereas therapy focuses on healing of a mental health problem or psychosomatical symptoms. In cases of an according indication the counselor terminates all activities and refers to the necessity of therapy.    
4. Scientific basis of counseling    
The ‘Individual Psychology’ founded by Alfred Adler and its enhancements are the fundamental theoretical basis for our counseling dialogues. As one of the most important schools of depth-psychology the Individual Psychology is taught at universities as a scientific psychological major today. Furthermore it is basis for advanced training as counselor and therapist for medical doctors, psychologists and pedagogues.    
5. Expertise of Counselors ViBD    
The Association accredits individual psychological counselors after a scientifically based depth-psychological training of 4 years minimum and an according exam. The training contains the necessary knowledge transfer, practical counseling skills, case control, supervision and extensive counseling assignments. The counselor is obliged to continuously attend advanced trainings and supervisionary counselings.    
6. Confidentiality and Discretion    
Counseling can only be provided based on a voluntary basis of insight of the necessity of an independent support. The relationship between client and counselor is a ‘working relationship’ based on mutual trust and a mutual ethically proper attitude.

Counselors, but not clients, are sworn to discretion concerning contents of dialogue. Contents of dialogues can be introduced in the counselor’s own supervisions and consequently obligates participants of this supervision to discretion. By participating in counseling groups social contacts are initiated. These contacts are desired for the creation of a feeling of belonging, yet voluntary at any time.

Contents of group counseling which refer to or concern other participants obligate the clients to discretion as well.
7. Period of Counseling    
The client determines period and contents of counseling him- or herself. The counselor also has a chance to determine counseling when there is no perspective for a successful cooperation or the mutual trust is sustainably disturbed. Many participants benefit from a chance for a continuous and long-term personal reflection within counseling groups as well as on on one counseling for specific needs. Counseling, therefore, provides means for consistent prevention of conflicts and consequently builds a process of  “hygiene of  psyche”.    
8. Effects of counseling    
Insights gained by a client during counseling effect his or her lifestyle and consequently the fields of occupation, family and relationships. To prevent conflicts with partners in life it is recommended to inform then on personal developments and contents of counseling and/or integrate him or her into the process of counseling.    
9. Commitment of Distance in Counseling    
For a successful counseling a maximum objectiveness between client and counselor is to be aspired. To guarantee the necessary personal distance personal contacts are to be restricted to a responsible minimum.    
10. Professional Service    
Individual psychological counselors see their work as professional service and, therefore, have a right for compensation. Every client should be aware that he or she could claim counseling free of charge at  any public counseling institution. At the beginning of counseling the client and his or her counselor are advised to make a written agreement about the contractual agreement of the counselor’s services to be provided.    

Autorenteam: Michael Arns; Ulrike Blum-Hoberg; Hermann Bayer


Stand: 08.12.2010


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