This ethics policy outlines the standards and principles that govern the professional behavior of our therapists. This policy is rooted in a commitment to providing high-quality mental health services while respecting the dignity, autonomy, and privacy of our clients.
- Competence: Therapists must maintain the highest level of professional competence. This includes continued learning, professional development, and staying current with advances in therapeutic practices.
- Scope of Practice: Therapists must only practice within the bounds of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, and professional credentials.
- Referrals: If a therapist determines that they cannot provide the appropriate service or level of care a client needs, they are obliged to refer the client to a qualified professional who can.
- Respect for Privacy: All therapy sessions, communications, and records will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect for the client’s privacy, subject to legal and professional requirements.
- Disclosure: Confidentiality may only be broken when there is risk of immediate danger to the client or others, or as mandated by law. Clients should be made aware of these exceptions prior to the commencement of therapy.
- Non-discrimination: Therapists must treat all clients with respect and dignity, irrespective of race, gender, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation.
- Client Autonomy: Therapists should respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination and assist them in understanding the consequences of their choices.
- Dual Relationships: Therapists must avoid relationships that could impair their professional judgement or exploit the trust and dependency of clients.
- Physical Contact: Any physical contact between the therapist and client must be avoided, unless it is therapeutically necessary and appropriate, with the informed consent of the client.
- Gifts: Therapists must exercise caution and judgement before accepting or offering gifts to/from clients to avoid any misunderstanding or potential exploitation.
- Documentation: Therapists should maintain accurate and timely records of all therapeutic interactions.
- Security: All records must be securely stored to prevent unauthorized access.
- Retention and Destruction: Records should be retained as required by law and professional standards, and destroyed in a manner that protects client confidentiality.
Resolving Ethical Issues
- Consultation: When facing ethical dilemmas, therapists should seek consultation from supervisors, colleagues, or ethical/legal experts.
- Reporting Unethical Conduct: Therapists have a responsibility to report unethical behavior by colleagues to the appropriate professional or regulatory authority.
The adherence to this ethics policy is mandatory for all therapists, and failure to comply may result in disciplinary action. As therapists, we must be dedicated to providing the best care for our clients, which includes upholding the highest ethical standards.