Ethical Code of the Polish Association for Integrative Psychotherapy
Psychotherapist seeks to contribute to the welfare of persons with whom contact is awarded: patients, students, persons consulted, psychotherapists under supervision or research participants.
In doing so, the psychotherapist presents professional integrity, fair behaviour and respect for the dignity of persons with whom he maintains professional relationships.
Being aware of occupational inequality in professional relationships, the psychotherapist is sensitive to the possibility of using this advantage during and after concluding psychotherapy or other professional relationship.
Psychotherapists of the Polish Association for Integrative Psychotherapy declare observation of the following principles of professional ethics:
- The Ethical Standards shall serve to protect patients / clients prior to the unethical use of psychotherapy by psychotherapists and persons remaining in psychotherapy training.
- The Ethical Standards constitute the basis for complaints and / or review procedures.
- The Ethical Standards of a psychotherapist refer only to his professional activities and functions related to the psychotherapist profession. The Code of Ethics does not apply to activities not related to and not altering the activity as a psychotherapist.
- Every participant of an individual, group, marital / family psychotherapy, of a group training (interpersonal, sensitivity, psycho-educational, personal development, support group, etc.) related to psychotherapy is regarded as a “patient”.
1. The differences among people, personal limitations
Psychotherapist is aware of how his views, the system of beliefs, values, needs and personal limitations influence his work. In case, the psychotherapist’s personal problems, conflicts, limitations may make harm to the recipient of his services, the psychotherapist shall look for supervision or consulting or fails to perform them, referring the patient to an appropriate specialist.
2. Respect for others and non-discrimination
- In his professional activity, the psychotherapist respects the right of others to hold values, attitudes and views different from his own.
- The psychotherapist does not discriminate due to age, sex, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, belief, education, language, social or economic status.
3. Avoiding harm
Whenever it is predictable and inevitable, the psychotherapist takes appropriate effort to minimize the potential severity of his patients suffering or other persons involved in therapies, supervision or training.
4. Competence and professional development
- The psychotherapist should limit his practice to methods and areas in which he acquired relevant competence through training or experience. In new areas, where training standards have not been established, the psychotherapist should take an adequate effort to improve their skills and avoid patient harm.
- The psychotherapist is required to update constantly his training and knowledge. Therefore, it is also obliged to follow the science research reports and development in the areas of psychotherapy.
5. Adhering to scientific and clinical data
- In his professional decisions and making public statements, the psychotherapist shall adhere to current scientific and clinical knowledge
- The psychotherapist does not apply intervention or diagnosis methods which are inappropriate to current purposes.
6. Confidentiality / professional secrecy
- The psychotherapist and all the support staff is bound by the principle of confidentiality for all information in the possession of which they came in connection with the performance of psychotherapy.
- If the psychotherapist’s role requires that confidentiality is restricted, the psychotherapist shall inform the interested parties before beginning the service and in any case it is necessary.
- The psychotherapist discusses the confidential information about psychotherapy or supervision only with relevant professionals and shares the information only to the necessary extent, ensuring anonymity of the patient/client if possible.
- 1.The psychotherapist may disclose confidential information only in case of threat to life and/or health of the patient or others.
- While consulting, supervising, or in professional presentations about their patients, the psychotherapist provides only such information that does not identify the patient.
7. Conscious Consent and Contract
- The psychotherapist provides his services or activities only within the framework of professional relationship obvious for both parties.
- The patient has to indicate his consent to psychotherapy.
- As soon as it is possible and helpful, the therapist discusses with the patient the following issues: the intensity and likely duration of therapy, fees (the fee, the requirements of treating institutions, fees for canceled sessions etc.), professional secrecy, possible supervision of the therapy and other issues important to the patient and the procedures for complaints and appeals.
8. Discontinuation of psychotherapy
- If the patient no longer needs psychotherapy, neither he benefits from it, or when the patient suffers harm from it, the psychotherapist concludes the psychotherapy.
- If, for any reason, the psychotherapist has to discontinue the psychotherapy, he seeks for a solution to this situation, good for the patient.
- Before termination of psychotherapy for any reason, the psychotherapist discusses with the patient his needs, alternative methods of assistance, etc.
9. Double relationships
Psychotherapist seeks to avoid double relationships when they are harmful to the patient, especially where they may deteriorate the performance or reliability of its work, or harm the patient or others making use of his actions.
10. Sexual Relations
- The psychotherapist does not fall in sexual relationships with current patients.
- The psychotherapist does not accept persons with whom previously he had sexual relations, to be his psychotherapy patients.
- The psychotherapist does not enter/fall into sexual relationship with a former patient or client for at least two years after the end of the professional relationship. As this situation is potentially harmful, the psychotherapist should not initiate sexual relations also after a period of two years, exclusive of exceptional circumstances. In such a situation the burden of demonstrating that there was no patient’s abuse in the context of therapy, that there is no risk of deteriorating the current state of the patient, or that there is no likelihood of injury to the patient or others, and that during therapy did not suggest in any way the possibility of replacement therapy on the relationship sexual or romantic, rests on the psychotherapist.
11. The rules of ethics in the training
- The psychotherapist fairly presents psychotherapeutic knowledge.
- The psychotherapist does not teach methods requiring specialized training, experience or powers, such as hypnosis to people who do not have them.
- 1.The psychotherapist does not fall in sexual relations with trainees.
12. Abuse interdiction
The psychotherapist does not abuse the people, over whom he has power as a supervisor, as a person expressing his opinion, as a teacher or supervisor.
The psychotherapist does not enter into sexual relationships with students or trainees, over whom he has the power or assesses them, since it carries the risk of personal abuse or impaired assessment.
Acceptance of non-cash compensation for psychotherapy services threatens with the abuse or distortion of the therapeutic relationship. Therefore, the barter exchange is acceptable only if there are no clinical contraindications, and there is no risk of patient’s / client’s abuse.
- The psychotherapist does not abuse patients and other recipients of his services financially.
- If the patient/client does not pay and the psychotherapist intends to use assistance of a debt office, etc., previously he has to give notice to the debtor giving him the chance to make up for a fee.
15. Advertising and public statements
- For public statements, that is, among other things paid or free advertisements, brochures, CVs, interviews, commentaries to the media, public speeches, published materials, the psychotherapist gives only a true statement and makes sure that no false statement is presented on psychotherapy.
- Having learned that someone speaks false statements about his work, the psychotherapist tries to correct them.
- The psychotherapist does not buy /use hidden advertising in the media.
- The psychotherapist avoids statements that are deceptive, false, misleading with respect to, inter alia, his training, experience, competence, academic degree, membership of professional organizations, conducted services, scientific basis, or the results of his services, fees, his publications or his research results.
- In public statements such as articles in newspapers, television programs, etc., the psychotherapist ensures their compatibility with current psychotherapeutic literature and ethical standards.
16. Professional relationships with colleagues:
- Where appropriate, the psychotherapist cooperates with representatives of other sciences for the benefit of the patient.
- The psychotherapist behaves loyally and comradely towards colleagues.
- If good of the patient is in a conflict with professional loyalty, the psychotherapist supports the good of the patient, given the unequal relationship between the patient and therapist.
17. Psychotherapy research
- Psychotherapists should be involved in research projects which relate to the effects of psychotherapy and develop scientific and theoretical aspect of psychotherapy.
- The Psychotherapist conducting research and publishing the results of these studies shall act honestly.
18. Solving ethical problems
- If in doubt how to solve a problem, the psychotherapist asks the more experienced colleagues or turns to the authorities of the Association.
- If the psychotherapist becomes aware of noncompliance with ethics by a colleague, he should try to alter such demeanor informally. If this action does not bring results, he should formally notify the relevant authorities of the Association. The failure of such action is violation of ethics.
- Psychotherapist does not make or does not support such claims of a breach of ethics, which have no basis and whose purpose is to harm a therapist rather than to protect patients.