Extract from the Ethical Framework

21. We will respect our clients’ privacy and dignity.

22. We will respect our clients as people by providing services that:

a. endeavour to demonstrate equality, value diversity and ensure inclusion for all clients
b. avoid unfairly discriminating against clients or colleagues
c. accept we are all vulnerable to prejudice and recognise the importance of self-inquiry, personal feedback and professional development
d. work with issues of identity in open-minded ways that respect the client’s autonomy and be sensitive to whether this is viewed as individual or relational autonomy
e. challenge assumptions that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other and will not attempt to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity or seek to suppress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity
f. make adjustments to overcome barriers to accessibility, so far as is reasonably possible, for clients of any ability wishing to engage with a service
g. recognise when our knowledge of key aspects of our client’s background, identity or lifestyle is inadequate and take steps to inform ourselves from other sources where available and appropriate, rather than expecting the client to teach us
h. are open-minded with clients who appear similar to ourselves or possess familiar characteristics so that we do not suppress or neglect what is distinctive in their lives.

23. We will take the law concerning equality, diversity and inclusion into careful consideration and strive for a higher standard than the legal minimum.

24. We will challenge colleagues or others involved in delivering related services whose views appear to be unfairly discriminatory and take action to protect clients, if necessary – see 11.

25. We will do all that we reasonably can to ensure that our clients are participating on a voluntary basis. Hesitant clients or clients who feel under pressure from other people or agencies to work with us will have their reservations acknowledged and taken into account in how services are offered.

26. We will work with our clients on the basis of their informed consent and agreement. We recognise that exceptional situations may arise where we may need to prioritise the safety of the client or others over our client’s wishes and confidentiality – see 10.

27. Careful consideration will be given to working with children and young people that:

a. takes account of their capacity to give informed consent, considering whether it is appropriate to seek the consent of others who have parental responsibility for the young person, and their best interests
b. demonstrates knowledge and skills about ways of working that are appropriate to the young person’s development and how relationships are formed
c. demonstrates a sound knowledge of the law relevant to working with children and young people and their human rights
d. is informed about the current culture and customs that affect parenting/care giving and how children and young people interact with each other and other significant people in their lives.

28. We will give careful consideration to obtaining and respecting the consent of vulnerable adult clients, wherever they have the capacity to give consent, or involving anyone who provides care for these clients when appropriate.

29. Our work with clients will be based on professional partnerships with them that aim to increase their wellbeing, capability and/or performance.

Video transcripts (opens in a new window)


I can see how respecting privacy and dignity apply to medical examinations and treatments but how do they apply to talking therapies?


How can I develop my practice to be more open to the diversity of clients and their experiences?


What is ethically special about children and young people? Aren’t they just adults in development?



Search for Good Practice in Action resources on:

Children and young people

Equality and diversity