RCPCA Ethical Principles

Russian Community of the Person-Centered Approach (RCPCA)

Ethical principles

The following principles define the professional ethical standards of behavior for all RCPCA members without any reference to their levels, formal position and membership status. Those principles are based on the EAP ethical guidelines and NEAPCEPC training standards. Generally RCPCA follows an EAP ethical rules – the more detailed description of which may be found by the following link: http://www.europsyche.org/contents/13134/statement-ofethical-principles

As outlined in the EAP ethical guidelines, RCPCA-members must follow the detailed ethical principles in the following areas, which follow: 1) Responsibility; 2) Competence; 3) Moral & Legal Standards; 4) Confidentiality; 5) Welfare of the Consumer; 6) Professional Relationships; 7) Public Statements; 8) Assessment Techniques; 9) Research.

  • 1) RESPONSIBILITY. In providing services, PCA-practitioners maintain the highest standards of their profession. They accept the responsibility for the consequences of their acts and make every effort to ensure that their services are used appropriately. That includes but is not limited to: the social responsibility for the recommendations and professional actions which may alter the lives of others; avoidance of the relationships that may limit their objectivity or create a conflict of interest; prevention of the distortion, misuse, or suppression of their findings by an institution or agency of which they are employees; remaining accountable as individuals to the highest standards of their profession; maintenance of the high standards of scholarship during the training process if taking a role of PCAtrainer/facilitator, by presenting information objectively, fully, and accurately.
  • 2) COMPETENCE. PCA-practitioners are obliged to provide ONLY those services and only use techniques for which they are qualified by training and experience. In those areas in which recognized standards do not yet exist, they MUST take whatever precautions are necessary to protect the welfare of their clients. PCA-practitioners maintain knowledge of current health, scientific and professional information related to the services they render. PCApractitioners must accurately represent their competence, education, training, and experience. They claim as evidence of educational & professional training qualifications only those degrees or qualifications obtained from reputable educational institutions or those recognized by the RCPCA. They must recognize the need for continuing education and personal development and are open to new procedures and changes in expectations and values over time. PCA practitioners must recognize and differences among people, such as those that may be associated with age, sex, socio-economic, and ethnic backgrounds or the special needs of those who might have been specifically disadvantaged. They obtain suitable training, experience, or counsel to assure competent and appropriate service when relating to all such persons. Practitioners entering into new fields of activity must ensure that they have completed all the training and professional requirements related to that field of activity, prior to practicing, and that their activity in this new field is of the highest possible standard. They ensure that there is no dilution of, confusion or conflict with any current activity. They must recognize that personal problems and conflicts may interfere with professional effectiveness and must take any precautions needed to avoid such interference (take personal therapy, supervision e.g.).
  • 3) MORAL & LEGAL STANDARDS. PCA-practitioners moral and ethical standards of behavior are a personal matter to the same degree as they are for any other citizen, except where these may compromise the fulfilment of their professional responsibilities or reduce the public trust in psychotherapy & psychotherapists. Regarding their own personal behavior, practitioners are sensitive to prevailing community standards and to the possible impact that conformity to or deviation from these standards may have upon the quality of their performance as psychotherapists. Psychotherapists are also aware of the possible impact of their public behavior upon the ability of colleagues to perform their professional duties. All PCA-practitioners must act according the RCPCA standards and principles. They must be aware that they do represent not only their selves but also RCPCA and that their activity may affect the representation and the image of the RCPCA and the Rogerian approach as a whole. They must avoid any activity that may harm or misrepresent the RCPCA and/or the Rogerian approach. In their professional roles, practitioners must avoid any action that will violate or diminish the human, legal and civil rights of clients or others who may be affected. In their professional roles, they must avoid any action that will violate or diminish the human, legal and civil rights of clients or others who may be affected. They also should be aware of the fact that their personal values may affect their communication, the use of techniques, selection and presentation of views or materials and the nature or implementation of research. When dealing with topics that may give offence, they recognize and respect the diverse attitudes and individual sensitivities that clients, students, trainees or subjects may have towards such matters. PCA-practitioners must respect and follow the legal regulations in their field established by the country of their practice.
  • 4) CONFIDENTIALITY. PCA-practitioners have a primary obligation to respect the confidentiality of information obtained from persons in the course of their work as psychotherapists. They reveal such information to others only with the consent of the person (or the person’s legal representative), except in those unusual circumstances in which not to do so would probably result in clear danger to the person or to others. They MUST inform their clients of the legal limits of confidentiality. Consent to reveal information to others would normally be obtained in writing from the person concerned.
  • 5) WELFARE OF THE CLIENT. PCA-practitioners respect the integrity and protect the welfare of the people and groups with whom they work. When conflicts of interest arise between clients and and practitioner’s employing institutions, psychotherapists clarify the nature and direction of their loyalties and responsibilities and keep all parties informed of their commitments. They must fully inform clients as to the purpose and nature of any evaluative, treatment, educational, or training procedure, and they openly acknowledge that clients, students, trainees, or participants in research have freedom of choice with regard to participation. Coercion of people to participate or to remain in receipt of services is unethical. They must be continually cognizant of their own needs and of their potentially influential position vis-ˆ-vis persons such as clients, students, trainees, subjects and subordinates. They avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of such persons. PCA-practitioners should make every effort to avoid dual relationships that could impair their professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation. Examples of such dual relationships include, but are not limited to, professional treatment of or research with employees, students, supervisees, close friends, or relatives. Sexual intimacies with any such clients, students, trainees and research participants are unethical. When practitioner agrees to provide services to a client at the request of a third party, the psychotherapist assumes the responsibility of clarifying the nature of the relationships to all parties concerned. Where the demands of an organization require psychotherapists to violate these or any ethical principles, practitioners must clarify the nature of the conflict between the demands and the principles. They inform all parties of their ethical responsibilities as PCA-practitioners and take appropriate action. PCA-practitioners should make advance financial arrangements that safeguard the best interests of and are clearly understood by their clients, students, trainees or research participants. They neither give or receive and remuneration for referring clients for professional services. They are strongly recommended to contribute a portion of their services to work for which they receive little or no financial return.
  • 6) PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. PCA-practitioners should act with due regard for the needs, special competencies, and obligations of their colleagues in psychotherapy, psychology, medicine & other professions. They respect the prerogatives and obligations of the institutions or organizations with which these other colleagues are associated. They must understand the areas of competence and professional traditions of related professions. They make full use of all the professional, technical, and administrative resources that serve the best interests of consumers. The absence of formal relationships with other professional workers does not relieve PCA-practitioners of the responsibility for securing for their clients the best possible professional service, nor does it relieve them of the obligation to exercise foresight, diligence, and tact in obtaining the complementary or alternative assistance needed. Those practitioners who employ or supervise other professionals or professionals in training accept the obligation to facilitate the further professional development of these individuals and take action to ensure their competence. PCA-practitioners are PROHIBITED to exploit their professional relationships with clients, supervisees, students, employees or research participants sexually or otherwise. Psychotherapists do not condone or engage in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as deliberate or repeated comments, gestures, or physical contacts of a sexual nature. If practitioner know of an ethical violation by another practitioner, and it seems appropriate, they informally attempt to resolve the issue by bringing the behavior to the attention of the colleague. If the misconduct is of a minor nature and/or appears to be due to lack of sensitivity, knowledge, or experience, such an informal solution is usually appropriate. Such informal corrective efforts are made with sensitivity to any rights to confidentiality involved. If the violation does not seem amenable to an informal solution, or is of a more serious nature, practitioners bring it to the attention of the appropriate institution, association or committee on professional ethics and conduct.
  • 7) PUBLIC STATEMENTS. PCA-practitioners are obliged to present an information accurately in order not to misrepresent their qualification, certification level and professional responsibilities. They must avoid misrepresentation of the PCA-practice through sensationalism, exaggeration, or superficiality. All statements must follow the present standards and other RCPCA regulations.
  • 8) ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES. In the development, publication, and utilization of psychotherapeutic or psychological assessment techniques, psychotherapists make every effort to promote the welfare and best interests of the client. Practitioners must not use any techniques which can potentially harm client’s welfare. Practitioners must use only techniques they obtained a sufficient training preparation to use. No techniques non-recognized scientifically or not correctly and sufficiently validated are to be used.
  • 9) RESEARCH. The decision to undertake research rests upon a considered judgment by the individual PCA-Practitioner about how best to contribute to human science and human welfare as well as to the PCA-field. Having made the decision to conduct research, the psychotherapist considers alternative directions in which research energies and resources might be invested. On the basis of this consideration, the practitioner carries out the investigation with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate and with cognizance of regulations and professional standards governing the conduct of research with human participants. All researches must follow the present principles.