Keeping the Trust
The practice of play and creative arts therapies depends on gaining and honouring the trust of clients. Keeping trust requires:
- Attentiveness to the quality of listening and respect offered to clients
- Culturally appropriate ways of communicating that are courteous and clear • respect for privacy and dignity
- Respect for privacy and dignity
- Careful attention to client consent and confidentiality
Specific issues covered below are:
Protection Against Abuse
Intrusion of Personal Views
Clients and their carers should be adequately informed about the nature of the services being offered.
Practitioners should obtain adequately informed consent from the carers or those legally responsible for
the child and clients and respect their right to choose whether to continue or withdraw from therapy.
Practitioners should ensure that services are normally delivered on the basis of the client's explicit
consent. Reliance on implicit consent is more vulnerable to misunderstandings and is best avoided
unless there are sound reasons for doing so. Overriding a client's known wishes or consent is a serious
matter that requires commensurate justification. Practitioners should be prepared to be readily
accountable to clients, carers, colleagues and their professional body, such as PTUK, if they override
a client's known wishes.
Situations in which clients pose a risk of causing serious harm to themselves or others are particularly
challenging for the practitioner. These are situations in which the practitioner should be alert to the
Consultation on Risk
Consultation with a supervisor or experienced practitioner is strongly recommended, whenever this would not cause undue delay.
possibility of conflicting responsibilities between those concerning their client, other people who may
be significantly affected, and society generally. Resolving conflicting responsibilities may require due
consideration of the context in which the service is being provided.
In all cases, the aim should be to ensure for the client a good quality of care that is as respectful of the
client's capacity for self determination and their trust as circumstances permit.
Working with young people requires specific ethical awareness and competence. The practitioner is
required to consider and assess the balance between young peoples' dependence on adults and carers
and their progressive development towards acting independently.
Working with children and young people requires careful consideration of issues concerning their
capacity to give consent to receiving any service independently of someone with parental or legal
responsibilities and the management of confidences disclosed by clients.
Respecting client confidentiality is a fundamental requirement for keeping trust. The professional
management of confidentiality concerns the protection of personally identifiable and sensitive
Any disclosures should be undertaken in ways that best protect the client's trust.
information from unauthorised disclosure. Disclosure may be authorised by client consent or the law.
Practitioners should be willing to be accountable to their clients and to their profession for their
management of confidentiality in general and particularly for any disclosures made without their
Practitioners should normally be willing to respond to their client's and carers’ requests for information about
the way that they are working and any assessment that they may have made. This professional requirement
does not apply if it is considered that imparting this information would be detrimental to the client or
inconsistent with the therapeutic approach previously agreed with the client. Clients and those legally
responsible for them may have legal rights to this information and these need to be taken into account.
Practitioners must not abuse their client's trust in order to gain sexual, emotional, financial or any other
kind of personal advantage. Sexual relations with clients and carers are prohibited. 'Sexual relations
include intercourse, any other type of sexual activity or sexualised behaviour. Practitioners should think
carefully about, and exercise considerable caution before, entering into personal or business relationships
with former clients, their carers or those legally responsible for them and should expect to be professionally
accountable if the relationship becomes detrimental to the client or the standing of the profession.
Practitioners should not allow their professional relationships with clients to be prejudiced by any personal
views they may hold about lifestyle, gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, beliefs or culture.
Practitioners should be clear about any commitment to be available to clients and colleagues and honour
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