Trans4mational Therapy Centre Code Of Ethics
The importance of and need for good ethical standards is, I hope, both elementary and paramount in any therapeutic interventional modality. While it is understood and acknowledged that all therapists need to make a living, doing so must never be at the expense of or detriment to the client. Therefore, the foundations of good ethical standards must, by virtue of the above, be steeped in honesty, integrity and trust. In that sense, one's advertising and methods of obtaining clients must be based on truth and provable facts. Meaning, if you can't prove it, don't say it. This is widely accepted as the Gold Standard for all therapists in the UK and as I was both born and trained there, I adhere to the principle of this therapeutic edict!
As a, UK trained, clinical hypnotherapist I promise to:
- Maintain strict confidentiality within the therapeutic relationship consistent with the good care of the client and the laws of the land and ensure that any client notes and records be kept secure and confidential. Confidentiality must be observed at all times unless:
(a) it is demonstrably in the best interest of the client/patient to disclose relevant information to the client's medical consultant or Physician;
(b) the client/patient has given their written permission to disclose information to their medical consultant or Physician;
(c) where the law requires disclosure;
(d) when sharing information with fellow professionals. In the latter case, client anonymity must be guaranteed;
(e) in the event of a complaint being made against them, subject to the complainant providing written consent for their notes and records to be made available, members may be required to provide this information to The Association on demand.
Practitioners must note that the question of confidentiality also applies to client records, computerised records (which must conform to the Data Protection Act, 1986), and any audio or video recording. Any information or case histories used for training or commercial purposes must have the written consent of the individual involved.
- Never promise a cure for any condition or problem, nor give advice or otherwise pass comment on any medical, psychiatric, or psychological problem or condition unless they have training and qualifications in these fields.
- To provide a service to clients only in those areas in which they have trained and demonstrated competence, and for which they carry full professional indemnity insurance that is acceptable to The Association.
- Be aware of their own limitations and experience and whenever appropriate, be prepared to refer a client on to another more suitable practitioner (whether or not that practitioner be a member of The Association) who might reasonably be expected to offer suitable treatment.
- Ensure as far as possible that wherever an aspect of the client's condition is either known or suspected to be beyond their area of expertise, the client is advised to seek medical or other appropriate advice.
- Always obtain written permission from the client (or client's parents/guardians if appropriate) before recording client sessions by any method other than written notes.
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of both the client and any person who may be accompanying the client.
- Refrain from using their position of trust to exploit the client emotionally, sexually, financially or in another way whatsoever. Should either a sexual or financial relationship (other than the payment of session fees or purchase of books, tapes, or other relevant products) develop between either therapist and client or members of their respective immediate families, the therapist must immediately cease to accept fees, terminate treatment consistent with clause 9 below and transfer the client to another suitable therapist at the earliest opportunity.
- Refrain from commencing any sort of relationship with any client, past or present, other than a therapeutic one. Clients must remain solely as clients. Members are strongly advised against working with friends or family for anything other than simple relaxation work or other 'single-session' therapies.
- Terminate treatment at the earliest moment consistent with the good care of the client.
- Not permit considerations of religion, nationality, gender, gender preference, disability, politics, or social standing to adversely influence client treatment. Where there is a potential for this situation to exist, i.e. where a therapist is not at ease with some aspect of the client's 'way of being', then it is part of that therapist's duty of care to refer the client on to another suitable practitioner.
- As far as possible, not to refuse therapy because of financial hardship.
- Ensure that their place of work and all facilities offered to both clients and their companions will be in every respect suitable and appropriate for the service provided.
- Disclose full details of all relevant training, experience and qualifications to clients upon request.
- Make no claim that they hold specific qualifications unless such claim can be totally substantiated.
- Use no claim or title connected with The Association other than that they are Members of The Association. Appropriate designated letters, i.e. LAPHP (Licentiate), MAPHP (Member), MAPHP (Acc.) (Accredited Member), FAPHP (Fellow) and Association logos may be discreetly displayed.
- Explain fully to clients in advance of any treatment, fees, terms of payment, session length, and any charges levied for non-attendance or cancelled appointments.
- Present all services and products in an unambiguous manner and ensure that the client retains complete control of the decision to purchase such services or products.
- Neither expect nor encourage gifts from clients. Small tokens of appreciation may be accepted at the end of therapy but should in no way be solicited.
- Conduct themselves at all times in accordance with their professional status.
- (a) Inform The Association, upon initial application, of any disciplinary action taken against them by any professional body and further inform The Association, in writing, of any subsequent action taken against them whilst a member of The Association.
(b) Confirm, upon initial application, that they have not been convicted of any offence likely to bring their professional name or the reputation of The Association into disrepute and undertake to inform The Association, in writing, should such an event subsequently occur whilst a member of The Association.
- Inform The Association, in writing, of any change in contact address and/or telephone number, at the earliest convenient moment.
- Minors (under 16 years old) must always be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout any session, including assessment sessions.
- UK members must ensure that all advertising shall comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice, accord with the Advertising Standards Authority and make available all such literature to The Association on demand. In the case of overseas Members, their advertising shall comply fully with the laws of their land.
- Make available all relevant information requested as a result of an investigation by the appointed Complaints and Disciplinary Officer without hindrance (whether implied or actual) or unreasonable delay and comply fully with all requirements inherent within the Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure.
- To use a trading name (i.e. 'Anytown Hypnotherapy Centre') only if operating their practice from a bona fide commercial premises.
- To never publicly criticise or malign another member of the profession, either with or without perceived justification, whether or not they are a member of The Association.
- To report to The Association, any other Member who appears to be in breaking one or more of the ethical rules laid down in this document. Such complaint can be made with total confidentiality; the complainant's name will not be revealed other than to the members of the Advisory Board. Anonymous complaints will not be considered but all others will be fully investigated.
- If a member publishes a testimonial from any client, it is essential to ensure that (a) proper registration of the member's practice with the data commission is up-to-date; (b) no statement in such testimonial makes any statement that is not allowed under the terms of the British Code of Advertising Practice; and (c) the original dated and signed testimonial must be held securely and must include proper contact details of the individual providing the testimonial.
- Members will refrain from any behaviour in connection with their professional endeavours that would be likely to bring the Association into disrepute.
- Members shall not use the title "Doctor" in a manner which may mislead any member of the public to believe that they are medically qualified if they are not so qualified. The term 'Dr.' or 'Doctor' shall not be used where the qualification is non-medical; PhD may be used as a suffix, but the associated profession must be shown.
In the event of a complaint being made against a member of The Association, be it by another member or a member of the public, the following procedure will be implemented:
(a) In the first instance, said member will be contacted by the Chairman of The Association or a Member of the Administrative Board of The Association for an informal discussion concerning the complaint.
(b) At the discretion of the Interviewing officer, the member may be required to attend a formal disciplinary hearing.
(c) In the event of (b), and dependent upon the seriousness of the complaint, the member may be placed under immediate suspension.
Any disciplinary hearing shall consist of 3 individuals: a disciplinary officer and 2 members of The Association. The member under investigation may bring one witness or another relevant party to the meeting.
All available evidence will be reviewed; if the complaint is upheld and shows that the member has contravened any part of the code of ethics of The Association, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. 'Appropriate disciplinary action' in this context depends upon the seriousness of the complaint and whether there have been previous upheld complaints.
For a serious or repeated breach of the code of ethics, the member will be dismissed from The Association, although there will be a 6 week period during which a reasonable appeal may be made to the Chairman of The Association. During this period, the member will remain on suspension.
For a lesser breach, a written warning will be issued and recorded within The Association files.
The complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation within 21 days and may appeal against the decision within a period of 6 weeks from receipt of the communication. In the event of a complaint being upheld by the disciplinary board, the APHP reserves the right to inform other appropriate professional Bodies, Organisations and Associations, as well as the member’s training establishment(s), of the complaint details and of the action taken by the APHP.
All members accept that this is not a static document and that it may be altered from time to time, by The Association, in accordance with the need to ensure ongoing professionalism within the field of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.