The Code Of Ethics Of Healing The Shadow

The ethics that underpin our organisation

Mission Statement of Healing The Shadow

To train, and put out into the world, confident, competent, compassionate practitioners who are on an active and continued  journey to understand and accept all different parts of themselves and who are resourced with the skills, support and emotional maturity to facilitate clients safely and effectively.

Introduction to the code of ethics

Ethical considerations are more than polarised judgements of right and wrong. They involve exploring principles, morals and values behind a particular intent, intervention and action.

The code sets out the fundamental principles that inform Healing The Shadow’s approach to ethical issues.  It also provides expectations of how Healing The Shadow trainees, practitioners and trainers will conduct themselves with these principles in mind.

Purpose of the Code

The Code sets out the standards expected of all Healing The Shadow practitioners, trainees and trainers. These are guided by the mission statement.

Fundamental Principles

The ethical principles are set out here to inspire practitioners, trainers and trainees towards best practice. Ethical decision making is dependent on context which produces variables and grey areas for consideration. Therefore, there cannot be an obligation to choose one principle above another but rather a framework of principles in which to consider the context of the situation and practitioner involved.

Although these principles cannot be used to find a ‘right or wrong’ ethical decision they can be used to make a ‘best therapeutic judgement’ and we ask Healing The Shadow practitioners, trainers and trainees to consider these principles in their ethical practice and decision making, and if necessary to discuss them with their supervisor.

The fundamental principles of this code are:

1) Working for the good of clients

Practitioners hold the welfare of clients central to their work and so commit to creating a space where the client is safely and respectfully held.

 2) Respect for the dignity and rights of the client

Clients have the right to self-determination and to be shown dignity and respect for making their own (lawful) decisions.

Clients are asked to choose the direction for each session. They remain in control of the direction of the session throughout. 

3) Equality of treatment

Practitioners are aware of their own judgements based on their own experiences, and need to take precautions (including supervision) to provide a service that is not restricted by their own prejudice and limitations of experience. This also means showing respect for diversity of persons, without prejudice to colour, race, belief, gender, sexuality, social context, mental or physical abilities.

Practitioners treat every part of the client with respect and positive regard.

4) Integrity, trustworthiness and self-responsibility

Practitioners work to be as honest, truthful and accurate as possible and to honour the trust placed in them by their clients. Practitioners are also responsible for looking after their own needs and health and having clean, clearly expressed boundaries. So, a practitioner will only commit to a practice that they can competently offer with full awareness of their own expertise, training, health and well-being and will let the client know if anything changes.

5) Safe, transparent, client led work

i) The practitioner offers a clear explanation of the theoretical approach and ideas and beliefs he or she holds before the client undertakes sessions.

ii) The practitioner makes an assessment of the client’s suitability and willingness to engage in the work.

iii) Practitioners have themselves experienced all the various processes used in Healing The Shadow work and do not suggest their clients undergo a process that they have not experienced themselves.

iv) Sessions are client led. The client makes final decision on what parts to explore and what processes to undertake.

v) If any concerns are expressed by the client during a session, or if the practitioner has any concerns, then the practitioner assesses risks with the client before undergoing a particular process during a session.

vi) The practitioner gets a clear expression of what the client wants at the start of session and is guided by this.

vii) If the client has a one-off session the practitioner will offer a follow up email, call or meeting.

viii) The practitioner will discuss the principles of confidentiality with clients.

ix) The practitioner will not form an intimate or sexual relationship with any client during the time they are seen as a client or less than 6 months after the end of the working relationship. Before embarking on such a relationship, discussion with a supervisor is essential.

x) Trainers will not form intimate or sexual relationships with trainees during their training or less than 6 months following the end of the training. Before embarking on such a relationship, discussion with a supervisor is recommended.

xi) The client chooses the length and frequency of the sessions (within given length boundaries set by the practitioner). The practitioner may recommend, if asked, the length and regularity of the sessions, but it is accepted that the client is in a position to make a final decision for themselves.

xii) Although a link between the emotional and the physical is recognised, the practitioner will not claim or imply that the sessions can heal physical ailments.

6) Self knowledge

Practitioners commit to an ongoing journey of self-inquiry and exploration in order to know themselves and their shadows with as much clarity as possible in order that they can offer the best possible service to their clients.

Offering a Service

Only those qualified to Healing The Shadow Ltd’s requirements can offer Healing The Shadow sessions. Practitioners undertake to:

  1. Provide a service to clients solely in areas in which they are trained and competent to do so.
  2. Ensure that the premises where sessions take place and all facilities offered to clients are suitable, appropriate for the service provided and respectful of the client’s need for privacy and the safe expression of their emotions.
  3. Offer clients a view of the realistic outcomes and possible limitations of the work.
  4. Inform clients of the confidentiality of the work, including any limitations on confidentiality required by law and for the purpose of supervision.
  5. Respect the autonomy of clients to choose whether or not to start or continue with sessions.
  6. Produce evidence of current professional indemnity insurance when asked to do so.
  7. Explain fully to clients in advance of any sessions: the fee levels, precise terms of payment, and any charges which might be imposed for non-attendance or cancelled appointments.
  8. Make clear agreements with clients around the date and length of sessions and honour these commitments responsibly.

Delivering a Service

Only those qualified as Healing The Shadow practitioners may work with the general public. Trainees may only deliver services within a formally supervised arrangement, with no fees charged, and working only with clients experienced in this or similar deep process work.

In the first post-qualifying year, practitioners will undertake at least 1 hour of supervision for every 15 hours of client contact or 1 hour per month, whichever is greater. Following the first post-qualifying year, practitioners will undertake at least 1 hour of supervision for every 30 hours of client contact or 1 hour per month, whichever is greater.

All practitioners undertake to:

  1. Work in ways that promote client autonomy and well-being and that maintain respect and dignity for the client.
  2. Demonstrate a fully developed, professional awareness of diversity issues; and specifically not permit considerations of religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, politics or social standing to adversely influence the sessions.
  3. Refrain from using their position of trust and confidence to cross the boundaries appropriate to the therapeutic relationship. This includes, but is not limited to: having sexual relationships with or behaving sexually towards clients, supervisees or trainees; breaking confidentiality (other than as required by law); or by exploiting them emotionally, financially or in any other way whatsoever.
  4. Refrain from touching the client in any way that may be open to misinterpretation.
  5. Refrain from touching clients as part of the therapeutic work. (For example, in playing a role for the client which involves physical contact.)
  6. Decline with explanation, inappropriate gifts, gratuities or favours from a client. Examples include but are not limited to: financial gifts, event or discount vouchers, and objects of substantial monetary value.
  7. Should any relationship (i.e. any enduring personal or professional connection other than the clinical relationship between client and practitioner either pre-existing or newly developed) occur between either practitioner and client, or members of their respective immediate families, the practitioner should consult their supervisor at the earliest opportunity. In some situations it is best to refer to another practitioner, in other situations a discussion, with both the supervisor and the client, of the risks and benefits, is recommended so that the best decision for the client can be reached.
  8. Be consistent with the welfare and expressed wishes of the client and never to suggest sessions unnecessarily, and to end the work with the client at the earliest time consistent with the welfare and expressed wishes of the client.
  9. Remain aware of their own limitations, and wherever appropriate be prepared to refer a client to another practitioner or medical adviser who might be expected to offer more appropriate service.
  10. Wherever a client is seeking assistance for the relief of physical symptoms, ensure that, unless they have already done so, the possibility of consulting a registered medical practitioner is discussed. Practitioners should not attempt to diagnose physical symptoms and the practitioner will make it clear they are not medically trained and cannot diagnose or heal physical symptoms.
  11. Take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the client.
  12. Deliver their services in an appropriate way. Face to face is the preferred methodology. Skype and phone are also possible, although discussion with a supervisor is advised prior to taking on such work.

Advertising and Display of Credentials

All practitioners undertake to:

  1. Ensure that all advertising, no matter in what form or medium it is placed, represents a truthful, honest picture of themselves, their skill-base, qualifications and facilities.
  2. Ensure that any advertising or promoting they undertake will not be misleading, false, unfair or exaggerated. 
  3. Ensure that any advertising or promotion they offer is done in an accurate and responsible way. 
  4. Not make or support unjustifiable statements relating to Healing The Shadow work or their own skillset.  
  5. Include testimonials in advertising or promotional material only if this is done with the fully informed consent of the client.
  6. Refrain from advertising any pending qualification or accreditation until such qualification or accreditation is actually granted.

Confidentiality and Maintenance of Records

All practitioners undertake to:

  1. Maintain strict confidentiality within the client/practitioner relationship, always provided that such confidentiality is neither inconsistent with the practitioner’s own safety or the safety of the client, the client’s family members or other members of the public, nor in contravention of any legal action (i.e. criminal, coroner or civil court cases where a court order is made demanding disclosure) or legal requirement.
  2. Discuss with their supervisor when the possibility of working separately with different members of the same family arises and to make an assessment on a case by case basis as to whether or not to proceed. If they decide to go ahead, limits to the level of the confidentiality will apply (and will be clearly explained to those involved) in order that the practitioner does not find themselves in a position of holding secrets, which could be countertherapeutic.
  3. Ensure that client notes and records be kept secure and confidential and that the use of computer records conforms with the terms of the Data Protection Act and guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). If a member is keeping digital notes or data about anyone they may need to register with the ICO as the person responsible for doing so in the nature of business. Individuals should check whether they are required to register Manual records should be locked away when not in use and those held on computer should be password protected.
  4. Keep client records (whether on paper files or electronic media)  in a locked cabinet or briefcase within a secure property. If transporting client files outside of practice premises this must be done in a locked container. Any client records that have to be left temporarily in a car should be in a secure, locked container and locked in the car boot. Electronic files should be kept secure behind password enabled software, and that password should be changed regularly.
  5. Recognise that case notes must be taken, and the maintenance of case notes should include personal details, history, frequency of sessions, session progress notes and a copy of any signed contract. Any referrals, escalations to external parties or a supervisor, or significant events or concerns should be recorded within the case notes.

Continuing Professional Development and Supervision

Regarding CPD, all Practitioners undertake to:

  1. Undertake regular one to one supervision. At least 1 hour for each 30 hours of client contact time.*
  2. Continue to undergo regular Healing The Shadow sessions with a qualified practitioner.
  3. Undertake peer/peer practice sessions at least once a year.

*Practitioners in their first post qualifying year undertake at least one hour of supervision for each 15 hours of client contact. This supervision is with a Healing The Shadow trainer.

Treatment of Minors and Those Classified as Persons with Special Needs or Vulnerabilities

Practitioners do not work with minors or persons with special needs or vulnerabilities unless they hold a separate qualification which qualifies them to do this. Clients are screened prior to being accepted and need to demonstrate their own autonomy and ability to make decisions about their work.

Training Ethics

The trainers undertake to:

  1. Ensure that the training offered meets appropriate standards, and to be appropriately qualified to teach the subject matter.
  2. Communicate clearly the possibilities open to the trainees once they qualify.
  3. Communicate clearly the skills, approach and personal qualities required to qualify, and explain reasons for not accepting an applicant onto the course or for failing a trainee on completion of the course.
  4. Deliver only a course which is entirely their own intellectual property.
  5. To keep appropriate confidentiality around any personal material which a trainee reveals over the course of the training.
  6. Not to enter into an intimate personal/sexual relationship with a trainee during the course of the training or within six months of the end of the training.