Center For Abuse and Trauma Therapy Inc. Code of Ethics
Passed September 30, 2007
All of the therapists working at the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Therapy Inc. must agree, by signature, to abide by this Code of Ethics. Violations of these rules may lead to dismissal from the Centre and may expose the violating therapist to legal action.
A) Non-Exploitation in Therapeutic Relationships
A.1. The therapist must not exploit relationships with clients for any personal, social or financial advantage. Therapists do not enlist a client’s abilities, expertise nor cooperation in matters unrelated to the course of therapy.
A.2. The therapist must not use sexual language, nor any other derogatory language nor behaviour that demeans or humiliates clients.
A.3. The therapist must not, under any circumstances, engage in sexual activities with clients, nor with former clients. (Sexual activities is defined in this code as all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gesture, dress, and behaviour, as well as physical contact of a sexual nature.)
A.4. The therapist will not accept as clients, persons with whom they have had a prior sexual relationship, or who are family members.
A.5. The therapist will not enter into, nor promise, another personal, professional or financial relationship with clients.
A.6. If a therapist finds that a potentially harmful multiple relationship exists or, has arisen, the therapist attempts to resolve the situation with primary regard to the best interests of the client or former client. This will be appropriately reported to the Centre.
B) Ethical Responsibility to Clients
The therapist’s primary responsibility is to clients.
B.1. The therapist must always work with the best interests of clients in mind. They must serve clients with the maximum application of professional skill and competence.
B.2. The therapist must not violate nor diminish the civil or legal rights of clients.
B.3. The therapist must provide clients with accurate and complete information regarding the extent and nature of the therapy offered to them.
B.4. The therapist must not engage in therapy with clients while incapacitated by: alcohol and/or drugs; or any emotional or mental dysfunction which interferes with the therapist’s practice of therapy.
B.5. The therapist should only accept clients in accordance with the therapist’s expertise in that client’s problems. If, during the course of therapy, the therapist discovers that the client has problems that are outside of the therapist expertise, the therapist will acknowledge such to the client and make suitable arrangements with another therapist if the client so wishes.
B.6. The therapist must terminate service to clients when such service is no longer required or no longer serve the clients’ needs or well-being.
B.7. The therapist should withdraw services suddenly only under unusual circumstances, giving careful considerations to all factors in the situation and taking care to minimize possible adverse effects.
C.1. The therapist must respect the privacy of clients, including their identity, and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of therapy, except for a) the legal duty to warn to prevent clear and immediate danger to someone, b) or as directed by clients, in writing, for their benefit, c) or as mandated by law to report when the therapist is given information that a child is in danger, d) or when the client’s suicide is a present, immediate danger.
C.2 The therapist should inform clients of the limits of confidentiality of files, journals, letters, etc.
C.3. The therapist should afford the client reasonable access to any records concerning them, taking care to protect the confidences of others contained in those records.
C.4. The therapist must store records in a way that secures confidentiality, and make arrangements for the confidential destruction of such records when appropriate.
D) Competence and Professional Development
D.1. Therapists are responsible for the quality and extent of their service.
D.2. Therapists should keep themselves informed of new therapeutic information and to participate in ongoing professional development.
D.3. Therapists have responsibility for their own emotional, mental and physical health. Whenever personal matters arise that could compromise their work, they will take whatever steps are necessary, including procuring individual therapy and/or consultation, to protect their clients from being adversely affected.
E. Scholarship and Research.
The therapist engaged in study and research should be guided by the conventions of scholarly inquiry.
E.1. The therapist engaged in research should consider carefully its possible consequences.
E.2. The therapist engaged in research should ascertain that the consent of participant in the research is voluntary and informed, without any implied deprivation or penalty for refusal to participate, and with due regard for participants’ privacy and dignity.
E.3. The therapist engaged in research should protect participants from unwarranted physical or mental discomfort, distress, harm, danger, or deprivation.
E.4. The therapist who engages in the evaluation of services or cases should discuss them only for the professional purposes and only with persons directly and professionally concerned with them.
E.5. Information obtained about participants in research should be treated as confidential.
E.6. The therapist should take credit only for work actually done in connection with scholarly and research endeavours and credit contributions made others.