Client safety is paramount. There are some simple principles which help to ensure clients are properly looked after and respected throughout their therapy, coaching or training. These come from the BACP Code of Ethics (see below)
Being trustworthy: honouring the trust placed in the practitioner.
Autonomy: respect for the client’s right to be self-governing.
Beneficence: a commitment to promoting the client’s wellbeing.
Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to the client.
Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services.
Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge, integrity and care for self.
To ensure client safety, all clients have to complete a comprehensive set of notes including medical questions before any therapy, coaching or training is delivered. All sessions are now recorded. Recordings are made available to clients.
Clients are sometimes vulnerable and in distress. Everyone has a right to be treated with respect, understand the limits of confidentiality and be free from exploitation and abuse. It is reasonable for clients to assume that my top priority is to maintain their safety and well-being. This includes providing a confidential framework within which clients can safely explore and resolve problems.
I believe all clients have personal resources, no matter how distressed they might be, but I also take account of the client’s current capacity to cope. My assumption is that clients are ultimately capable of resolving their problem. My role is to help them activate these resources in pursuit of their own interests and not to seek to solve the problems myself.
The fundamental purpose of coaching is to empower clients to achieve their own goals. Coaching facilitates this process of empowerment. I help clients overcome any self-limiting beliefs, unhelpful habits and mental blocks so they can access their own resources and exploit their potential. In this context it is fundamental that the focus is on developing the client. Again, I adopt the belief that all clients have the resources to solve their own problems.
Employee Assistance Programmes
In providing employee assistance programmes I always insist on a clear agreement with the employer about the specific definition and scope of confidentiality. This agreement is always stated to employees before any therapy or coaching commences. This means clients always know the implications of disclosing information and can make informed choices.
Employers want their employees to be at work and fully functional. At the same time, enlightened employers recognise that at times we all have life challenges such as bereavement, separation, divorce, young families, illness and so on. Employers also necessarily have limits on the extent to which they can support employees in crisis or where performance is not meeting required standards.
Employees want to feel valued, have clear goals and be able to fulfil their responsibilities in a manner which is sustainable. There is a fundamental choice for all employees in any employed situation. They can adapt to the culture within which they work. They can seek to constructively improve the culture. Or they can find a position in another situation. Whatever their choice I always encourage them to pursue their choice in a positive, WIN/WIN frame of mind.
The sole aim of employee assistance programmes I provide is to fulfil these requirements for employers and employees so that the contract of employment is fulfilled in a sustainable manner and to the satisfaction of both parties. Where there are conflicts of interest it is my duty to raise these immediately and I will always do so.
Supervision is designed to protect clients, to ensure I am operating within the of my own competence, to engage in self-reflection and to foster my own continuing professional development as a therapist and coach. I receive regular supervision from two different supervisors currently. One is an accredited supervisor within the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) definition of supervision. The other is the originator of Provocative Change Works, an approach to coaching and therapy which informs much of my practice.
I am also fully insured for professional indemnity and public liability. A copy of my certificate of insurance is available for inspection.
If you would like more information about ethical practice at Fix My Problem Now please contact me, Harvey Taylor here or call 07974 228396
For an interesting article on The Importance of Duty of Care in Therapy and Personal Development follow this link.