Κώδικας Δεοντολογίας


CODE OF ETHICS

 

 

I.              General statement  

 

1.      ‘Λόγω Ψυχής’ (‘Logo Psychis’)- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy has the training of mental health professionals in systemic psychotherapy as it basic aim. The Institute offers professionals additional trainings such as the training program in systemic diagnosis, and short term courses. It offers also seminars and counselling services to the public. Another main activity of the Institute is research and the spreading of knowledge on issues of mental health and psychotherapy.

2.     The Institute is obliged to offer accurate information, regarding its aims, services, and the professional competence of its scientific directors and associates. It offers accurate information concerning its theoretical approach to training, and the professional prospects of its trainees, taking into consideration governmental laws and any other regulations set by National and European Associations. It accurately informs the public on its aims and the efficiency of the services offered. Its research activities and the spreading of knowledge through seminars, publications and other editions comply to the principle of accurate information.

 

3.     The present code of ethic covers the whole range of the Institute’s activities and binds its scientific and other stuff and the training professionals. Members should also adhere to the code of ethics of the professional associations they belong to (i.e. Association of Greek Psychologists).


 

II.             Competence and Responsibility

1.     The scientific stuff and mental health professional trainees should honestly and accurately represent their professional affiliations and qualifications, including knowledge, skill, training, education and experience, and should use interventions and techniques that have been gained through certified training. Trainees should identify themselves using their initial professional identity (e.g. psychologist) and their identity as trainees in a specific program (e.g. Clinical Program in Systemic psychotherapy).

 

2.     The Institute provides training in the systemic approach and psychotherapy methods in two cycles of study, but does but grant titles such as “psychotherapist” or “counsellor”.  Titles such as these can only be used after registering with a psychotherapy or counselling association. Specifically, graduates of the “Clinical Program in Systemic Psychotherapy” can only use the tile “systemic psychotherapist” after registering with a scientific systemic/family therapy association. Graduates of the program “Theory and applications of systemic psychotherapy” can use the title of “Systemic Counsellor” after registering with the Counselling Association. It is expected that state regulations will probably be implemented in the future for the psychotherapist profession, and in this case a professional licence will be necessary for the use of the “psychotherapist” title.

 

3.     The Institute’s scientific stuff should understand the need for continuing education and create opportunities to enrich knowledge. Professionals need to be constantly informed on developments in their field, and aim to keep high standards of competence.

 

4.     Members of the scientific stuff and trainees should co-operate closely with their supervisor or their colleagues in co-supervision groups at regular intervals. They should seek professional help for their own personal issues and problems, that may interfere with their professional competence.

 

5.     Members of the scientific stuff and trainees should not work under the influence of drugs or alcohol and should abstain from working in cases of severe illness or major psychological stress.

 

6.     Members of the scientific stuff of the Institute and associates (e.g. clinical supervisors) should name one or more colleagues as able to replace them in case of sudden severe illness or death. These named colleagues are then responsible for informing trainees/clients of their role and for continuing training/psychotherapy with the consent of the trainee/client.


III.           Confidentiality

 

1.     Members of the scientific and other stuff, and trainees of the Institute should respect the principle of confidentiality regarding private information of clients and research participants, and secure anonymity. Discussion of case information for purposes of supervision or training should also secure anonymity. In addition, it is considered unethical to share information regarding professional concerns of colleagues (e.g. thoughts of resignation), obtained in supervision or informal discussions, even if no personal gain is involved.

2.     Members of the scientific stuff and trainees should not discuss clinical or research cases or cases discussed in supervision outside their professional circle. When presenting case studies in conferences and publications, or in teaching professionals outside the Institute or in seminars addressing the wider public, anonymity should be secured in the strictest of ways.

 

3.     Any audio-visual recordings, and/or any observation of sessions or interviews should be conducted with the written consent of clients or research participants. Clients and research participants should be informed on the aim of the recording/observation, the time limits of material use, and its eventual conditions of storage or disposal.

 

4.     Any written or audio-visual material obtained from clients or research participants should be stored securely with controlled access. Information on clients and research participants should be coded to retain anonymity.

 

5.      Information on clients’ history and other material obtained in therapy should be securely stored and kept for at least seven years, including electronic storage.

 

6.     Psychotherapists are obliged to respect confidentiality of information obtained from clients. They reveal such information only with the consent of the client, except in cases where there is concern for a person’ safety (the client or a third party). In such a case, family members or legal parties are informed. Clients should be informed on the confidentiality principle and its exceptions.

 

7.     Members of the scientific stuff and trainees should not become witnesses in court unless they are asked to participate as professional experts by the court. Even in offering their expertise they avoid violating the confidentiality principle.


IV.          Professional relations within the Institute

 

1.     The Institute is obliged to respect the qualifications of its professional associates. Fees paid to associates should be representative of qualifications, titles and experience. The Institute also receives fees that are representative for the services offered and the qualifications of associates who offer them.

 

2.     Supervisors and trainers should facilitate the professional development of trainees by cultivating conditions of learning and self-improvement, by offering appropriate advice and by providing opportunities for expanding their experience.

 

3.     The scientific stuff and the trainees should avoid negative publication of the Institute and inappropriate comments. They should aim to improve any impairments and maintain constructive relationships among colleagues.

 

4.     Any objections or complaints should be addressed with respect to hierarchy -trainer, supervisor, and eventually scientific directors’ board should be notified in that order. The board of scientific directors should then call a meeting between all interested parties with the aim of dealing with objections or complaints in a fair way. Objections and complaints to the scientific directors’ board is best done in writing and sent to the secretary of the Institute who keeps copies for the archive.

 

5.     It is important to avoid negative comments and evaluations regarding the work of colleagues. In case of serious ethical concerns, these should be addressed to official bodies rather than become public.

 

6.     Sexual relations between trainers/supervisors and trainees are considered as opposing the code of ethics. Members of the scientific and other stuff should show respect to trainees avoiding any comments or behaviour that may be considered harassment.

 

7.     Personal relations (e.g. social contacts) between the scientific stuff and trainees should be avoided, especially in those cases where they may impair their efficiency and competence as therapists, trainers, supervisors.

 

8.     Any violation of the ethical code from a member of stuff or trainee should initially be dealt with unofficially by directly pointing ethical concerns to the person who has committed the violation. In case this violation is repeated or is considered serious, then the scientific directors should be informed. In case of non-compliance, this violation should be reported to scientific associations to which the person of is member or is a prospect member.

 

9.     The scientific directors of the Institute reserve the right to end the collaboration with an associate or expel a trainee in cases of severe or repeated violation of the ethical code.


V.            Professional relations with colleagues outside the Institute

 

1.     Every member of the scientific stuff and every trainee need to know and respect the limits of his/her own initial profession (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker) and co-operate with other colleagues or refer a client to a colleague within or outside the Institute’s offered services (e.g. for psychological testing, for prescription of medicine, for information on social care services). In addition, stuff and trainees should refer clients to therapists of a different approach if this is considered beneficial to the client or in cases where the client requests such a referral. They should not undertake any client who is in therapy with another psychotherapist irrespective of approach, when their professional relationship has not ended. This principle does not apply when referrals are made by colleagues with co-operation requests.

VI.          Psychological and psychotherapy services

 

1.     At the initial stage of a psychotherapy intervention, psychotherapists and trainees of the Institute who take up cases as part of their clinical practice should inform clients orally or in writing of the terms of their contract (basic principles of the approach, terms of communication outside the session, avoiding double roles, terms for drop out or completion, avoidance of sexual/social relations with therapists and members of therapy groups).

 

2.     Counselling and psychotherapy services should not be offered to persons who are relatives, friends or have a professional involvement (e.g. colleagues at work). Such services should not be offered to persons with whom therapists had a romantic involvement in the past. It goes without saying that therapists are ethically committed to avoid any romantic or sexual involvement with their clients. Even after the end of the professional relationship, a romantic involvement should be avoided for at least two years, but it is strongly recommended that it is completely avoided so that no concerns of violating confidentiality or of exploiting former clients can be ever raised.

 

3.     Trainees are free to choose a therapist, since personal therapy is obligatory as part of training. However, this choice should adhere to the professional qualification criteria set in the course guide. Supervisors should avoid offering therapy services to supervisees, to prevent double roles that may interfere with a therapist’s or supervisor’s judgement or may stress the trainee/client.

 

4.     Members of the scientific stuff and trainees do not receive remunerations for referrals to private practice colleagues. Fees in private practice should adhere to principles of fair practice and should be considered rational within the community in which a professional works.

 

5.     In the counselling and psychotherapy services of the Institute, where associates or trainees are working or practising, fees should be pre-announced and terms of co-operation made clear in advance. Double fees for the same service are considered unethical.

 

6.     Psychotherapist can choose to offer part of their services with a minimum or no fee.

 

7.     In cases where the associated therapists or trainees need to end their co-operation with the Institute, or are about to complete their clinical practice, they should inform clients well in advance.

 

8.     Administration of psychology tests, and the sharing of the content of psychological reports and assessments should adhere to relevant terms and conditions set by the ethical codes of psychological associations in Greece and Europe. It is not ethical for non-psychologists to administer psychological tests for diagnostic purposes. It is not ethical to use and copy test material in unauthorized ways. Finally, tests can only be used for diagnostic and research purposes.


VII.        Research and spreading of knowledge

1.     Research constitutes one of the Institute’s basic aims together with training. The institute can publish research reports with the names of researchers as authors, and with respect to their contribution and copy rights. The names of researchers as authors should be placed in an order that represents their contribution (major contribution by first author and so on). If all researchers have equally contributed, then names are placed in alphabetical order. Minor contributions are placed in the acknowledgements or at an initial statement.

 

2.     Papers included in the Working Paper Series of the Institute are considered pre-publications. The series is registered with an ISSN number at the National Library of Greece. Copy rights remain with the author, who has the right to submit the paper at a scientific journal or conference with the same or with a different title in case of major additions or changes. We recommend that a reference to the working paper as a pre-publication is included in a note or in the list of references of the published article.

 

3.     Researchers are responsible for the accuracy of data published in non-scientific journal or magazines. Where their data or conclusions are not accurately represented, they should request a note be published by the editor to correct or clarify data.

 

4.     Researchers should inform participants for the real aim of their studies and ask for their written consent or, in case participants are minor, the consent of adult carers. They should never inflict any physical or psychological harm, and instead they should create an atmosphere of trust and an environment that supports equality in relationships and respect to human dignity.

 

5.     Research participants have the right to be informed on the results of a study. In some research models, informing and asking for feedback on preliminary conclusion is part of the research design. The institute complies to laws and regulations for copy rights.

 

6.     The presentation of research results to the public through various social media, should value and respect the status and good name of the psychotherapy profession and not violate any of the articles in the present code of ethics. Spreading scientific knowledge and research findings through various media is encouraged, but interested parties should consider ethical issues and agree with the way persons (e.g. in a TV program) are treated, especially children and persons with mental or physical impairments.

 

VIII.      Equal opportunities and rights

 

1.     The Institute has a policy against discrimination and supports equal rights. No discrimination on the grounds of sex, age, ethnicity, social status, race, colour, religion, health, and sexual orientation is acceptable in selecting associates, in delivering therapy services, and in offering opportunities for training and learning.

 

2.     The scientific stuff and trainees should avoid any act that may be considered violation to human, legal or political rights of clients or other persons with whom they retain a professional relationship or co-operation.

 

3.     The scientific stuff and the trainees should be aware that their personal opinion and values, as evident in their communication with trainees and clients or the wider public, be it in training, continuing education or research, may have a great impact on others. They should be careful not to insult persons with different opinions, but recognise and respect different views, sensitivities and feelings.