Download the SAAJA Code of Ethics
CODE OF ETHICS
The spirit in which these ethical standards and procedures are formulated seeks to protect the best interests of analysands and analysts. In dealing with any alleged breach of ethics or grievance, every effort will be made to heal rather than to punish.
Analysands come to us in their vulnerability and place their trust in us. It is our responsibility, as Jungian analysts, not to repeat the traumas of the past but rather to provide a safe, protected space where those wounds can begin to be healed.
The analytic relationship is a human encounter of a particular kind, in which the symbolic contents can be held, experienced, and examined rather than acted upon and thus made concrete. Dealing in this symbolic way with deep material carries a strong regressive pull for both participants. Hence it is crucially important that the analyst keeps the boundaries of the container firm. For an analyst to take on a relationship to an analysand other than an analytic one violates the container and the very essence of the analytic process, and has the potential, ultimately for violating the analysand’s Self.
In the interest of maintaining an atmosphere that seeks to further the development of the analysand rather than to diminish or harm her/him, the following standards are adopted:
For the purposes of this Code of Ethics and the Ethics and Grievance Committee Procedures, the terms:
- Analyst – refers to analysts, training candidates and any psychotherapist affiliated with SAAJA.
- Analysand – refers to any person in analysis, psychotherapy or supervision.
- SAAJA – Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts.
- Jungian Community refers to all SAAJA members. Public Programme Committee members and staff and volunteers of the C.G. Jung Centre.
1. ANALYST/ANALYSAND RELATIONSHIPS
A. General Principle of Self-scrutiny
An analyst is ethically responsible for knowing the danger signals which indicate that s/he seriously is tempted to violate the container (for example, falling in love with an analysand) and to seek help either through professional advice or the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee, in turn, is responsible for operating not in a spirit of blame (either of the complainant or the complainee) but of prevention and helping so that the experience becomes ultimately constructive.
B. Sexual Relationships
Sexual intimacy with an analysand is unethical. Terminating a therapeutic relationship in order to have a sexual relationship with an analysand is also unethical. An analyst who feels impelled to these behaviours should seek consultation.
It can be argued that in many cases transferences and counter-transferences are never fully resolved. Thus the analytic relationship may endure for the life of the participants. This possibility should be considered whenever an analyst considers developing a sexual relationship with an ex-analysand.
An analyst shall not use physical violence against an analysand. In exceptional circumstances, however, it may be necessary to physically restrain an analysand. Verbal abuse of an analysand is unethical.
D. Dual Relationships
A dual relationship is one which exists both inside and outside the confines of the professional relationship, and as such may be subject to the conscious or unconscious exploitation of transference feelings. Thus a dual relationship with an analysand could raise serious ethical questions, and if found to involve exploitation could form the basis for a finding of unethical conduct.
Since after terminating transference/counter-transference feelings may continue to raise the possibility of unconscious exploitation, one should use discretion when social or professional situations bring one into contact with a former analysand, and one should exercise extraordinary care in allowing a personal or business relationship to develop with a former analysand.
The following are examples of dual relationships which should be approached with caution:
- Financial relationships other than as regards professional fees.
- Social relationships.
- Social relationships with family members of current analysands.
Violations of confidentiality are unethical. All identifiable analysand material is regarded as confidential, but may be shared with others only under one or more of the following circumstances:
- With adequate prior written consent of the analysand, and only within the scope of the consent.
- Careful attention to confidentiality must also be observed in the presentation of material at clinical seminars, in supervision sessions and in other professional discussions.
- When the law requires that confidentiality be breached (as in requirement to report child abuse, requirement to warn, by court order etc.)
It is unethical to continue to practice when seriously or persistently impaired by the use of alcohol or other substances, or when one has a physical or psychological illness which would significantly impair one’s ability to practice. It is incumbent on an impaired analyst to seek help.
G. Responsibilities to Analysands:
- An Analyst shall refrain from claiming to possess qualifications which s/he does not possess.
- If the analyst judges that medical advice, consultation or possible treatment is needed, s/he shall inform the analysand. If the analysand cannot implement this medical contact then the analyst must ask for her/his consent to contact a relevant doctor.
2. TEACHER/STUDENT, SUPERVISOR/SUPERVISEE, CONTROL ANALYST/CONTROL ANALYSAND RELATIONSHIPS.
A. It is unethical to engage in a sexual relationship with a current student, supervisee, or control analysand. It is misuse of power and a violation of trust for a person in greater authority to become sexually involved with someone s/he is to evaluate, grade, or promote.
Once the teaching/supervisory relationship is technically over, it cannot be assumed that all projections, transferences, and feelings about unequal power will automatically vanish, or that one’s responsibility as a teacher has ended. Pursuing a sexual relationship with an ex-student/supervisee/control analysand has to be held and evaluated in the light of these dynamics and responsibilities.
B. Any member of SAAJA offering supervision in psychotherapy must make clear whether s/he acts in a personal capacity, or on behalf of the organization.
3. RESPONSIBILITY IN REPORTING TO AND APPEARING BEFORE THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
A. Responsibility in addressing unprofessional conduct of a colleague.
When a member of the Jungian community is concerned about the apparent unprofessional behaviour of a colleague, s/he should first talk with the colleague to gain a clearer understanding; then try to persuade the colleague to stop the behaviour in question, and, if necessary, to seek consultation or further personal analysis. If the concerned member cannot do this directly and/or needs to maintain confidentiality, s/he can contact the Chair of Ethics and Grievance Committee. Whenever an analyst has clear evidence of a colleague’s misconduct, it is his/her responsibility to inform the Ethics and Grievance Committee, except in cases where patient confidentiality must be maintained. In the latter situation the patient may be given a copy of the Code of Ethics.
B. Responsibility to appear before the Ethics Committee
When an analyst, candidate or other psychotherapist affiliated with SAAJA is called on to respond to a complaint or a grievance in order to clarify a possible grievance or breach of ethics, refusal to meet with the Ethics and Grievance Committee and co-operate in good faith, could itself be the basis for a separate charge of unethical or unprofessional behaviour. And thus could be grounds for Committee actions, including recommendation of suspension or expulsion.
NB. This ethical code applies to offences committed after its adoption. It supplements but does not supplant the codes of the respective professional associations to which the individual members of this community belong. For complaints about possible violations that occurred before the adoption of the ethical code, the person about whom the complaint is made will be held to the standards then in force under her/his professional licence.