Play and Creative Arts Therapies - Keeping Trust
The practice of play and creative arts therapies depends on
gaining and honouring the trust of clients. Keeping trust requires:
- Attentiveness to the quality of listening and respect
offered to clients
- Culturally appropriate ways of communicating that are
courteous and clear with respect for privacy and dignity
- Respect for privacy and dignity
- Careful attention to client consent and confidentiality
Specific issues covered below are:
Clients and their carers should be adequately informed about
the nature of the services being offered. Practitioners should obtain
adequately informed consent from the carers or those legally responsible for
the child and clients and respect their right to choose whether to continue or
withdraw from therapy.
Practitioners should ensure that services are normally
delivered on the basis of the client's explicit consent. Reliance on implicit
consent is more vulnerable to misunderstandings and is best avoided unless
there are sound reasons for doing so. Overriding a client's known wishes or
consent is a serious matter that requires commensurate justification.
Practitioners should be prepared to be readily accountable to clients, carers,
colleagues and their professional body, such as PTUK, if they override a
client's known wishes.
Consultation with a supervisor or experienced practitioner
is strongly recommended, whenever this would not cause undue delay.
Situations in which clients pose a risk of causing serious
harm to themselves or others are particularly challenging for the practitioner.
These are situations in which the practitioner should be alert to the
possibility of conflicting responsibilities between those concerning their
client, other people who may be significantly affected, and society generally.
Resolving conflicting responsibilities may require due consideration of the context
in which the service is being provided.
In all cases, the aim should be to ensure for the client a
good quality of care that is as respectful of the client's capacity for self
determination and their trust as circumstances permit.
Working with young people requires specific ethical
awareness and competence. The practitioner is required to consider and assess
the balance between young peoples' dependence on adults and carers and their
progressive development towards acting independently.
Working with children and young people requires careful
consideration of issues concerning their capacity to give consent to receiving
any service independently of someone with parental or legal responsibilities
and the management of confidences disclosed by clients.
Any disclosures should be undertaken in ways that best
protect the client's trust.
Respecting client confidentiality is a fundamental
requirement for keeping trust. The professional management of confidentiality
concerns the protection of personally identifiable and sensitive information
from unauthorised disclosure. Disclosure may be authorised by client consent or
the law. Practitioners should be willing to be accountable to their clients and
to their profession for their management of confidentiality in general and
particularly for any disclosures made without their client's consent.
Practitioners should normally be willing to respond to their
client's and carers’ requests for information about the way that they are
working and any assessment that they may have made. This professional
requirement does not apply if it is considered that imparting this information
would be detrimental to the client or inconsistent with the therapeutic
approach previously agreed with the client. Clients and those legally
responsible for them may have legal rights to this information and these need
to be taken into account.
Practitioners must not abuse their client's trust in order
to gain sexual, emotional, financial or any other kind of personal advantage.
Sexual relations with clients and carers are prohibited. Sexual relations
include intercourse, any other type of sexual activity or sexualised behaviour.
Practitioners should think carefully about, and exercise considerable caution
before, entering into personal or business relationships with former clients,
their carers or those legally responsible for them and should expect to be
professionally accountable if the relationship becomes detrimental to the
client or the standing of the profession.
Practitioners should not allow their professional
relationships with clients to be prejudiced by any personal views they may hold
about lifestyle, gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, beliefs or
Practitioners should be clear about any commitment to be
available to clients and colleagues and honour these commitments.
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