Applied Metapsychology International Ethical Code
As we are a truly international organization with practitioners and trainers in many lands, we recognize and acknowledge that laws and customs may vary from place to place. Nothing in this code exempts a practitioner or trainer from the necessity of following the laws of his or her country, state, province or locality. Practitioners and trainers (hereinafter called inclusively “practitioners”) of Applied Metapsychology (AMP), including Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) and Life Stress Reduction (LSR), are also expected to follow the ethical precepts that they have already subscribed to as members of any professional organization to which they belong. The purpose of this code is not to take the place of local practices, but rather to put forth the points of ethical conduct that govern practitioners in general and those points particular to the practice of Applied Metapsychology.
Of first importance throughout this code is quality of care and service to the public, whether they are our clients or students.
Quality of Service
- Practitioners will always represent themselves honestly with regard to their levels of training and credentials.
- Clients are entitled to good service, so practitioners will seek supervision and technical direction regularly and in any case where progress is slow or not evident.
- Practitioners will maintain their own physical, emotional and mental health in order to remain fit for their work. Where their health may compromise their performance, they will refrain from practice until their fitness returns. Referrals for current clients should be arranged during such periods of recovery.
- Practitioners will seek to increase their professional knowledge and practical skills.
- Practitioners who function as trainers and/or technical directors will provide instruction within their areas of knowledge, competence and certification, and use the most current training materials available.
Respect, Dignity and Boundaries
- Practitioners will treat all persons, including students, clients and other professionals with respect and courtesy.
- Practitioners will refrain from speaking or writing derogatorily about any client or student. This does not preclude providing constructive criticism or feedback to students about specific practices or behaviors, delivered respectfully in appropriate circumstances.
- Practitioners and trainers will remain sensitive to cultural differences, and will not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s age, gender, nationality, race, gender identification, or sexual orientation. Any practitioner unable to fulfill this requirement will refer the client to another practitioner.
- The financial basis of the service being provided will be agreed upon before the commencement of the training course or session, with the rules and policies (such as fees for cancellation or missed appointments) clearly understood.
- Where a mental health professional already providing treatment or a concerned family member objects to the use of TIR or AMP for someone, the client is expected to determine the best course of action. Practitioners of TIR and AMP are facilitative listeners. They are not trained to make judgments on diagnosis, drug therapies, or psychological treatments. The concerns of a professional or relative are to be judged by each individual client, and not by the TIR/AMP practitioner.
Informed Consent and Confidentiality
- Before starting a course of facilitation, practitioners will explain the basis of this person-centered approach to clients, educate them about the methods to be used, and describe the structure of the session, including end points.
- All reasonable care will be taken to keep client records in a secure location to maintain privacy and confidentiality. All personal records and session notes will be retained in accordance with the data protection laws of the practitioner’s country.
- Clients will be advised of the limits of confidentiality, such as requirements that exist to report any instance of a client who is a danger to self or others, or anything pertaining to the safety or well-being of a child.
- Practitioners will obtain written permission in advance from a client before exchanging or sharing information with anyone about the client, including the fact that the client is receiving or has received services. Such a form needs to state that the client knows that he or she may withdraw permission for this communication at any time, in writing. An exception to this is co-facilitation that occurs as part of a training program where the students are aware of sessions being given and received, though session data from co-facilitation sessions is accorded the same confidentiality as all other sessions.
- To protect confidentiality of client information transmitted by email, fax, and other technologies, identifying information should be removed whenever possible.
- Practitioners who provide services via electronic media should inform clients of the limitations and risks associated with such services.
- Audio and video recording of sessions may be endorsed for research or training purposes only; clients must give informed consent in writing and must be made aware of their rights to withdraw such permission, in writing, at any time. Trainers or researchers who use such materials will use them only for the purpose(s) specified.
- In situations regarding legal action, practitioners only disclose case notes and /or client identity with the client’s informed consent, or as ordered by a judge. Consultation with a practitioner experienced in handling legal issues is recommended.
Professional Conduct with Clients and Students
- Practitioners will refrain from sexual or romantic activities with clients or students, where such a relationship did not exist prior to the course of sessions or the training event.
- Practitioners will not in any way take personal advantage of the special relationship that exists between instructor and student or practitioner and client. Practitioners will not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their personal, religious, political, sexual, or business interests.
- Since the Rules of Facilitation, Communication Exercises and protocol for creating session boundaries in the practice of Applied Metapsychology are very clear, and since, unlike traditional therapy, the dynamics of the relationship between client and practitioner are not part of the work itself, multiple relationships may be more feasible. Even so, practitioners who have a dual or multiple relationship with a client or student have the responsibility of safeguarding the well-being of that client or student, including strictly adhering to the Rules of Facilitation with regards to session contents. A practitioner who is unable to provide that level of safety will refer the client to another professional. Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause risk or harm are not considered unethical.
- A practitioner will maintain a level of safety for clients in these circumstances such that there are no consequences for anything the client says in a session, as modified by the limits of confidentiality as outlined above. If unable to provide that level of safety, the practitioner must refer the client to another.
- As stated above, practitioners will treat colleagues with respect at all times, including when offering constructive criticism and when working on resolution of problems.
- Practitioners will refrain from derogatory comments about colleagues to others. Except for handling technical or ethical questions raised by clients or students, practitioners will refrain from involving clients or students in conflicts with other practitioners. Practitioners will strive to resolve any conflicts directly with each other, or through official AMI channels. Such communication should be clear and straightforward at all times, not embellished with emotionally laden language.
- If a practitioner knows that a colleague is impaired (mentally, emotionally, physically, from substance abuse, etc.) and that the person has not taken adequate steps to address the impairment, the practitioner is obligated to attempt corrective action or to refer the matter to AMI, but not to discuss it otherwise.
- Generally, practitioners are expected to resolve any difficulties between them by appropriate communication. If difficulties arise that cannot be resolved in this way, the practitioners in question can appeal to their trainer/supervisor, or to the chair of the relevant committee (such as Certification, or Ethics) for help in resolving the matter.
- In line with providing the best possible service to clients and students, when a practitioner receives a request for services from someone who s/he knows is located geographically closer to another qualified practitioner, the one who received the request should inform the prospective student or client that there is another practitioner who is nearer geographically. If the first practitioner to be contacted remains the potential client’s first choice as a facilitator, technical director, or trainer, and if the first practitioner is willing to deliver the services requested, s/he should proceed to deliver service.
Repute of the Subject
- Practitioners will refrain from making any false, deceptive or fraudulent claims or any public statements about the subject of Applied Metapsychology (including TIR and Life Stress Reduction), or that would bring Applied Metapsychology into disrepute.
- Practitioners who create or engage others to create or place public statements that promote their professional practice or activities retain professional responsibility for such statements. Promotional materials are subject to review by AMI.
- Practitioners will take care to use the Communication Exercises and follow the Rules of Facilitation when using AM techniques, and to follow the Rules of Consultation when using AM coaching/consultation methods and programs.
- Practitioners will take care to distinguish for both clients and students what methods and techniques belong within the subject of AM, and those that do not.
- Practitioners will take care to do nothing to bring the subject of Applied Metapsychology into disrepute.