Inside Out Psychotherapy © 2008 - 2015

Inside Out Psychotherapy

Code of Ethics and professional conduct

The Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education [IATE] adheres to the Standards and Code of Ethics set out by the Humanistic and Integrative Section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy [UKCP] and the Health Professions Council.  This Code of Ethics must be read in conjunction with:

 The IATE Integrative Child Psychotherapy Code of Ethics (if working with children)

 The British Association of Arts Psychotherapists (BAAT)

They are as follows:

1) The psychotherapist is required to have appropriate qualifications to practice and either be registered with the UKCP or working towards registration with the UKCP.

2) The psychotherapist is required to practice according to the principles of transparency and accountability.

3) The psychotherapist is required to assess a client’s needs and evaluate whether they have the appropriate training and experience to work effectively with them.

4) The psychotherapist is required to evaluate whether Integrative Arts Psychotherapy is the appropriate intervention for a client’s particular presenting issues.

5) It is necessary that the client affirms his/her voluntary participation.

6) An explicit contract or working alliance with the client is necessary which includes time, fees, respective responsibilities of client and psychotherapist, rationale of sessions, restrictive and permissive ground-rules of sessions and confidentiality.

7)  The psychotherapist provides open information for a client upon request about the psychotherapist's experience, training, degrees/diplomas, and supervision/peer assessment.

8)  There is no exploitation or oppression of the client's emotional vulnerability, for the gratification of the psychotherapist’s sexual, financial, or power-oriented impulses or for any distress-determined compulsion in the psychotherapist.

9) There is affirmation of the self-determination, personal power, and responsibility of the client.

10) The psychotherapist is required to have a commitment to supervision, maintaining standards, quality assurance and continued professional development.

11) The psychotherapist is required to be open to and/or engaged with research issues.

The Client – Psychotherapist Relationship

1) The psychotherapist accepts clients commensurate with his/her training, skill and supervision arrangements.  When faced with a client outside the competence of the psychotherapist, she/he will either refer the client to a psychotherapist with the required skills or obtain appropriate supervision.

2) The client-psychotherapist relationship is professional.  Sexual intercourse or any other exploitation of the client-psychotherapist relationship - either financial or emotional - is considered unethical.  Similarly, psychotherapists recognise the importance of a good working relationship for effective therapy and are cognisant of the power and influence that this relationship gives the psychotherapist.  The psychotherapist acts in a manner consistent with that recognition.

3) Contracts with clients are explicit regarding fees, payment schedule, holidays, and cancellation of sessions by client or psychotherapist and frequency of sessions.  Psychotherapists make it clear whether it is therapy, training, or supervision that is being provided.  The length of the therapy, the methods utilised, transfers of clients and terminations etc. are discussed with clients and mutual agreement sought.

4) It is good practice for a client to see one psychotherapist at a time.

5) Psychotherapists are open about their training, qualifications, years of experience, and other related information regarding professional competence.

6) Psychotherapists maintain suitable facilities and conditions for the type of therapy provided.

7) Psychotherapists respect the dignity of clients and their worth as human beings. They affirm their client's right to and need for self determination, personal growth, self responsibility; and they attempt to enhance their client's progress in those directions.

In addition The Institute states that:

• Any changes to the client's regular appointment, or any changes to the circumstances of the therapy, e.g. change of venue or fees, must be made with advance notice.

• Any necessary interruptions or termination of the therapy must be arranged in advance to allow the client sufficient time to discuss and work through any psychological implications.

• The client should be very clear how to contact the psychotherapist during working and non-working hours.

• The dress of the psychotherapist should be appropriate, e.g. she/he should not wear sexually provocative clothing or clothing which would be inappropriate for body-work.

• Psychotherapists should at all times maintain therapeutic boundaries with respect for the symbolic and psychological implications of these.

• Psychotherapists should endeavour to have meaningful relationships outside the work situation to reduce the need to use clients for emotional satisfaction.

• Psychotherapists should not work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

• Psychotherapists should support themselves sufficiently in life, and manage their practice in such a way as to avoid burnout, over tiredness, overloading, which would adversely affect their ability to be fully present in the therapy sessions.

• Psychotherapists should recognise when they are not able to be fully present with clients and take appropriate action, e.g. a holiday, consider further supervision or personal therapy.

• Psychotherapists should see that they have sufficient time to assimilate the process and content of each session, i.e. there should be a sufficient time interval between one client and the next, and days not working.

• The assessment process, treatment process, and evaluation of the outcomes in psychotherapy are to be constantly appraised and monitored in collaboration with client.  This may change in accordance with the evolving psychological needs or presenting issues of the client.

• Psychotherapists do not discriminate against clients in terms of race or culture, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other value or belief systems.

• Psychotherapists should be most cognisant in not attempting to influence their clients with their own value systems and belief systems.  Psychotherapists are required to be respectful of diversity with reference to all of the above.

Dual relationships

The psychotherapist avoids taking on a client with whom she/he would then have a dual relationship.  Thus no friends, relatives, employees, employers, supervisees, close friends/intimates of other clients or trainees must be taken on as clients.

No other relationship is taken on with the client, e.g. employing the client's professional services, or sending a relative or friend to the client for services.

Psychotherapists avoid seeing clients in any social circumstances outside the therapy room (apart from where the client is also seen by the psychotherapist in a therapy group).  Where this contact happens accidentally, e.g. bumping into a client in a restaurant, the impact of this needs to be considered in the session.  If the safety or the containment of the therapy is impaired and cannot be worked through satisfactorily, the therapy may need to be terminated and an appropriate referral provided.

There may be circumstances in which the psychotherapist and the client, as part of the same profession are exposed to each other in the context of their member organisation or public lectures.  It is essential that the psychotherapist remains mindful of the psychological issues that can be provoked on such occasions and is willing to address this in a supportive way for the client in the therapy.


1) Supervision provides a challenging and supportive context for members to share their work, enhance their effectiveness, and protect the client.  Members should not practise without appropriate levels of supervision.

2) A member’s supervisor should not be their psychotherapist.

3) All practicing psychotherapists remain in supervision as part of quality assurance and service provision for charts.

Professional issues

1) Psychotherapists maintain professional relationships with colleagues (skill sharing, support and concern for ethical issues, promotion of the theory, research, and practice of therapy).

2) When a medical aspect of the client's condition maybe involved, a non-medical psychotherapist will seek medical consultation where appropriate and encourage the client to do so.

3) Advertising shall be limited to accurate information regarding qualifications and services.  Demeaning and comparative statements about other therapies or psychotherapists are considered inappropriate.  With therapy groups, a brief description of methods and goals is acceptable.


1) Confidentiality is intrinsic to good practice.  All exchanges between members and client must be regarded as confidential.  Where a member has any doubts about the limits of confidentiality she/he should seek supervision.

2) Members should provide a working environment which ensures privacy.

3) All information provided by the client (and confidential information provided by professionals) is considered confidential with the following exceptions:

a) When working in a multi-disciplinary team, relevant information is shared and this is included in a transparent and accountable way when negotiating the initial contract and working alliance with the client.

b) In transfers and referrals mutually agreed between client and psychotherapist, pertinent information may be shared with the new psychotherapist with the client's permission.

c)  For supervisory purposes, and clients are made aware of the role of the supervisor in the initial contract and working alliance.

d) For educational purposes which are included in the supervisory element of psychotherapy practice.  It is good practice for all students who may be considering presenting a client as part of their case study, examination, or dissertation to invite permission in the initial contract.  Permission can be obtained in the initial working alliance included in a general contract under the heading of Supervision and Education.  This is particularly important when discussing the possibility of recording sessions.  It is essential for the anonymity of a client to be preserved and therefore all names will be changed.

e)  If there is clear evidence of probable serious danger to the client, to others, or to their property – then confidentiality can be broken.  For example where the client is actually intending to commit suicide, or homicide, the psychotherapist is obliged, having informed the client, to inform a medically qualified professional. here is clear evidence of probable serious danger to the client, to others, or to their property – then confidentiality can be broken.  For example where the client is actually intending to commit suicide, or homicide, the psychotherapist is obliged, having informed the client, to inform a medically qualified professional.

  When required by law (however courts are usually sympathetic to the desirability of keeping confidential sessions of this type confidential, and where appropriate, the psychotherapist should ask the court for permission to do so).  These issues must be carefully addressed in supervision.

4) When any report to other professionals, e.g. doctor, probation officers etc., is requested or exchanged involving disclosures of the client's identity, mutual agreement is sought with the client, and a signed consent obtained where necessary.

5) When a video or recording of a session is made, it is necessary for signed consent to be obtained from the client.

6) Members must maintain confidentiality after the completion of psychotherapy.

Continued Professional Development

1) Members have a particular responsibility to continue their personal and professional development through any or all of the following; personal therapy, regular supervision, further training, research, publication.

2) All members are informed of the Continued Professional Development Policy in which self support and nurturing creativity and imagination are recognised as increasing the quality of psychotherapy service provision.

3) Continued Professional Development is a vital and necessary aspect of good practice.  It is a requirement for the 5-year re-accreditation programme.



This code should be read in conjunction with the iate Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for psychotherapists.

1. Professional Responsibility

 Becoming a psychotherapist is a serious commitment to becoming a skilled healer.  Even though some people do use the title 'psychotherapist' having done little or no training, we believe that the public should be educated that these words mean the profound long-term personal and professional responsibilities which we and other respected training organisations uphold and encourage in our training programmes and ethical standards.  Psychotherapists must not make any false claim or misleading statements as regards their experience, qualifications, or relationship to iate.  Misrepresentation of qualifications may be illegal under the Trade Description Act governing standards in commercial advertising.

2. Qualifications

 It is considered unethical not to be transparent about training, qualifications, or limits of competence.

3. Advertising and what you can call yourself

 Advertising by psychotherapists is to be confined to descriptive statements about the services available, and the qualifications of the person providing them.  Advertising materials should not include testimonials, make comparative statements, or in any way imply that the services concerned are more effective than those provided by other schools of psychotherapy or organisations.  Psychotherapists must not claim to possess qualifications they do not possess.  Psychotherapists shall, as part of the initial process of contracting, inform clients of their qualifications and experience as a psychotherapist.  

4. Fees

 Psychotherapists have a responsibility to charge fees appropriate to their qualifications and level of experience, and to inform clients of the range of other psychotherapeutic services available and their comparative cost.

5. Referrals

 When a client has been referred to a psychotherapist, it is normal practice and courtesy to report back on general terms to the referring agent or psychotherapist, without breaching confidentiality or going into significant detail, regarding the client's subsequent progress.  Psychotherapists are not to accept as clients those who are already in another psychotherapeutic relationship.

6. Medical Back-up

 It is standard professional practice to ascertain at the beginning of psychotherapy the name, address, and phone number of the client's doctor as well as that of any other professionals who are involved in the client's condition.  The psychotherapist should encourage the client to seek additional appropriate advice from her/his doctor or from some other suitably qualified professionals.  Psychotherapists should have access to psychiatric services local to their clients and practice.

7. Record-keeping

 Psychotherapists are to keep adequate records about their clients and these should be kept safely under locked conditions to ensure privacy.  If any information is stored on computer disc, psychotherapists should ensure that they conform to the requirements of the Data Protection Act.  Whatever records are kept should be in a form that can be inspected by clients if they so request.  All psychotherapists shall make provision in their wills for an executor of their psychological estate who will undertake to keep an updated list of the psychotherapist's client details, to act in emergencies or to close the practice as required ensuring for the referral of clients and the destruction of records and tapes.

8. Insurance

 Psychotherapists shall take out a professional indemnity insurance to cover themselves in the event of a legal suit to ensure that they are adequately covered in the event of other claims that might be made against the psychotherapist or the owners of the premises in which the psychotherapist works.

9. Commitment to Further Training Post-Qualification

 Psychotherapists are required to ensure that they continue their own personal and professional development post-qualification.