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NEST code of ethics and practice
1.1. In this document the term “NEST member” is used generically to include any member of the organization undertaking the role of therapist, supervisor, trainer or researcher. The term “client” is used to refer to the recipients of services offered by NEST members (counsellees, supervisees and trainees).
1.2. NEST members should hold the interest and welfare of their clients paramount at all times. To this end, they are dedicated to high standards of professional competence and integrity.
1.3. The purpose of this Code of Ethics and Practice is to establish and maintain ethical and professional standards for NEST members, to assist them in their work with clients and to inform and protect their clients.
1.4. The Code of Ethics and Practice is binding on all NEST members.
2. Responsibility to clients
NEST members should:
2.1. have received adequate basic training before commencing work with clients, and should maintain ongoing professional development.
2.2. use their knowledge, skills and experience to promote the growth and/or well-being of their clients.
2.3. work in ways that promote the client's control over his/her own life, and respect the client's ability to make decisions and change in the light of his/her own beliefs and values.
2.4. respect the ethical and religious views of their clients.
2.5. not discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or social class.
2.6. take all reasonable steps to ensure that the client suffers neither physical nor psychological harm during therapy.
2.7. be aware of the influential nature of their relationship with their clients and must not exploit clients financially, sexually, emotionally or in any other way.
2.8. set and monitor boundaries in their relationships with clients, and make this explicit to the client.
2.9. maintain professional relationship with their client as much time as this relationship is beneficial to the client. They should not neglect or abandon clients without first making sure that the client no longer needs their help or that appropriate help will be offered by another professional. They should also avoid creating dependency or unnecessarily prolonging work with their clients.
2.10. refer clients to members of their own and other professions and cooperate with members of other professions when the client’s interests so dictate.
2.11. protect clients when they have good reason for believing that other practitioners are placing them at risk of harm. In such case they should raise their concerns with the practitioner concerned in the first instance, unless it is inappropriate to do so. If the matter cannot be resolved, they should review the grounds for their concern and the evidence available to them and, when appropriate, raise their concerns with the practitioner's manager, agency or professional body. If they are uncertain what to do, their concerns should be discussed with an experienced colleague, a supervisor or raised with NEST.
2.12. maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and ability to help clients. They are expected to monitor their own personal functioning and to seek help and/or withdraw from working with clients, whether temporarily or permanently, when their personal resources are sufficiently depleted to require this.
2.13. respond promptly and appropriately to any complaint received from the clients. They should endeavor to remedy any harm they may have caused to their client and to prevent any repetition.
2.14. NEST members are required to inform any client who indicates that they have a complaint or grievance about the existence of NEST’s Complaints Procedure and any other applicable complaints or disciplinary procedures.
Responsibility to trainees and supervisees
As trainers or supervisors, NEST members:
2.15. should strive to remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the research and therapy related to NEST therapy.
2.16. are dedicated to maintaining high standards of scholarship and to the presentation of information that is accurate.
2.17. are required to be fair, accurate and honest in their assessments of their students.
2.18. are responsible for clarifying who holds responsibility for the work with the client.
2.19. should avoid relationships with current trainees and supervisees that could impair their professional judgment, e.g. business or close personal relationships.
2.20. should not permit trainees or supervisees to perform or hold themselves out as competent to perform professional services beyond their level of training, experience and competence.
3.1. NEST members must treat in confidence personal information about clients obtained in the course of their work. Confidentiality is a means of providing clients with safety and privacy.
3.2. NEST members should communicate clearly the extent of the confidentiality they are offering to clients.
3.3. Clients must not be observed by anyone other than their therapist(s) without having given their informed consent. This also applies to audio/video taping of therapy sessions.
3.4. If the client is currently engaged in any other therapeutic or similar relationship, the therapist must have the client's permission before conferring with any such professional worker.
3.5. Care must be taken to ensure that personally identifiable information is not transmitted through overlapping networks of confidential relationships.
3.6. Agreements between NEST members and client about confidentiality continue after the client's death unless there are overriding legal or ethical considerations.
3.7. NEST members should store and dispose of client records in ways that maintain confidentiality.
3.8. NEST members should use clinical material in teaching, writing and case presentation only if a written consent has been received from the client or when appropriate steps have been taken to protect the client’s identity.
Revealing confidential information to third parties
3.9. NEST members will reveal confidential information about clients to appropriate persons or agencies under the following circumstances only:
· to prevent a clear and immediate danger to a person or persons, including abuse, neglect, potential homicide and possible suicide
· where clients have granted a written consent
· as mandated by law
· where the NEST member is defendant in a civil, criminal or disciplinary action arising from the professional work with the client.
3.10. The client's consent to a change in the agreement about confidentiality should be sought unless there are also good grounds for believing the client is no longer able to take responsibility for his/her own actions. The decision to break confidentiality agreed between a NEST member and a client should be made only after consultation with a supervisor or experienced colleague. Any breach of confidentiality should be minimized by restricting the information conveyed to that which is pertinent to the immediate situation. NEST members should seek a balance between
· acting in the best interest of the client in ways which enable the client to resume taking responsibility for his/her actions, and
· their responsibilities to the wider community.
3.11. In a situation where NEST members are in any doubt about their legal rights and obligations, they should seek legal advice and/or contact their supervisor.
4. Professional competence and integrity
4.1. should accurately represent their training, qualifications and experience relevant to their practice.
4.2. should take all reasonable steps to monitor and develop their own competence and to work within the limits of that competence. This includes having appropriate and ongoing supervision, which may include consultative support.
4.3. should not practice when their functioning is impaired due to personal or emotional difficulties, illness, disability, alcohol, and drugs or for any other reason. It is an indication of the competence of NEST members when they recognize their inability to practice and make appropriate referrals.
4.4. should not conduct themselves in their work in ways that undermine public confidence in the work of their colleagues or other professionals.
4.5. recognize that counselling and psychotherapy can be practiced in various conceptual frames and through the application of very different methods. Consequently, they manifest openness toward the exchange of opinions and experiences with other therapeutic orientations and avoid attempting to gain advantages by discrediting these.
4.6. must work within the law.
4.7. should take all reasonable steps to be aware of current law affecting their work.
4.8. NEST members who are
- convicted of serious crimes, or
- engaged in criminal behaviour, or
- are expelled from other professional organizations
- refuse to cooperate with NEST or the committees responsible for applying this Code of Ethics and Practice
may be subject to termination of their membership or other appropriate action.
4.9. If a NEST member suspects misconduct by a colleague, which cannot be resolved or remedied after discussion with the colleague concerned, s/he should implement the Complaints Procedure, doing so without breaches of confidentiality other than those necessary for investigating the complaint.
5. The conditions for practicing NEST therapy, supervision and training
5.1. The terms on which these services are being offered must be made clear to clients before services commence. These terms include availability, the degree of confidentiality offered and expectations of clients regarding fees, cancelled appointments and any other significant matters. Subsequent revisions of these terms must be agreed in advance of any change. Any publicity material and all written and oral information must accurately reflect the nature of the service on offer, and the training, qualifications and relevant experience of the NEST member providing the service. The communication of terms and any negotiations over these should be agreed upon by client and NEST member before the client incurs any financial liability.
5.2. NEST members should take the same degree of care to work ethically whether the service is paid or voluntary.
5.3. NEST members are expected to keep accurate records of their work with clients. Such records should be respectful of both clients and colleagues.
5.4. Clients should be made aware of the fact that records of the therapy are kept by the therapist. At the client's request, information should be given about access to these records, their availability to other people, and the degree of security with which they are kept.
5.5. NEST members are strongly recommended to carry professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance.
5.6. Supervision refers to a formal arrangement, which enables NEST members to discuss their professional work regularly with one or more people who have an understanding of the work undertaken with clients and of supervision. The purpose of supervision is to ensure the efficacy of the work with clients.
5.7. NEST members are required to actively seek and use regular supervision as well as consultative support whenever necessary. The volume of supervision should be in accordance with current NEST criteria.
6. Research and publications
6.1. The rights of research participants should be carefully protected. These include the rights for freely given and informed consent, confidentiality and the right to withdraw at any point.
6.2. NEST members conducting research should use their data accurately and restrict their conclusions to those compatible with their methodology.
6.3. The publication of research results must correspond to the scientific exigencies of the profession. Publications need to be realistic, well documented and coherently formulated.
7. Violations of the Code of Ethics and Practice
NEST will create two committees responsible for applying this Code of Ethics and Practice. One will deal with cases of suspected violation of this Code, while the other will rule in cases of appeal.
8. Effective Date
This Code of Ethics and Practice will apply to all complaints received by NEST after 27 May 2003.
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