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Code of Ethics of the MIGIS Institute

Code of Ethics of the MIGIS Institute

  1. This Code of Ethics and professional practice (hereinafter referred to as the "MIGIS Code") is the current code.
  2. We acknowledge that this MIGIS Code includes ethical components of the norms:
  • UPU (Ukrainian psychoanalytical union);
  • EAGT(European Association for Gestalt Therapy);
  • GPTIM (Gestalt Psychotherapy Institute of Malta);
  • Code of Ethics of the Psychologist of Ukraine, adopted at the First Constituent Congress of the Society of Psychologists of Ukraine on December 20, 1990.
  1. This Code of MIGIS is mandatory for all members of MIGIS.
  2. This Code of MIGIS is intended for:
  • solving professional tasks in accordance with ethical standards;
  • protection legitimate rights of people, with which psychotherapists engage in professional interaction;
  • client’s protection from unethical usage of psychotherapy by psychotherapists or leading groups;
  • setting standards for its members;
  • observance of the norms of professional behavior of a psychotherapist;
  • assistance for more successful execution of the professional activity by the members of MIGIS;
  • for usage it as a basis for resolving conflict issues.
  1. The Code of MIGIS consists of two parts:
  • Code of Ethic;
  • Code of conduct.
  1. MIGIS has appropriate Complaints and Appeals procedures that can be used in case of impossibility to respect for the results informally. Decisions of the relevant procedures may result in sanctions, including suspension or cancellation of membership.
  1. Members of MIGIS must comply with fundamental values and general principles of gestalts therapy, which include respect, encouragement and are guided by respect and rights development and people’s dignity, responsibility, competence and integrity.
  2. Relationship between the client and the gestalts therapist has fundamental importance for gestalts therapy. Members of MIGIS acknowledge that they are the recipients of meaningful projections, and they themselves can project onto their clients unconsciously.   
  3. Members of MIGIS must not manipulate or use their clients emotionally, sexually, financially, politically or in any other way for your own benefit or for the benefit of others.
  4. Members of  MIGISmust:
  • adhere to a friendly and non-judgmental attitude towards the client;
  • be open to their clients about their own qualifications, conditions and working methods, and this should be discussed before starting therapy;
  • ensure the confidentiality and security of therapy and privacy;
  • receive regular and appropriate therapeutic and supervisory support.
  1. The members are required to use personal judgment and/or consult their supervisor when making decisions regarding conflicts of interest between the client and others.
  1. Responsibility of Members towards clients. Contract with clients:
  • The contract concluded between the gestalt therapist and the client is mandatory for both parties, whether it be a written or oral agreement.
  • Members of MIGIS are responsible for informing clients about payment, terms, place, breaks and rescheduling of sessions (by clients or therapist). The duration of therapy and its termination, as well as the issues of transferring clients, are discussed with clients, and the decision is made jointly.
  • Members must provide information about their qualifications, experience and membership in MIGIS. They must demonstrate that they comply with the Institute's Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct and provide access to this information at the request of clients. Interns should inform all potential clients of their professional status in the first interview.
  • Members of MIGIS are responsible for informing clients if they become aware of any relevant conflict of interest at the first interview or at any stage of therapy.
  • Any recording, filming and observation at therapeutic sessions are discussed and agreed with the client. All records must be kept in the secure conditions to ensure confidentiality.
  1. Clients privacy and security.
  • The member of MIGIS must inform the client about the confidentiality rule. The death or disappearance of a client does not release the member of MIGIS rom the obligation to maintain professional secrecy.
  • Working conditions should be organized in such a way as to ensure confidentiality.
  • In the case of medical aspects of the client's condition, if there are exceptional circumstances, with the permission of the client, members of MIGIS should discuss them with a person of appropriate professional qualifications.
  • Members of MIGIS must maintain confidentiality during and after therapy. Disclosure of information can be made only with the written consent of the client.
  • Information obtained by the therapist in the course of work is not subject to conscious or accidental disclosure, and in a situation where it is necessary to transfer it to third parties, it must be presented in a form that excludes its usage against the interests of the client, the client's identity must be protected by changing biographical or other identifying information.
  • The presence of third parties during the work requires the prior consent of the client and the persons responsible for him (in case the client has not reached the age of 16). The client has the right to withdraw his consent at any time.
  • Members must not disclose client information in collegiate relationships such as supervision and must refrain from commenting on their clients under any circumstances.
  • If the members of MIGIS are unable to go to an appointment due to illness or other unforeseen events, then they should, if possible, take appropriate measures to take care of the client.
  • Members of MIGIS are responsible for ensuring conditions for the proper management and storage of confidential files and electronic recordings of sessions, carrying out all procedures necessary to close the practice (in the event of a serious disability or death) in a responsible, ethical and sensitive manner.
  • If the client is a legal minor, the member of MIGIS must inform the appropriate social services in the event of client abuse or serious lack of medical care.
  1. 3. Client autonomy.
  • Members of MIGIS must work in such a way as to increase the level of self-support, responsibility of choice and change in clients.
  • The member of MIGIS in the course of his professional activities must not allow discrimination (restrictions on constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual) based on social status, age, gender, nationality, religion, intelligence and any other differences.
  • Members of MIGIS must ensure the progress of therapy.
  • Members of MIGIS are responsible for respecting the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship in any circumstance where the client and therapist meet outside the context of the therapeutic relationship.
  • Members of MIGIS must not use the client financially, politically, emotionally, sexually, physically or in any other way.
  • Both client and therapist are responsible for terminating therapy. In case of disagreement, the therapist facilitates the end of therapy as a sign of respect for the autonomy of the client
  • If there is no progress in the work of the member of MIGIS with the client, then he must facilitate the termination of therapy, inform the client with due respect and help him change the therapist.
  1. 4. Competence.
  • Members of MIGIS must carry out their practical activities competently and in compliance with ethical requirements. They must constantly improve their professional level and follow the scientific achievements in the field of psychotherapy.  They must limit their practice to those areas in respect of which they can be shown and proven to have gained sufficient knowledge and experience.
  • In case of an overwhelming task, members of MIGIS transfer the client to another qualified specialist or help the person who asked for help to establish contact with a professional who can provide adequate assistance.
  • Members of MIGIS must actively monitor their limitations through therapy, supervision, and continuous learning. If they encounter doubts and difficulties, they must make appropriate referrals to clients or establish cooperation with other professionals and institutions, if necessary.
  • Members of MIGIS must not work with clients when their ability is impaired due to emotional difficulties, illness, alcohol, medication, burnout, or any other reason. They should make appropriate redirects to clients if necessary.
  • Trainee members must consult with trainers before beginning therapeutic work.
  • Members of MIGIS must take responsible steps to ensure their own physical safety while on the job.
  1. 5. Advertisising.
  • Advertising must provide reliable information about the possibilities of providing services and about the qualifications of members and must not mislead people.
  • Trainees must not apply for the status of a qualified member of MIGIS, which they have not yet achieved. Members of MIGIS must not describe themselves as affiliated with an organization in a way that inaccurately implies their support or permission from that organization.
  • Reviews must not be included in promotional materials. Assertions must not be made in such a way that the services provided are superior to those that can actually be provided.
  1. Responsibility to colleagues and other professional groups.
  • Members of MIGIS must conduct themselves in such a way as to promote public confidence in therapy. Any mention of Gestalt therapists or other professional groups must be respectful.
  • If the member of MIGIS expresses concern about misconduct by another MIGIS member, they should seek to discuss it with each other. If this violation cannot be eliminated independently, informally, in a dialogue, then the member of MIGIS who is expressing concern must contact the Ethics Committee in accordance with the Complaints Procedure.
  • Members of MIGIS must not accept clients who are already clients of another therapist until both therapists agree that this is possible.
  • The work of the members of MIGIS is based on the right and duty to show respect for other specialists and their methods of work, regardless of their own theoretical and methodological preferences.
  • Members of MIGIS must refrain from public assessments and remarks about the means and methods of work of colleagues in the presence of clients.
  • It is inadmissible to disseminate information that may damage the professional authority of colleagues or their human dignity..
  • If an ethical violation cannot be resolved informally, a decision is made on the basis of the relevant Complaints and Appeals Procedures.
  • The actions of MIGIS members who conduct and organize events that are inconsistent with the leadership of MIGIS and bring moral and material losses to other members of MIGIS and the community are condemned.
  1. Responsibility in legislation.
  • The member of MIGIS is informed about the current national legislation regarding the professional activities and practices of the institution and its subjects, and is attentive to the observance of the relevant legal articles.
  • Members of MIGIS must inform the leadership of MIGIS if they have taken part in any criminal proceedings or if they are the subject of any proceedings brought against them in connection with their work as a therapist..
  • As soon as members of MIGIS become aware of high treason, terrorism, drug trafficking or any other illegal activities during therapy, they are required to inform the police. Legal advices under such circumstances must be taken immediately.
  • Members of MIGIS are required by law to provide information about clients only in court.
  1. The role of members in society.
  • Legislation: Gestalt therapists are aware of current national legislation and comply with relevant legal acts.
  • The member of MIGIS is obliged to promote the achievements of Gestalt therapy professionally and accurately in accordance with the actual state at the moment.
  • The activity of psychotherapists is aimed at creating conditions in society that improve, maintain and restore psychological health and, in general, contribute to the maturity and development of a person.
  • When engaging in research in relation to therapeutic work, members of MIGIS are required to conduct it in a respectful and ethical manner.
  • Political Aspects of Therapeutic Work: the member is aware of the social and political implications of their work and the social and political aspects that affect the context of their clients.
  • Therapeutic training: the goal of therapeutic training is to inform the study of the theoretical, methodological and technical developments of psychotherapy in general, and Gestalt therapy in particular, in an objective and understandable way.
  • MIGISguarantees the quality of preparation in terms of the competence of those, who leads and supervises programs, and coherence of Programs, as well as it provides internal control to check the quality of preparation of the host and participants of the Programs, using appropriate opportunities.
  • Ethical principles must be followed by all the members of
  • The institute controls and guarantees adequate personal, mentoring, clinical and scientific standards of coaching staff, provides professional exchange of information and experience among therapists, their supervision, further advanced training and development.
  • If the gestalt therapist is in the conflict between various and several ethical positions or requirements and can’t solve this conflict using intervision and supervision, they turn to the Ethics Committee of institute to get necessary help or consultation.

Introduction to the MIGIS Complaints and Appeals Procedures.

  • The procedures specify the rules and processes by which decisions are made for non-compliance with the MIGIS Code of Ethics and professional practice.
  • In case of serious professional misconduct by the members of MIGIS, the Complaints Procedure is used.
  • The Appeals Procedure is used to appeal decisions that have been made under the Complaints Procedure.
  • Appropriate procedures are applied if someone has evidence of serious violations of professional practice, non-compliance with ethical and professional standards which are set out in the MIGIS Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, or there is evidence of serious violations of contracts, agreements or ethical conduct not related to therapeutic practice.
  • If the member of MIGIS expresses concern about misconduct by another MIGIS member, they should seek to discuss it with each other. If this violation cannot be eliminated independently, informally, in a dialogue, then the decision is made on the basis of the Complaints Procedure.
  • Each member of MIGIS who is involved in the Complaints Procedure process is expected to maintain the confidentiality of this situation. These measures are applied to protect the interests of everyone involved in this process.

Compliance with the MIGIS Complaints Procedure.

  1. The Director of MIGIS delegates authority to the Chairman of the MIGIS Ethics Committee to manage the Complaints Procedure. The Director of MIGIS will ratify the result as soon as the Procedure is completed.
  2. The Chairman of the MIGIS Ethics Committee must inform the Executive Director of MIGIS about the results of all stages of the procedure. The Chairman of the Ethics Committee may also consult external consultants at any stage of the procedure.
  3. In case of filing a complaint against a member of the MIGIS Ethics Committee, the Director of MIGIS is responsible for the implementation of the procedure. And in this case, the Director of MIGIS and the Executive Director of MIGIS replaces the Ethics Committee.
  4. A complaint can only be filed against a member of MIGIS if they were such at the time of the alleged violation.
  5. Complaints must be forwarded to the committee as soon as possible after discovery of the violation. Complaints relating to events that occurred more than three years ago will not be considered by the Chairman of the Ethics Committee.
  6. Complaints regarding legal, legislative or commercial violations by MIGIS Members are not within the competence of the Ethics Committee.
  7. MIGIS may seek legal advice regarding a complaint.
  8. Complaints must be sent in writing to the chairman of the Ethics Committee. Written acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint must be sent within two weeks of receipt.
  9. The entire procedure from the receipt of a written complaint must take no more than three months, not taking into account the appeal.
  10. Those who are responsible for managing the complaints procedure must maintain the confidentiality of all materials relating to the case at hand.
  11. The resignation of the member of MIGIS who is involved in this process is not allowed in the process of considering a complaint.
  12. The Complaint process can be emotionally challenging for both parties. Where the complaint is not about professional negligence, there cannot be one right decision, but a path must be found to a solution that respects both parties.
  13. The complaint must include a clear statement of the misconduct and an assessment of the behavior of the MIGIS member complained of by another MIGIS member. The complaint must also include relevant facts and clear evidence.
  14. The Chairman of the Ethics Committee notifies the member of MIGIS of the complaint against him. The member of MIGIS against whom the complaint has been filed must provide a written response to the complaint within two weeks.
  15. The Ethics Committee holds a preliminary meeting, where a decision is made on further consideration of this Complaint:
  16. complaint cannot be taken into consideration;
  17. the complaint cannot be upheld, but the involved parties in this Complaint can try to resolve this issue in an informal way through discussions and talks.
  18. There is sufficient evidence to support the consideration of the complaint under the Procedure;
  19. The complainant and the complainant must be informed of the decision of the Committee in writing within one week after the meeting.
  20. The Chairman of the Ethics Committee may, in some cases, appoint one or more persons to investigate the case. The Ethics Committee sets a deadline for the submission of recommendations from designated persons in a given case.
  21. The complainant and the one being complained about must be present at the meeting of the Ethics Committee at which the decision on the case is made. Each party has the right to be accompanied by a person of their choice. If the complainant did not appear at the meeting without good reason, then the complaint may be rejected. If the member of MIGIS, against whom the complaint was filed, did not appear at the meeting without good reason, then the suspension or cancellation of MIGIS membership is possible.
  22. After the meeting, the Ethics Committee makes a written report on the decisions. A copy of the report is sent to both parties.
  23. The report explains the nature of the complaint, the course of the investigation process and the decision for both parties.

Types of decisions:

  1. the dispute has been settled, to an acceptable decision by all parties.
  2. no further action is taken;
  3. the complaint is not upheld in any aspect.
  4. the complaint is upheld in one or more respects. Then the report must include specific statements concerning each of the paragraphs, on which the complaint is upheld. The following sanctions can also be recommended:
  • Additional supervision;
  • Observation of the practical work of a member of MIGIS;
  • Advanced training;
  • Official warning and mandatory compliance requirement that a member of MIGIS stops working in a certain way.
  • Suspension or expulsion from MIGIS membership may only be recommended in the event of gross professional misconduct, such as active sexual harassment by a client.

After the ratification of the decision by the Director of MIGIS, the Ethics Committee is responsible for monitoring the implement of the decisions and must report to the Executive Director of MIGIS, when the sanctions are implemented.

  1. If one of the parties would like to file an appeal, it must submit it in writing to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee within four weeks after notification of the decision on the Complaints procedure.
  2. The party making the motion to appeal must provide valid reasons and additional information that will support its appeal. The Ethics Committee shall decide on this basis whether there are sufficient grounds for granting leave to appeal.

 Leave to appeal is generally granted if:

  1. new evidence has emerged that could have influenced the conclusions and decisions of the Ethics Committee if they had been provided during the consideration of the complaint.
  2. there was at least one significant deviation from the complaints procedure.
  3. one of the parties is able to provide strong grounds for arguing that the recommended sanctions were inappropriate.
  4. If leave to appeal is granted, then the Chairman of the Ethics Committee convenes an Appeal Panel of three colleagues who are not involved in the case at hand.
  5. The Appeal Panel meets to review the complaint with the new written evidence presented to them.
  6. The Appeal Panel of MIGIS gives its opinion and recommendations provide them to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee and Director of MIGIS. In case of ratification of this decision and recommendations by the Director of MIGIS, the Chairman of the MIGIS Ethics Committee sends a copy of the conclusions and recommendations to the appellant and implements the decision of the MIGIS Appeals Panel, which is final.
  7. The decision of The Appeals team must be transferred to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee and Executive Director of MIGIS in written form during seven working days.

7. All the evidence and other written documents and evidence of appeal must be kept in accordance with legal regulations.

Tasks of the Committee :

  • setting of ethics standards and professional conduct for the Members of
  • resolution of conflict issues in accordance with the Procedures for Complaints and Appeals.

Chairman of the Committee: Zaharova Tatyana

Members of the Committee:  Prygunova Svitlana, Vorobeva Yuliya, Velikozhon Olga