BACP  >  Ethics and Standards

Building an appropriate relationship

31. We will usually provide clients with the information they ought to know in advance in order to make an informed decision about the services they want to receive and how these services will be delivered.

32. We will give careful consideration to how we reach agreement with clients and contract with them about the terms on which our services will be provided. Attention will be given to:

  • a. reaching an agreement or contract that respects each client’s expressed needs and choices
  • b. communicating terms and conditions of the agreement or contract in ways easily understood by the client and appropriate to their context
  • c. stating any reasonably foreseeable limitations to a client’s confidentiality or privacy
  • d. providing the client with a record or easy access to a record of what has been agreed
  • e. keeping a record of what has been agreed and of any changes or clarifications when they occur

33. We will establish and maintain appropriate professional and personal boundaries in our relationships with clients by ensuring that:

  • a. these boundaries are consistent with the aims of working together and beneficial to the client
  • b. any dual or multiple relationships will be avoided where the risks of harm to the client outweigh any benefits to the client
  • c. reasonable care is taken to separate and maintain a distinction between our personal and professional presence on social media where this could result in harmful dual relationships with clients
  • d. the impact of any dual or multiple relationships will be periodically reviewed in supervision and discussed with clients when appropriate. They may also be discussed with any colleagues or managers in order to enhance the integrity of the work being undertaken

34. We will not have sexual relationships with or behave sexually towards our clients, supervisees or trainees.

35. We will avoid having sexual relationships with or behaving sexually towards people whom we know to be close to our clients in order to avoid undermining our clients’ trust in us.

36. We will not exploit or abuse our clients in any way: financially, emotionally, physically, sexually or spiritually.

37. We recognise that conflicts of interest and issues of power or dependence may continue after our working relationship with a client, supervisee or trainee has formally ended. We will exercise caution before entering into personal or business relationships with former clients and expect to be professionally accountable if the relationship becomes detrimental to the former client or the standing of the profession.

38. We will periodically review each client’s progress and, when practicable, seek our client’s views on how we are working together.