Logo Issue 3.12

The National Register of Hypnotherapists & Psychotherapists

Code of Ethics and Practice

The NRHP recognises the prime importance of encouraging, maintaining and supervising the ethical standards of their therapists.   This is for the protection of both clients and therapists. To these ends, the following Code of Ethics and Practice applies to all members of the NRHP (and to all student registrants of NRHP, even prior to eligibility for membership of the NRHP).

All therapists are expected to approach their work with the specific aims of alleviating suffering and promoting the well-being of their clients. Therapists should, therefore, endeavour to use those abilities and skills commensurate with their trained competence, to their clients' best advantage, without prejudice and with due recognition of the value and dignity of every human being.

1. Behaviour: Therapists engaged in the practice of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy and allied disciplines shall, at all times, conduct their professional lives with the propriety and dignity becoming a servant of the public, and pledge that they will not, under any circumstances, infringe the code of morality becoming their profession, and will not commit any breach of conduct that will adversely reflect upon themselves, the NRHP, their training organisation, or upon their fellow practitioners.

i. Therapists are required to refrain from behaviour that may be detrimental to the profession, to colleagues or to trainees.

ii. Therapists are required to take appropriate action in accordance with clause 15 with regard to the behaviour of a colleague which may be detrimental to the profession, to colleagues or to trainees.

2. Services: Therapists shall confine their services to the recognised spheres of their profession, and shall neither offer nor promise any cures for specific conditions, nor engage in any activity likely to bring the profession into disrepute.

3. Qualifications:Therapists are required to disclose their qualifications when requested and not claim, or imply, qualifications that they do not have. Physical evidence of such qualifications should be made available for inspection by any legitimate enquirer.

4. Terms:Therapists are required to disclose their terms, conditions and, where appropriate, methods of practice at the outset of therapy. Failure to do so may be counterproductive in therapeutic terms.

5. Confidentiality: Therapists are required to preserve confidentiality and to disclose, if requested, the limits of confidentiality and circumstances under which it might be broken to specific third parties. It should be borne in mind that therapists have a responsibility to the community at large, as well as to individual clients.

6. Professional Relationship: Therapists should consider the client's best interest when making appropriate contact with the client's General Practitioner, relevant psychiatric services, or other relevant professionals with the client's knowledge. In seeking advice, as appropriate, and perhaps declining to treat and/or referring, therapists show an awareness of their own limitations whilst acting in the best interests of those seeking their help.

7. Boundaries: Therapists are required to maintain appropriate boundaries with their clients and to take care not to exploit their clients, current or past, in any way, financially, sexually or emotionally.

8. Competence: Therapists are required to maintain their ability to perform competently by undergoing personal therapy, if required, and engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD), including a commitment to ongoing supervision/peer supervision and other, verifiable, CPD activities.

9. Research: Therapists are required to clarify with the clients the nature, purpose and conditions of any research in which the clients are to be involved and to ensure that informed and verifiable consent is given before commencement. Such consent should allow for a “cooling off” period, and may be withdrawn at any time thereafter should any such clients so choose.

10. Publication: Therapists are required to safeguard the welfare and anonymity of clients when any form of publication of clinical material is being considered and to obtain their consent whenever possible.

11. Media: The principles underlying the two previous paragraphs shall also be applied should therapists be engaged in the public media of whatever description.

12. Legal Action: A therapist who is convicted in a court of law of any notifiable criminal offence, or who is the subject of any successful civil action by a client, shall immediately report the facts in writing to the Board of Directors of the NRHP. In any such instance, the individual concerned shall consider him or herself suspended from membership of the NRHP, pending decision concerning such membership by the Board of Directors of the NRHP.

13. Insurance: Therapists are required to ensure that their professional work is adequately covered by appropriate indemnity insurance. All members of the NRHP are required, as a condition of membership, to be accepted for cover within the group insurance policy maintained by the approved broker, or to provide evidence of equivalent insurance cover; prior to eligibility for membership of the NRHP

14. Complaints: A Complaints Procedure exists, to receive any complaint against a therapist, to consider the therapist's response and to arrive at a decision based on all of the presented facts. Appeals are allowed against any decisions made. The Complaints Procedure is detailed on pages 14 and 15 of 'A Guide to NRHP', available from the NRHP office. In the event of a complaint against the institution, i.e., the NRHP, a Complaints Procedure has been published and is available upon request.

15. Complaints against Colleagues: Therapists are required to take appropriate action to make a complaint which will be dealt with in accordance with the Complaints Procedure, with regard to the behaviour of a colleague which may be detrimental to the profession, to colleagues or to other members.

16. Public Performance: Therapists shall not give any performance, lecture or display which presents hypnosis or psychotherapy or allied disciplines as a means of entertainment.

17. Advertising: The professional notices of therapists shall be kept to a dignified wording and confined to approved publications only, and/or otherwise be brought to public notice in a dignified manner. (The Board of Directors of the NRHP may, at its discretion, declare an advertisement or publication or method of publicising services to be unacceptable.)

18. Sanctions: Any therapist breaking this Code of Ethics and Practice shall, at the discretion of the Board of Directors of the NRHP, be liable to forfeiture of membership or other sanction(s) as directed by the Board of Directors.

19. Powers of the Board of Directors: The Board of Directors of the NRHP shall have the power to interpret and enforce compliance with the Code of Ethics and Practice and Rules of Membership by all the therapists, and to impose such sanctions as it sees fit for breaches of the Code and Rules. Where multiple membership exists, details of therapists who are suspended by, or expelled from, the NRHP, are automatically deleted from the UK Council for Psychotherapy's National Register of Psychotherapists or similar Register.

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