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Irish Institute of Cognitive & Humanistic Psychotherapy
The Code of Ethics and Practice of the Institution

The purpose of this document is to define the general code of ethics and practice for IICHP members. This code is based upon a set of philosophical principles which are detailed later in this paper and which are drawn from the European charter defining documents.

Organisational and individual members are bound to adhere to the code of ethics and practice detailed in Appendix A. The IICHP code of ethics and practice is a controlled document bound to the articles of association of the IICHP.

Therapist: A person offering a therapeutic service to a client within the IICHP definition of cognitive & humanistic psychotherapy, who has the levels of skill and training specified by standards laid down by the IICHP.

Client: A person, couple, family, group or organisation seeking help through a therapeutic relationship.

Therapeutic Relationship: an explicit agreed and formally contracted professional relationship between the therapist and client/s.

Philosophical  Principles
The core values of the therapist are based upon respect for human rights, individual and cultural differences. These values underpin a set of attitudes and skills which have regard for the integrity, authority and autonomy of the client.

is the unconditional acceptance of clients but not necessarily acceptance of all the clients behaviour. Therapists have the responsibility to make themselves aware of individual and cultural differences.

Integrity means the right of the client to maintain their physical and emotional boundaries and the right to not be exploited in any way.

Authority recognises that the responsibility for entering into and out off the therapeutic relationship is vested in the client.

Autonomy realizes the freedom of the client to express themselves, as they see fit, within their own model of actualisation, with an unbiased attitude towards the clients beliefs and culture.

Privacy means that there must be no uncontracted observation of the therapeutic relationship, nor must there be allowed any inappropriate observation, interference or intrusion by a third party.

Confidentiality respects that any personal information shared between client and therapist during the therapeutic process remain undisclosed and that the therapist, further undertakes to maintain any written records pertaining to the therapeutic process in such a way as to prevent inappropriate disclosure to third parties.

Responsibility requires that the therapist ensure strict adherence to the philosophical principles outlined above and conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with the IICHP Code of Ethics and Practice as detailed in Appendix A.

Competence is the requirement of the therapist to ensure, at all times, that they maintain the highest quality of standards in their practice. Therapists should only provide services and use only those techniques for which they are qualified by dint of education, training or experience.

The IICHP is determined that its members shall be aware of, and conduct themselves at all times, to the standards of the Code of Ethics and practice. Deviations from the Code of Ethics and Practice notified to the IICHP will be investigated as defined by the Disciplinary Procedure of the IICHP. In cases where there exists an ethical conflict the therapist is bound to take a position that reflects the greatest good and least harm to the client and other third parties, with due respect to the common law of the State. Members of the IICHP are required to present any ethical conflicts they may encounter to their clinical supervisor and the sitting standards committee. In these presentations the privacy and confidential nature of the therapeutic relationship is required to be maintained and may only be discussed in the third party.


Appendix A
The Code of Ethics and Practice of the
Irish Institute of Cognitive & Humanistic Psychotherapy

1.         To establish and maintain standards of competence and integrity amongst members.

2.         To respect the client's model of the world and to avoid imposing the therapist's values on the client.

3.         To maintain the confidentiality of the client at all times, except where doing so would endanger the life or health of the client.

4.         To accept that clients possess within themselves the resources needed for change.

5.         To take responsibility for maintaining a high standard of competence by pursuing on-going training and courses of study and to maintain regular contact with colleagues and supervisors for consultation.
6.         To be aware of the limits of their own competence and skills and, where necessary, refer clients to more suitably qualified persons.

7.         To take care not to misrepresent their qualifications or level of competence.

8.         To refrain from practice if their judgement is impaired due to drugs, illness or stress.

9.         To establish a boundary between a therapeutic or working relationship and a personal relationship and, where necessary, to make this boundary clear to the client!.

10.       To use hypnosis for therapeutic and / or training purposes only, and to disassociate themselves from the use of hypnosis for entertainment.

The Code of Ethics of the National Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (NAPCP) is available here:

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