Code of Ethics for Counselling and Psychotherapy
This Code of Ethics for Psychotherapy and Counselling is intended to guide the practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy by all members (regular and
associate) of the Cyprus Association for Person-Centered Psychotherapy and Counselling (CAPCPC). Being ethically mindful and willing to be accountable for
the ethical basis of practice is a requirement for membership of this Association. Also, members must communicate to their clients the basis of their
ethical accountability and expectations.
Ethical Principles For Psychotherapy and Counselling
These principles, which are described below, direct attention to important ethical responsibilities.
A member’s obligation is to consider all the relevant circumstances with as much care as it is reasonably possible and to be appropriately accountable for
the decisions made.
Members must regard confidentiality as an obligation arising from the client's trust. Confidentiality implies an explicit contract or promise not to reveal
anything about a client except under certain circumstances agreed to by both parties, upon the commencement of psychotherapy-counselling sessions.
Member’s must respect the client's right to be self-governing. This principle emphasizes the importance of developing the client's ability to be
self-directing within therapy and in all aspects of life.
Members are committed to promoting the client's well-being. The principle of beneficence means acting in the best interests of the client, based on
Members are committed to avoid causing harm to the client. Non-maleficence involves: avoiding sexual, financial, emotional or any other form of client
exploitation; avoiding incompetence or malpractice; not providing services when unfit to do so due to illness, personal circumstances or intoxication.
Members are to treat all clients fairly and impartially and provide adequate services. The principle of justice requires being just and fair to all clients
and respecting their human rights and dignity. A commitment to fairness requires the ability to appreciate differences between people and to be committed
to equality of opportunity.
The principle of self-respect means that members appropriately apply all the above principles as entitlements for self. This includes seeking counselling
or therapy and other opportunities for personal development as required. There is an ethical responsibility to use supervision for appropriate personal and
professional support and development, and to seek training and other opportunities for continuing professional development.
Personal moral qualities
Personal qualities to which members are strongly encouraged to aspire include:
Providing a good standard of practice and care
Good standards of practice and care require professional competence, good
relationships with clients and colleagues, and commitment to being ethically mindful through observance of professional ethics.
Good quality of care
1. Good quality of care requires competently delivered services that meet the client's needs.
2. Members should give careful consideration to the limitations of their training and experience and work within these limits, taking advantage of
available supervision, if the need arises.
3. Good practice involves clarifying and agreeing the rights and responsibilities of both the member and the client, at appropriate points in their working
Members are required to consider the implications of entering into dual relationships with clients, to avoid entering into relationships that are likely to
be detrimental to clients, and to be readily accountable to clients and colleagues for any dual relationships that may occur.
Members must keep appropriate records of their work with clients, unless there are good and sufficient reasons for not keeping any such records. All
records should be accurate, respectful of clients and colleagues and protected from unauthorised disclosure.
Maintaining competent practice
All members, including trainers and supervisors, are required to have regular and on-going formal supervision. Also, a commitment to good practice requires
practitioners to keep up- to- date with the latest knowledge. They should consider carefully their own need for continuing professional development and
engage in appropriate educational activities.
It is important to be open to, and conscientious in considering feedback from colleagues, appraisals and assessments. Responding constructively to feedback
helps to advance the practice.
Members must be aware of and understand any legal requirements concerning their work, consider these conscientiously and be legally and professionally
accountable for their practice.
Members must respect a client's right to choose whether to continue or disrupt therapy-counselling.
Members must make every possible effort to avoid misunderstandings. Overriding a client's known wishes or consent is a serious matter that requires
adequate and reasoned justification. Members should be prepared to be readily accountable to clients, colleagues and this Association, if they override a
client's known wishes.
Working with minors requires a written or other form of consent by the parent/guardian or other primary care-taker, considering and assessing the balance
between minors’dependence on adults and carers and their progressive development towards acting independently. Working with minors requires careful
consideration of issues concerning their capacity to give consent, to receiving any service independently of someone with parental responsibilities and the
management of confidences disclosed by clients.
Members must be willing to respond to their client's requests for information about the way that they are working and any assessment that they may have
Members must not abuse their client's trust in order to gain sexual, emotional, financial or any other kind of personal advantage.
Members must recognize their limitations and how this knowledge should guide their ethical behaviour. Members must not allow their personal beliefs to
intervene with the rendering of professional services concerning cases with gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability, nationality,
pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership.
Members should be clear about any commitment to be available to clients.
Teaching and training
Members are encouraged to share their professional knowledge and practice for the benefit of their clients.
Members, who provide formal education and training, should acquire the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to be competent teachers and facilitators
of learning in their subject.
Members are required to be fair, accurate and honest in their assessments of their students.
Prior consent is required from clients, if they are to be observed, recorded or if their personally identifiable disclosures are to be used for training
All training in counselling and psychotherapy should model standards and practice consistent with those expected of psychotherapists-counsellors in the
role for which the training is being provided.
All trainers and educators in counselling and psychotherapy have a responsibility to protect the standards of the profession. Trainers are responsible for
taking reasonable steps to prevent clients being exposed to risk or harm by trainees.
Supervisors have a responsibility to maintain and enhance good practice provided by the members, thus, protecting clients from poor practice. Furthermore,
supervisors are to acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge necessary for the service they render.
The Association is committed to fostering research that will inform and develop practice. All members are encouraged to support research undertaken on
behalf of the profession and, also, to participate actively in research work.
Fitness to practise
Members should discuss, with their supervisor, or other experienced psychotherapist-counsellor the circumstances in which they suspect that they may have
unintentionally harmed a client in order to ensure that the appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate any harm and to prevent any repetition.
Psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to ensure that their work is adequately covered by insurance for professional indemnity and liability.
If psychotherapists consider that they have acted in accordance with good practice but their client is not satisfied that this is the case, they may wish
to use independent dispute resolution, for example: seeking a second professional opinion.
Clients must be informed about the existence of the Professional Code of Ethics of this Association and any other applicable complaint or disciplinary
procedures. If requested to do so, members must inform their clients about how they may obtain further information concerning these procedures. In
receiving, investigating and processing such complaints, the Cyprus Association for Person-Centered Psychotherapy and Counselling aims to protect members
of the public, the name and the reputation of the Association and the professions referred to, in this Code of Ethics.
Members are required to be honest, straightforward and accountable in all financial matters concerning their clients and other professional relationships.