1. BASIC PRINCIPLES
1.1. The present Code of Ethics regulates norms and standards of ethics of a Gestalt therapist as well as the relationship between a Gestalt therapist and a client.
1.2. First of all the Gestalt therapist cares about the quality of the mutual relationship between the Gestalt therapist and the client, always respects the interests and individuality of the customer.
1.3. The Gestalt therapist supports the individual development of the client, as well as promotes the client’s responsibility in all the spectra of the choices and making responsible decisions.
1.4. The Gestalt therapist shall be aware that quality and character of his relationship with the Client influence the entire process of therapy.
1.5. The Gestalt therapist shall be aware that the Gestalt therapy may influence other relationships of the client outside the therapy; this may provoke different conflict situations. The Gestalt therapist shall inform the client about the potential risk.
1.6. The Gestalt therapist shall distinguish dual relationships that exist with the employers, close friends, partners, influencing his professional decision and consider this fact in his work.
1.7. The Gestalt therapist shall not discriminate in any way the client because of his or her social origin, age, sex, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or ideological opinion or any other individuality.
1.8. The Gestalt therapist is fully responsible for his own professional activity and organizes his work, supervision and continuous education process according to the Code of Ethics of LAGT and existing legislative norms in the country.
1.9. Gestalt therapist informs his clients of the Ethical Code and the Complaint and Appeals procedure of the organization, and enables his acquaintance with the Ethical Code and the Complaint and Appeals procedure.
2.1. The Gestalt therapist grants the client full confidentiality of the personal and social information (except for the events envisaged under the Article 2.3) whereof informing the client when a contract on psychotherapy is concluded.
2.2. The information necessary for scientific purposes or publications is prepared by the Gestalt therapist in the way that grants full anonymity of the client and the therapist gets an Informed Agreement signed by client.
2.3. In the events when, according to the Gestalt therapist, the received information gives evidence about imminent danger to a person or the society, he should simultaneously consult with the LAGT Board and pass this information to the competent institutions (i.e. paramedics, police, social organizations); the client is informed about it when starting the psychotherapeutic relationship.
2.4. The Gestalt therapist has no rights to use the information obtained during the Gestalt therapy in any other purposes but for scientific or research work, as described in i.i. 2.2.
3. CONTRACT ON PSYCHOTHERAPY
3.1. Before preparing a contract, it is necessary to explain the client or the candidate what the main features and positive and negative effects of the Gestalt therapy may be. If the customer of the candidate agrees with the proposed conditions, it is possible to make a verbal or written contract. If the Gestalt therapist believes that the method is not appropriate for the customer or the customer himself or herself refuses from it, another method of psychotherapy or another specialist should be proposed.
3.2. The contract of Gestalt therapy determines the boundaries of the Gestalt therapy, degree of confidentiality, possible number of sessions, their frequency and holidays, contacts between the sessions, conclusion conditions for Gestalt therapy, mutual financial responsibility, possible need for medical help, possibility of the consultations with a psychiatrist, the order for submission of claims.
4. GENERAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
4.1. The Gestalt therapist is fully responsible for his or her professional behaviour, especially taking into account the psycho-therapeutic character of the interaction between the client and the Gestalt therapist, large trust and partial mutual dependence.
4.2. The Gestalt therapist does not exploit and maliciously use client’s trust, satisfy personal needs (emotional, sexual, social and economic) on the account of the client, be superficial as to his or her professional duties regarding the client.
4.3. The Gestalt therapist knows the possible personal and professional restrictions and impediments on work, and taking into account them, shall consult the colleges or supervisor or / and shall send the customer to another psychotherapist.
4.4. Comments or discussions on the work of other colleges in the presence of clients are not ethical.
4.5. The Gestalt therapist does not work under influence of intoxication with alcohol or drugs, or if his or her somatic or psychic health conditions do not permit to work on full value.
4.6. In the interests of patients and respecting the colleges, it is necessary to respect psychotherapeutic relationships the client has with another psychotherapist.
4.7. The Gestalt therapist responsibly continues personal and professional development with regular supervisions and individual therapy, as well as carrying out research, participating in professional conferences, seminars and publishing his or her own works.
4.8. Disregard of any of the above principles is threat to the client’s mental health, image and status of professional corporation, efficiency of the used Gestalt therapy methods and is regarded a major mistake in the application of the psychotherapeutic methods.
5.1. The Gestalt therapist when advertising his or her services describes them as it is allowed by his or her professional preparedness, qualification and profession.
5.2. In advertising, it is forbidden to use false information, to make reference to psychotherapeutic experience of definite individuals, use the method of testimonial, compare oneself with other colleges and / or other schools of psychotherapy.
6.1. The Gestalt therapist takes care for safe environment and place for the Gestalt therapy.
6.2. The Gestalt therapist is highly recommended to insure his or her professional activity.
7. COMPLAINTS AND REVISION PROCEDURE
7.1. Complaints about a member of LAGT are reviewed by the LAGT Ethical Committee elected by the LAGT General Meeting.
7.2. The complaint is submitted to the Chairman of the LAGT Ethical Committee in writing. The essence of the issue is described in the complaint.
7.3. The member of the LAGT against whom the complaint is submitted is informed about its content.
7.4. The Ethical Committee shall have the duty to review the complaint within a month and make the decision.
7.5. The Latvian Society for Psychotherapists (LSP) is informed about the received complaint. The involved parties and the LSP Ethical Committee are informed in writing about the decision of the LAGT Ethical Committee. The identity of the parties involved into the complain process and the complain subject are kept secret. The facts are not revealed without any specific need.
7.6. In the event of the conflict of interests, the LAGT Ethical Committee sends the complaint to the LSP (Latvian Society for Psychotherapists). Ethical Committee to make the decision; the involved parties are informed about it.
7.7. The Board informs the LAGT general meeting about its decision.
7.8. Each member of LAGT has right to ask another member of LAGT (member of the Board) be his adviser during the complaints procedure. The counsellor has rights to participate in all times when the complaint is reviewed. The counsellor should not be involved in the complaint procedure as maximum as it is possible.
7.9. A LAGT member, having criminal offence history or having a client who has been the subject of civil proceeding, must inform the Chair of the Ethics Committee about this fact.
7.10. A LAGT member immediately informs the Chairperson of the LAGT Board about the accusation and/or possible court proceedings if they are related to the psychotherapy practice.
7.11. A LAGT member does not submit a claim with selfish aim and is responsible for the contents of the claim.
7.12. The LAGT defends the professional interests of its members if during their psychotherapeutic practice they face attacks or threats. Keeping professional secrets, respect and independence of a Gestalt therapist in following the rules of this code are specially protected.
7.13 The member of LAGT may appeal against the resolution of the Ethics Committee. Such appeal must be lodged with the LAGT Board within one month following receipt of the resolution. The LAGT Board must convene the Ethics Committee, which will decide with regard to exclusion.
The Code of Ethics is approved or amended in the LAGT General Meeting according to the Statutes. It is an official document for all members of LAGT – certified Gestalt therapists, Gestalt therapists with diploma and certified Gestalt practitioners.