Code of Professional Ethics

This one is from the National Association of Social Workers. 

The ethical therapist:

(1) is concerned for the client's well-being, although if the client is dangerous to himself or others the therapist may have to put the needs and wants of others first.

(2) believes in the client's right to self-determination

(3) informs the client about services, such as the limitations of a particular therapy, what it entails, and be sure of client consent. If the therapy is electronic, for example by Skype, the client should be aware of those limitations. If there is any video or audiotaping, the client must be informed and consent and know that the information stays within the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship.

(4) the therapist must only provide services that he or she has trained to provide, must be competent in the treatment modality.

(5) therapists must be sensitive to cultural differences, trained in diversity

(6) (This one, conflict of interest, is so important that I hesitate to condense it. They're all important, actually).
(a) Social workers should be alert to and avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment. Social workers should inform clients when a real or potential conflict of interest arises and take reasonable steps to resolve the issue in a manner that makes the clients’ interests primary and protects clients’ interests to the greatest extent possible. In some cases, protecting clients’ interests may require termination of the professional relationship with proper referral of the client.(b) Social workers should not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their personal, religious, political, or business interests.(c) Social workers should not engage in dual or multiple relationships with clients or former clients in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client. In instances when dual or multiple relationships are unavoidable, social workers should take steps to protect clients and are responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries. (Dual or multiple relationships occur when social workers relate to clients in more than one relationship, whether professional, social, or business. Dual or multiple relationships can occur simultaneously or consecutively.)(d) When social workers provide services to two or more people who have a relationship with each other (for example, couples, family members), social workers should clarify with all parties which individuals will be considered clients and the nature of social workers’ professional obligations to the various individuals who are receiving services. Social workers who anticipate a conflict of interest among the individuals receiving services or who anticipate having to perform in potentially conflicting roles (for example, when a social worker is asked to testify in a child custody dispute or divorce proceedings involving clients) should clarify their role with the parties involved and take appropriate action to minimize any conflict of interest.
(7) Therapists must honor the client's confidentiality and right to privacy. (Being http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/filing-a-complaint/what-to-expect/index.htmlwould go along with that.)

(8) Therapists may not have sexual relationships with clients, their relatives, former clients, and should not take on a client with whom they have had a sexual relationship.

(9) Therapists should not be physical with clients, no cradling or caressing, and should establish clear physical boundaries, discuss this with cultural sensitivity.


(10) Therapists should not sexually harass, make sexual advances, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature

(11) Therapists should not use language that is derogatory toward a client. (We probably shouldn't swear, either).

(12) Therapists should ensure that fees for services are fair and agreed upon at the beginning.

(13) Therapists should advocate for clients who cannot make informed decisions, safeguard their interests and rights.

(14) Therapists should terminate services when they are no longer requiredshould not abandon those in need, rather should be sure continued services are recommended. Should their agreed upon contract end, or should there be a reason that the therapist must terminate therapy, advance notice should be the priority.  

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