Code of Ethics for the Spiritual Psychotherapy Training Program

Code of Ethics for the Spiritual Training Psychotherapy Program

As adapted from the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association and referencing CPRO’s code


  1. I will make every effort when appropriate (e.g. except when the client is in crisis) to complete a comprehensive standard Clinical Assessment at the beginning of the psychotherapy relationship.
  2. I will strive to understand and respect the diversity of my clients including differences pertaining to age, gender, sexual orientation, culture, disability, religion and socioeconomic status.
  3. I will advise my clients about their therapeutic options, potential risks, and benefits of therapy and obtain informed consent.
  4. I will work within my range of abilities range and if I do not have the skill level to provide the help needed, I will refer a client to other qualified professionals.
  5. I will preserve the client's right to confidentiality and will not release any identifying information verbally or in writing without the client's signed permission (excepting the threat of suicide, homicide or suspected child or sexual abuse or when requested by a Court of Law)
  6. I will respect all therapeutic boundaries and will only have a professional, therapeutic relationship with my client.
  7. I will not give a client the false hope that the psychotherapy relationship can be anything more than that, or that it can be permanent.
  8. I will not inflict any type of abuse or harassment in the therapeutic relationship.
  9. I will not touch a client and convey any message which might be interpreted as expressing sexual feelings for the client.
  10. I will avoid statements to the client which suggest possible causes (e.g. childhood sexual abuse) of current difficulties but will allow insight and recovery of memories to come from the client.
  11. I will inform the client that mental images which emerge during hypnosis or guided imagery may not be memories of actual events.
  12. I will provide a safe, private setting for psychotherapy and practice safe and effective use of self.
  13. I will not require payment of a fee for service prior to consent to the service has been provided.
  14. I will not introduce spiritual concepts unless I am previously known to the client as providing spiritual psychotherapy or pastoral counselling and they are open to a spiritual approach. 
  15. I will make every effort not to intentionally relay to the client a therapeutic outcome.
  16. I will provide a means for evaluation of progress so that the client is not misled or taken advantage of.
  17. I will respect the dignity and rights of clients, students, staff, colleagues and members of other professions and work with them in a collaborative way.
  18. I will be careful to properly assess, prevent, and document the possibility and potential of suicidal or homicidal behaviour by a client.
  19. I will participate only in those practices which are respectful of the legal and moral rights of others while safeguarding the dignity and rights of my clients, students and my professional peers.
  20. I will immediately (within 24 hours) report the sexual or physical abuse of a child to  authorized bodies
  21. I will take direct steps to inform the potential victim of homicidal threats made by a client through authorized personnel.
  22. I will not use hypnosis or guided imagery as part of the treatment for a client who has been hospitalized for psychosis or major depression.
  23. I will not devalue the competence of another practitioner in the presence of a client but will direct any complaints to the professional disciplinary body.
  24. I will avoid expressing anger or reacting emotionally to the client.
  25. I will not advise a couple to separate or to end their relationship but will allow each party to make his or her own decision.
  26. I will not pressure a client to remain in a psychotherapy relationship against the client's expressed desire to terminate but will ask them if they want to do closure.
  27. I am committed to my own personal growth and recovery, as is essential to being an effective psychotherapist.
  28. I will not provide psychotherapy while under the influence of alcohol or other substances or a dysfunction which would impair my judgment.
  29. I am committed to continuing professional education and to expanding my repertoire of skills and my understanding of psychotherapy practice. I will engage in only responsible research.
  30. I will understand and deal with my own professional and personal biases.
  31. In my community, I am mindful of my role as a trusted professional. 
  32. I will consult on potential conflicts-of-interest, ethical dilemmas and other personal-professional challenges.
  33. If I am providing clinical supervision, I will do so professionally and competently within the standards of the field.


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