Code of Ethics of the Association of Doctors and Psychologists
«Eating Disorders: Therapy and Prevention»
- The Association is a consolidation of doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists and specialists in other fields to create a common professional field, with the aim of sharing experience and providing quality care to patients with eating disorders and the prevention of eating disorders.
- Membership of the association is regulated by the main document, the charter of the association. The Code is an additional document regulating the activities of the Association’s specialists.
- This Code defines and sets standards of professional behavior for professionals working with eating disorders, and also informs those members of public who want to use their services.
- The Code lists those values and principles that are inherent when dealing with eating disorders. It also demonstrates those leading rules that respect and protect these principles.
- Members of the Association are responsible for complying with the principles set in the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, agree with the rules of the Complaints Procedure to notify and evaluate violations of the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
- The Association Ethics Committee is responsible for complying with the Code of Ethics and the rules of the Complaints Procedure.
- The Code contains 4 parts. Each one structures the following information:
- Membership Statuses
- Professional standards and competence
- Provisions on job setting, privacy and advertising
- Complaint observing procedures
А. Membership Statuses
Membership in the Association involves determining the status according to the direction of its work. The Association contains following statuses:
1.1. Association Psychologist (a specialist with a completed higher education in Psychology, and who has or is currently receiving specialized training in working with eating disorders).
1.2. Association psychotherapist (a specialist with a completed higher education in Psychology who has completed psychotherapy training and is certified according to the standards of the approach in which he has studied and has or is currently receiving specialized training in working with eating disorders and disorders).
The psychotherapeutic approach must be considered by the European Psychotherapeutic Association (currently it is Psychoanalysis, Client centered approach, Gestalt therapy, Cognitive-behavioral, Dialect-behavioral therapy, traumatotherapy, systemic and family therapy and others).
1.3 Association Supervisor (a psychotherapist with the qualifications listed above with supervisor training).
1.4. Association Psychiatrist (a specialist with completed higher medical education and specialization in psychiatry).
1.5. Association Nutritionist (specialist with education and qualification of a nutritionist).
1.6. Association Nutrition Specialist (a specialist trained as a nutritionist or nutrition consultant, separately trained to work with clients with eating disorders).
1.7 Association Doctor (specialist with a completed higher medical education and specialization in endocrinology, gynecology, gastroenterology, and any other specialization that is necessary when working with eating disorders).
1.8 Association Consultant (a specialist who is currently recieving, but has not yet completed education at one qualification level, and does correspond to one of the statuses listed above).
Also, the status of one’s position in the Association can be added to the status of membership in particular cases.
В.2 Professional standards and competence
2.1 A specialist and a member of the Association only takes part in working with a problem when he knows that he has sufficient competence and skills to deal with it.
They only provide those services and uses those techniques in which his knowledge and experience provides them with sufficient qualifications.
2.2 The specialist and member of the Association is aware that his qualifications must meet the initial task of working with a patient’s appeal. The methodological and technical approach in the work process should serve the therapeutic goals and needs of the patient, which were discussed previously when concluding the contract.
2.3 As the limits of their competence are exhausted during the working process, specialist and member of the Association must redirect the patient to another specialist and / or cooperate with another specialist (or specialists).
2.4 A specialist and a member of the Association builds relations with representatives of other professions and institutions (such as clinics) in order to have sufficient diagnostic and therapeutic safety and sufficient means to assist the client if he reaches the limits of his competence or setting.
2.5 The specialist and member of the Association protects their work and profession from any unqualified actions and procedures (lectures, interviews, speeches for the media, seminars) that do not meet professional standards.
2.6 A specialist and a member of the Association seeks individual therapy in case of problems in his therapeutic work, such as a personality crisis, signs of burnout and / or difficulties in maintaining boundaries.
2.7 In the educational process, which lasts the entire professional career, the Specialist and member of the Association cares about expanding and deepening their professional and personal competence. The specialist and member of the Association is open to important events that may affect this process, considering the benefits to clients.
2.8 ФA specialist who has the status of a psychologist or psychotherapist agrees to receive regular supervision by a supervisor that corresponds to the competence of relevant psychotherapeutic area.
С.3 Provisions on job setting, confidentiality and advertising
3.1 The relationship between the specialist and the client is a professional relationship in which the well-being of the client is at the first place for the specialist and member of the Association.
3.2 The specialist and member of the Association recognize the importance of these relationships for the effectiveness of therapy and are aware of the strength and influence of the addiction issues inherent in this situation. A specialist and a member of the Association will act in accordance with this understanding and will not exploit or abuse the client financially, sexually, emotionally, politically or ideologically for his own advantage, or for his own needs, or for the benefit of any other person or institution.
3.3 The specialist and the member of the Association are aware of situations when other relations or external obligations conflict with the interests of the client. When such a conflict of interests arises, it is the responsibility of the Specialist and a member of the Association to bring it into the field of therapeutic relations and take the necessary steps to resolve this issue.
3.4 Physical contact (in the framework of body-oriented therapy or exercises from it) in the therapeutic process is focused on the well-being of the client only and requires special professional reflection and qualification. Talking about physical contact in a therapeutic relationship, the consent of the client is most important.
3.5 The specialist and member of the Association recognizes that a parallel relationship, such as an employee, close friend, relative, neighbor or partner, is incompatible with the therapeutic process.
3.6 The specialist and member of the Association acknowledges that all work with the client is considered confidential, and must be regulated in accordance with paragraphs 3K below.
3.К.1 The storage of personal data of a client, including records of their history, is regulated in accordance with relevant national legal and professional regulatory documents.
3.К.2 A specialist and a member of the Association ensures that personal information that allows to identify the client is not transmitted through cross networks of confidential relationships.
3.К.3 When a Specialist and a member of the Association wants to use the specific information received by working with a client for a lecture or publication, he must obtain the prior permission from the client and maintain strict anonymity regarding names and data, using well-masked descriptions, a procedural approach, the names of other colleagues as authors, so that the client cannot be identified.
3.К.4 Using video, audio recordings and photographs requires the permission of the client or the written permission of his legal representative.
3.К.5 If, according to national standards, the client is considered underaged, the Specialist and a member of the Association apply all the above recommendations in therapeutic relationships. In addition, the Specialist and member of the Association are subject to national legal and professional standards of child custody in cases of abuse or other serious forms of insufficient care.
Contract and Advertising Provisions
3.7 Both Specialist and a member of the Association and the client are responsible for any agreement reached,whether it is concluded in writing or verbally, and nd must be regulated in accordance with paragraph 3D below.
3.Д.1 The specialist and member of the Association is clear about his competence, skills and experience in the process of discussing a therapeutic contract with a potential client.
3.Д.2 Contracts with clients, whether written or verbal, should be clear about the cost, terms of payment, meeting place, suspensions and cancellations of sessions by the client or therapist.
3.Д.3 A specialist and a member of the Association must guarantee that during a therapeutic relationship no one’s personal intervention, principles and evaluations, as well as the opinions and interests of people from the client’s surroundings, regardless of how close they are to the client, will not affect the therapeutic process.
3.Д.4 Any changes to the conditions listed above will require discussion and changes to the original contract.
3.8 Any advertising activities of a Specialist and a member of the Association are regulated by both the national standards and codes of those psychotherapeutic schools of which the Association members are representatives, and the ethical principles that underlie the therapeutic process of eating disorders described in Section 3P below.
3.Р.1 Any advertising activity of a Specialist and a member of the Association excludes any kind of evaluatin or judgments regarding body weight and size, as well as suggestions for developing skills and ways to control them in any direction, separate from direct work with an eating disorder.
3.Р.2 Advertising will come down to a description of the services offered and the qualifications of the people who offer these services.
3.Р.3 Advertising will not include evidence, contain comparisons, or in any way suggest that the services offered are more effective than the services of other colleagues or organizations.
3.Р.3 Ads will not contain::
– false, falsified, incorrect statements, as well as an incorrect interpretation of a fact or statement, which may be misleading;
– statements that intentionally lead to false or unjustified expectations of favorable results or statements that may cause such expectations with high probability;
– statements intentionally appealing to the fears, anxieties of the patient, as well as supporting beliefs that are a symptom of an eating disorder.
– statements that appeal to emotions arising from the inability to receive the services offered — or statements that are likely to be so;
3.Р.4 Advertising activities and announcements regarding group and individual formats should contain a clear statement of their purpose and a clear description of the experience that will be provided in a professional, scientifically appropriate, ethically acceptable and informative manner. This experience cannot contradict the values of a specialist working with Eating Disorders, and therefore, exploit anxiety and / or support the direct implementation of such a disorder in the form of weight loss training / weight loss marathons, etc.
3.Р.5 The education and qualifications of the team members of such a training or project should be made public before the formation of the group, before the start of the training course or other services. Before starting, participants must be aware of the terms of payment and other contract terms.
3.Р.6 If a specialist and a member of the Association gives advice during a public lecture or demonstration event, in an article in a newspaper or magazine, in a radio or television program, he uses the latest information in his field and applies the highest level of professional judgment.
3.Р.8 A specialist and a member of the Association does not participate in official or private activities that may harm the reputation and ethics of his professional behavior, the role and reputation of the profession itself and is in conflict with such opinions and actions of his colleagues.
4D Procedures for dealing with complaints
4. If a Specialist and a member of the Association becomes aware of the colleague’s behavior, which may undermine the Association’s reputation and / or profession, he must confront his unprofessional (unethical) actions and / or report them to the Ethics Committee.
4D Complaint Procedure
4D.1. The following procedures should create a forum for communication, discussion, investigation, reconciliation and compensation, in which all members involved in the complaint can receive support and be heard. There are two potentially ways to deal with complaints:
– a formal complaint and an informal meeting between the applicant and the member against whom the complaint is filed, with the participation of an independent person(s) to facilitate the process;
– a formal complaint and the establishment of a three-member Complaints Commission that deal with this complaint.
4D.1.2 Скарга повинна бути подана, наскільки можливо, швидко після події, що стала основою для скарги.
4D.1.3 The person against whom the complaint is filed must be a member of the Association at the time of the violation of the Code of Ethics and / or Professional Practices. Individual members cannot refuse their membership during the complaint or appeal process.
4D.1.4 The Ethics Committee is not responsible for Complaints regarding legal, statutory, or commercial contractual issues.
4D.1.5 If there is obvious evidence of a serious professional violation of conduct and / or a serious criminal offense, information about which will be obtained from the professional themselves or from another source, then a formal complaint procedure and a complaints commission will be created.
Complaint filing Algorithm:
4.D.1.6. The applicant submits their complaint to the head of the Ethics Committee. They will register the complaint and confirm receiving of this complaint to the applicant and the member against whom the complaint has been filed within 14 working days.
4.D.1.7. The head of the Ethics Committee, as a first step, will welcome the applicant entering into an informal dialogue with the member of the Association who has been filed a complaint in order to find a mutually satisfactory agreement to resolve the situation.
4.D.1.8. If by any chance such an informal dialogue is impossible, or does not bring a solution, the same member will strongly recommend two mediators who are members of the Association, and whose candidates are acceptable to both parties, to be appointed to mediate in the discussion between the parties.
4.D.1.9. If by any chance that mediation is rejected or does not bring a decision, the head of the committee appoints a Complaints Commission, containing three members, to consider this specific complaint. The Head will make every effort to make a Commission that will be as unbiased as possible. The process of creating a commission has 21 working days. If the possibilities of the members or other practical considerations stands against the creation of the Commission, this should be announced and then an additional 21 working days should be provided to continue the process.
4.D.1.9.1. The complaint review commission consists of 3 members of the Association, where one place should be taken by the co-founder of the Association. The maximum possible attention will be paid to ensuring that there is no conflict of close personal or professional boundaries.
4.D.1.10. The Complaints Commission will determine as soon as possible whether the complaint contains sufficient grounds for a formal complaint and / or signs of violation or non-compliance with provisions A, B, C of this code. The Complaints Commission will notify of its assessment and conclusion within 14 days.
4.D.1.11. Possible conclusions from the Commission are as follows:
– that the issue has been resolved to the reasonable satisfaction of all parties;
– that no further action will be taken;
– that the complaint is not satisfied in any respect;
– that the complaint is satisfied.
4.D.1.11.1. If the complaint is satisfied, then the conclusion should contain specific instructions on whether all the provisions of the alleged violations of the Code of Ethics and Practice were satisfied.
4.D.1.12. The complaints committee may recommend some further sanctions if the complaint is satisfied in any respect:
– further supervision,
– the member’s practice review,
– further education,
– issuing a formal warning and requiring the member to stop a certain type of work.
4.D.1.13. Suspension or termination of membership may be recommended in case of serious professional conduct violations.
The complaints commission should indicate the time frame within which sanctions should be implemented. The Ethics Committee is responsible for monitoring this process and reporting to the Association when sanctions are implemented.
D.2 Appeal Procedure
D.2.1. The member against whom the complaint is filed, as well as the complainant, may appeal the decision of the Complaints Commission. The decision to appeal must be sent to the head of the Ethics Committee within 15 business days after receiving the report from the Complaints Commission.
D.2.2. The appellant must provide clear and convincing reasons why it is necessary to support his opinion that one or both of the following conditions have been met:
– the result of the complaint does not correspond to the situation.
– that the published complaint management procedures were not followed, which led to the adoption of an impartial decision in some way.
D.2.3. The appeal is considered by the Appeal Coordinator, whose task is to determine whether there are fair grounds for an appeal / Appeal Coordinator is an independent member of the Association, who is appointed by voting during a meeting of members.
D.2.4. The appeal procedure involves the same commission structure as the complaint procedure, but with a different co-founder and composition of such a commission.
C.2.9. The decision of the Appeals Commission will be communicated in writing to the head of the Ethics Committee and announced at the next meeting of the Association to all its members. This decision will be final and binding on all parties concerned.