Cyprus Association for Person-Centered
Psychotherapy and Counseling

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics for Counselling and Psychotherapy

This Code of Ethics for Psychotherapy and Counselling is intended to guide the practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy by all members (regular and associate) of the Cyprus Association for Person-Centered Psychotherapy and Counselling (CAPCPC). Being ethically mindful and willing to be accountable for the ethical basis of practice is a requirement for membership of this Association. Also, members must communicate to their clients the basis of their ethical accountability and expectations.

Ethical Principles For Psychotherapy and Counselling

These principles, which are described below, direct attention to important ethical responsibilities.

A member’s obligation is to consider all the relevant circumstances with as much care as it is reasonably possible and to be appropriately accountable for the decisions made.

Confidentiality

Members must regard confidentiality as an obligation arising from the client's trust. Confidentiality implies an explicit contract or promise not to reveal anything about a client except under certain circumstances agreed to by both parties, upon the commencement of psychotherapy-counselling sessions.

Autonomy

Member’s must respect the client's right to be self-governing. This principle emphasizes the importance of developing the client's ability to be self-directing within therapy and in all aspects of life.

Beneficence

Members are committed to promoting the client's well-being. The principle of beneficence means acting in the best interests of the client, based on professional assessment.

Non-maleficence

Members are committed to avoid causing harm to the client. Non-maleficence involves: avoiding sexual, financial, emotional or any other form of client exploitation; avoiding incompetence or malpractice; not providing services when unfit to do so due to illness, personal circumstances or intoxication.

Justice

Members are to treat all clients fairly and impartially and provide adequate services. The principle of justice requires being just and fair to all clients and respecting their human rights and dignity. A commitment to fairness requires the ability to appreciate differences between people and to be committed to equality of opportunity.

Self-respect

The principle of self-respect means that members appropriately apply all the above principles as entitlements for self. This includes seeking counselling or therapy and other opportunities for personal development as required. There is an ethical responsibility to use supervision for appropriate personal and professional support and development, and to seek training and other opportunities for continuing professional development.

Personal moral qualities

Personal qualities to which members are strongly encouraged to aspire include:

Empathy

Sincerity

Integrity

Resilience

Respect

Humility

Competence

Fairness

Wisdom

Courage

Providing a good standard of practice and care

Good standards of practice and care require professional competence, good

relationships with clients and colleagues, and commitment to being ethically mindful through observance of professional ethics.

Good quality of care

1. Good quality of care requires competently delivered services that meet the client's needs.

2. Members should give careful consideration to the limitations of their training and experience and work within these limits, taking advantage of available supervision, if the need arises.

3. Good practice involves clarifying and agreeing the rights and responsibilities of both the member and the client, at appropriate points in their working relationship.

Dual relationships

Members are required to consider the implications of entering into dual relationships with clients, to avoid entering into relationships that are likely to be detrimental to clients, and to be readily accountable to clients and colleagues for any dual relationships that may occur.

Record-keeping

Members must keep appropriate records of their work with clients, unless there are good and sufficient reasons for not keeping any such records. All records should be accurate, respectful of clients and colleagues and protected from unauthorised disclosure.

Maintaining competent practice

All members, including trainers and supervisors, are required to have regular and on-going formal supervision. Also, a commitment to good practice requires practitioners to keep up- to- date with the latest knowledge. They should consider carefully their own need for continuing professional development and engage in appropriate educational activities.

It is important to be open to, and conscientious in considering feedback from colleagues, appraisals and assessments. Responding constructively to feedback helps to advance the practice.

Members must be aware of and understand any legal requirements concerning their work, consider these conscientiously and be legally and professionally accountable for their practice.

Keeping trust

Members must respect a client's right to choose whether to continue or disrupt therapy-counselling.

Members must make every possible effort to avoid misunderstandings. Overriding a client's known wishes or consent is a serious matter that requires adequate and reasoned justification. Members should be prepared to be readily accountable to clients, colleagues and this Association, if they override a client's known wishes.

Working with minors requires a written or other form of consent by the parent/guardian or other primary care-taker, considering and assessing the balance between minors’dependence on adults and carers and their progressive development towards acting independently. Working with minors requires careful consideration of issues concerning their capacity to give consent, to receiving any service independently of someone with parental responsibilities and the management of confidences disclosed by clients.

Members must be willing to respond to their client's requests for information about the way that they are working and any assessment that they may have made.

Members must not abuse their client's trust in order to gain sexual, emotional, financial or any other kind of personal advantage.

Members must recognize their limitations and how this knowledge should guide their ethical behaviour. Members must not allow their personal beliefs to intervene with the rendering of professional services concerning cases with gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership.

Members should be clear about any commitment to be available to clients.

Teaching and training

Members are encouraged to share their professional knowledge and practice for the benefit of their clients.

Members, who provide formal education and training, should acquire the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to be competent teachers and facilitators of learning in their subject.

Members are required to be fair, accurate and honest in their assessments of their students.

Prior consent is required from clients, if they are to be observed, recorded or if their personally identifiable disclosures are to be used for training purposes.

All training in counselling and psychotherapy should model standards and practice consistent with those expected of psychotherapists-counsellors in the role for which the training is being provided.

All trainers and educators in counselling and psychotherapy have a responsibility to protect the standards of the profession. Trainers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent clients being exposed to risk or harm by trainees.

Supervisors have a responsibility to maintain and enhance good practice provided by the members, thus, protecting clients from poor practice. Furthermore, supervisors are to acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge necessary for the service they render.

The Association is committed to fostering research that will inform and develop practice. All members are encouraged to support research undertaken on behalf of the profession and, also, to participate actively in research work.

Fitness to practise

Members should discuss, with their supervisor, or other experienced psychotherapist-counsellor the circumstances in which they suspect that they may have unintentionally harmed a client in order to ensure that the appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate any harm and to prevent any repetition.

Psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to ensure that their work is adequately covered by insurance for professional indemnity and liability.

If psychotherapists consider that they have acted in accordance with good practice but their client is not satisfied that this is the case, they may wish to use independent dispute resolution, for example: seeking a second professional opinion.

Clients must be informed about the existence of the Professional Code of Ethics of this Association and any other applicable complaint or disciplinary procedures. If requested to do so, members must inform their clients about how they may obtain further information concerning these procedures. In receiving, investigating and processing such complaints, the Cyprus Association for Person-Centered Psychotherapy and Counselling aims to protect members of the public, the name and the reputation of the Association and the professions referred to, in this Code of Ethics.

Financial arrangements

Members are required to be honest, straightforward and accountable in all financial matters concerning their clients and other professional relationships.