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    r.evolution psychotherapy

    Code of Ethics*


    At r.evolution psychotherapy, I am committed to offer a welcoming atmosphere free of prejudice.  Although therapy participation requires certain prerequisites and all individuals are considered for program fit, all are welcome from all classes, nationalities, cultures, ethnicities, races, genders, reproductive status, and sexual orientations. My office are not currently wheelchair accessible, but accommodations can be made as appropriate. 

     

    My practice is conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity.  In addition to following state and LICSW standards of conduct, all therapists at r.evolution psychotherapy honor the specific Code of Ethics:

     

    I will not deliberately harm a client, including physically, psychologically, financially, sexually, or spiritually. 

     

    Physical Harm:  I will not physically touch a client without their express permission, and even with permission, I will offer physical touch only with the intention of offering comfort, consistent with and limited by the scope of my license/certification.  Given the nature of issues addressed in sexual recovery therapy, touch is extremely rare.

     

    Psychological Harm:  I will not verbally assault, ridicule, bully or intimidate any client.  I will not yell at or swear at a client.  I will not engage my clients in inappropriate dual relationships, nor involve myself socially with clients for personal gain.

     

    Financial Harm:  I will not exploit my clients financially for personal gain, nor keep secret financial arrangements with clients.  Financial agreements will be clearly stated and in writing, per program and practice regulations. 

     

    Sexual Harm:  I will not engage in any sexual involvement with a client.  

     

    I define sexual involvement with a client to include:

    • Willful romantic or sexual fantasy involving a client
    • Any visual sexual objectification of a client’s body/physical appearance
    • Verbal appraisal or critique of a client’s body
    • Sexualized eye contact/gazing, flirtatious-sexualized humor with a client including sexual innuendoes, jokes, and use of graphic exploitive sexual language
    • Sexualized communications including verbal exchange, letters, texts, email, graphics, etc.
    • Sexualized touch of any kind

     

    Spiritual Harm:  I will not use my position of authority as a staff member of r.evolution psychotherapy to undermine, belittle, or subjugate, or dominate any client.  I will not exploit the vulnerability of my clients, nor devalue their basic humanity and what inspires them.  I will urge changes in the lives of clients only on their behalf and in the interest of promoting recovery from the issues I am empowered to treat.  I will not otherwise press them to adopt beliefs and behaviors that reflect any value system other than their own.

     

    I will not promote dependence on me, but help clients have a safe place to learn to depend on their highest wisdom, their loved ones, and a larger community network of support.  Our therapeutic agenda is determined by their personal goals and visions, which I facilitate awareness of as a core part of our work together.

     

    I will not allow clients to engage in behaviors I believe are harmful to any other clients without responding directly to explore necessary boundaries, education, support and consequences.

     

    I will remain aware of my own skills and limitations.  Since clients and former clients may perceive me as an authority and hence highly value my opinions, I will attempt never to counsel or advise them on matters not within my area of expertise.  I will be willing to recognize when it is in the best interest of my clients to release or refer them to another program or provider, to make specific treatment recommendations, or to end our working relationship in a responsible manner.

     

    I will not name or give information about a client, former client, or family member except to other r.evolution psychotherapy staff as required by treatment and specifically authorized by the client.

     

    I understand and agree to defend both the spirit and the letter of r.evolution psychotherapy policy on client rights, and to also respect the rights and views of other professionals.

     

    Recovery from sexual and related addictions requires talking about sex.  Sexual thoughts and feelings are a natural part of the human experience, and are discussed with care.  However, sexual energy is to be directed to appropriate sources outside the therapeutic relationship.  

     

    I will not permit the unaddressed sexualization of me by clients.  This includes:

    • Visual sexual objectification of a my body/physical appearance
    • Sexualized verbal appraisal or critique of my body
    • Sexualized eye contact/gazing, flirtatious-sexualized humor, including sexual innuendoes, jokes, and use of graphic exploitive sexual language
    • Sexualized communications including verbal exchange, letters, texts, email, graphics, etc.
    • Sexualized touch of any kind

     

    If I sense a client has romantic or sexual feelings toward me, I will inquire directly about this, addressing any such thoughts, feelings or actions gracefully, with non-shaming questions and feedback.  I will provide education about how romance or sexualization in the context of a therapeutic relationship is unethical and harmful.  Depending on the circumstances, I may provide education that my role is to ensure a safe, non-sexual relationship, and a caution that further relationship is predicated on our agreement and maintenance of this fact.  I may also refer the client to another provider.  I will discuss all such circumstances in consultation, and develop an appropriate plan as indicated.

     

    In my own personal use of alcohol and mood-altering drugs, I will serve as a responsible role model for clients, staff, and community.  I will not use illegal drugs, nor use prescription drugs except as medically recommended.  If I have had any problems with alcohol dependency in my past, I will maintain total abstinence from alcohol while serving as a staff member at r.evolution psychotherapy.

     

    In my own personal romantic and sexual life, I will practice the virtues of health, honesty, balance, and mutuality.

     

    I will exhibit responsible concern for the well being of my peers and the community of therapeutic providers by not ignoring manifestations of illness or unethical conduct in colleagues.  When safe, I will address any concerns directly with the colleague in question.  When appropriate, I will report provider impairment with appropriate authorities and follow mandatory reporting guidelines.

     

    I will accept responsibility for my continuing education and professional development as part of my commitment to providing quality care for those who seek my help. 

     

    As a professional psychotherapist, I understand that a therapeutic relationship does not end with a person’s termination from r.evolution psychotherapy services.  I will recognize the need to conduct any subsequent relationships with former clients with the same concern for their well being that is acknowledged above.  Sexual involvement with a client is unethical.  Sexual involvement with a former client exploits emotions deriving from treatment and is therefore always unethical, regardless of how much time has passed since termination of formal treatment. 

     

    *Created by Staci Sprout, LICSW, CSAT, with thanks to LeClair Bissell, MD, CAC and James E. Royce, SJ, PhD for the template built upon here, generously given in the book Ethics for Addiction Professionals, 2nd Ed. Please recreate at will to suit the ethics of your practice or organization!