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Ethics and professional conduct policy

Section 3:

3.2 A necessary condition for being a good therapist is the need for ‘spare capacity', i.e. sufficient time and extra energy to devote to clients. Therapists need this in order to see clearly what is going on with their patients, to understand them and influence events in a positive direction, wherever possible;

3.3 If the therapist is too pleased, too anxious or too depressed themselves, they have no possibility of developing the capacity to do therapy well. Excessive emotion of any kind is exhausting and uses up the energy needed to be held in reserve in order to observe objectively. If a therapist's emotional life is too strong, they are not in control and therefore unable to work effectively with clients. So doing therapy should not use up everything the therapist has got, nor should there be so many draining demands that they have insufficient resources for doing good therapy.

3.4 Therapists should aim to enjoy doing something else with ease and confidence as a way to develop spare capacity. As people develop competence and confidence in a sport, craft, skill or hobby they take for granted that they can do it well, but do not become vain about achievements. This sense of inner confidence nurtures spare capacity for doing therapy.

3.5 Therapists should continually examine their motives and update their skills.

3.6 Therapists should be conscious of their own beliefs and the effects these may have in the context of their work with patients. This will include taking into account any differences between their own cultural background, gender, race, sexual orientation, beliefs, etc and those of the patient.

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