1.1. The purpose of a Code of Ethics is to define general principles and to establish standards of professional conduct for therapists in their work and to inform and protect those members of the public who seek their services: children, young people, their families and, where applicable significant others.
Each member organization of the EIATSCYP and EAIP will include and elaborate the following principles in its Code of Ethics.
1.2. All therapists are expected to approach their work with the aim of alleviating suffering and promoting the well-being of the children and young people with whom they are working. Psychotherapist should endeavour to use their abilities and skills to the best advantage for the child or young person, for the greatest benefit of clients, without prejudice and discrimination *, as well as to recognize the values and dignity of every human being.
1.3. * Discrimination shall be any exclusion, restriction or privilege based on real or perceived grounds against any person or group of persons on the basis of their race, color, language, religion, ethnicity, disability, age, national or social origin, affiliation with a national minority, political or other beliefs, wealth, education, social status and gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual characteristics, as well as any other circumstance that has the purpose or consequence of denying or threatening any person , enjoyment or enjoyment on an equal basis, rights and freedoms in all areas of life. (Anti-Discrimination Law, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
1.4. All psychotherapists whose organizations are members of EIATSCYP, EAIP and EAP are required to adhere to their organization’s Code of Ethics and Practice, which is in accordance with the following statements and approved by the BHIDAPA Ethics Committee in accordance with EIATSCYP, EAIP and EAP .
2. ETHICAL CODE
Each Member Organisation of EIATSCYP (Including National Associations or country specific Special Interest Groups) and EAIP must have published a Code of Ethics approved by the EIATSCYP and EAIP appropriate for the practitioners of that particular organisation and their clients. The Code of Ethics will include and elaborate upon the following points. All therapists are required to adhere to the Codes of Ethics of their own organization.
2.1. Qualifications: Psychotherapists are required to disclose their qualifications upon request when requested and not to claim and imply qualifications they do not have.
2.2. Terms and Methods of Practice: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to disclose on request their terms. conditions and, where appropriate, methods of practice at the outset of psychotherapy/counseling/supervision.
2.3. Confidentiality: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to maintain confidentiality and, if requested, provide a limited amount of information to a third party in special circumstances. Psychotherapists/counselors working with children and young people need to know the nature and extent of confidentiality when working in an interdisciplinary team or across sectors. Psychotherapists should clearly seek information on who has major clinical responsibility in the team. With children and young people, the limits of confidentiality are assessed in the context of the most important welfare of the child or young person in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2.4. Professional Relationship: Psychotherapists/counselors should consider the best interests of the child when they have appropriate contact with the child’s general practitioner, general practitioner, relevant psychiatric services and/or other relevant professionals, with the client’s knowledge. Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors need to be aware of their limitations.
2.5. Client Relationships: Psychotherapists are required to set appropriate boundaries with clients and to ensure that they are not exploited in any way, financially, sexually or emotionally.
2.6. Research: Psychotherapists are required to explain to clients the nature, purpose and conditions of any research in which they participate and to ensure that informed and verifiable consent is given before beginning.
2.7. Publication: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors should ensure the well-being and anonymity of clients when considering any form of clinical material disclosure and obtain their consent wherever possible.
2.8. Practitioners’ competencies: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to perform their duties competently and to use procedures accordingly. Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors should be aware of their limitations.
2.9. Insurance indemnities: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to ensure that their professional work is adequately covered by adequate insurance.
2.10 Harmful Behavior: (1) Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are obliged to discontinue any behavior that is harmful to their profession, colleagues or trainees. (2) Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to take appropriate action in accordance with clause 5.7 with regard to the behavior of colleagues who may be harmful to the profession, colleagues or trainees.
Members of BHIDAPA and individual psychotherapists need to restrict the promotion of their work to the description and type of psychotherapy they provide.Psychotherapists are required to carefully emphasize information about themselves, psychotherapy they provide, as well as on the list and in advertising
4. CODE OF PRACTICE
BHIDAPA will publish a Code of Practice that complies with EIATSCYP and EAIP, which is appropriate for practitioners of that organization and their clients. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to clarify and extend the general principles set out in the Code of Ethics of the organization as well as the practical application of the principles. All psychotherapists, BHIDAPA members are also members of EIATsCYP and EAIP and are required to adhere to the Code of Practice.
5. APPEAL PROCEEDINGS
BHIDAPA has a Complaints Procedure including information about the acceptability or otherwise of a complaint made by a third party against a practitioner; approved by BHIDAPA and appropriate for practitioners and their clients. The purpose of the Complaint Procedure is to provide practitioners and their clients with clear information about the complaint procedure and the process involved in the complaint. All therapists must adhere firmly to the Appeal Procedure of their organization or umbrella organization, if any.
5.1. Filing a complaint: The complaining client is advised to contact BHIDAPA.
5.2. Receiving a Complaint: The complaining organization will ensure that the therapist is informed as soon as possible and that the therapist or complainant is informed of the complaint procedure.
5.3. Complaint: After completion of the Complaint Procedure within the organization, the timeframe of the procedure should be stated, stating the deadlines, reasons and procedures.
5.4. BHIDAPA Reports: If an appeal is accepted, BHIDAPA will notify the umbrella organization of EIATSCYP and EAIP.
5.5. Complaints and Verdicts Accepted: Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors are required to inform BHIDAPA if they are objected to in another member organization, if they have been convicted of any criminal offense that may be reported or if litigation is directed against them with their work as a psychotherapist/counselor/supervisor.
5.6. Colleagues ‘behavior: Colleagues who find their colleagues’ behavior inappropriate or inconsistent with the Ethics of the organization are required to file a complaint within BHIDAPA, a member of EIATSCYP and EAIP.
5.7. The resignation of a member of the organization should not interfere with the investigation process as long as the alleged misconduct occurred during that person’s membership.
Psychotherapists/counselors/supervisors suspended or expelled from BHIDAPA were automatically expelled as members from EIATSCYP and EAIP.
7. MONITORING COMPLAINTS
BHIDAPA Member is obliged to annually inform EIATSCYP and EAIP of the number of complaints received, also the nature of their content and the timetable of the decision.
8. ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND CONCERNS IN WORKING WITH CHILDREN
“In the context of psychotherapy, as a form of treatment, the professional standard and code of ethics (which regulates the field of developmental age psychotherapy in developed countries of the world), there are three basic ethical issues that have their own specificities in the treatment of children, mainly:
- The issue of psychotherapist competencies,
- The issue of giving consent for treatment and
- Confidentiality issue.
The application of modalities and methods of adult psychotherapy in working with children is considered not only inadequate but also unethical. Therefore, the code of ethics stipulates that therapists who work with children, young people and their families must be specially trained for this work.
Consent issues stipulate that it is unethical to conduct therapy without the consent of the child, without the informed consent of their parents/guardians (which was previously the practice, e.g. at the request of the school or court). In addition, it is ethical for the child themselves to be informed about the treatment that is planned for them, the dynamics of the session, the goal that is defined together, to be involved in the decision-making process, that is, giving consent for the treatment. Professional discussions are conducted regarding the age, cognitive and emotional maturity, when it is considered that the child is developmentally ready enough to participate in these procedures. Some consider it to be the age of 7, while others move this limit to the ages between 11 and 13 (Bojanin & Popović, Deušić, 2012).
The next ethical question is: should children have the same right to privacy and confidentiality in counselling/psychotherapy/treatment as adults? The code of ethics in working with children is in accordance with the Child Protection Policy and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, and in their best interest, and clearly specifies the limitations of this right in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect, manifested intentions to harm themselves and others. In this case, the healthcare worker and associate is obliged and responsible, without delay, to notify the competent institutions (and to inform the child and parents beforehand): the guardianship authority according to the child’s place of residence, the police department, the health institution (hospital), and in some cases the competent prosecutor’s office.
Careful attention is paid to protect the privacy of children and their families in the storage and preservation of documentation.
All experts are obliged to respect the ethical principles of their profession, and the ethical principles of research with children.”(Čerkez, Bera, Sesar, Badurina, Daneš, Puvača et al., 2019)