“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” Moiler
“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Donald A. Adams
It is likely that you are lookingon the web, in search of the appropriate person to assist you in your personal journey to wellness. The intention of this article is to support you in knowing that we, as helping and health practitioners, are here as conscious guides. We have standards and codes that aid us in being the best we can for you.
Being accountable and ethical involves striving to incorporate the highest values into one’s work and aspiring to do one’s best in all interactions. It is doing the right thing, in the right manner, for the right reasons, and with the right attitude. It is in knowing, that as helping and health practitioners, we in no way do harm. Being accountable and ethical is being respectful; to respect a person’s privacy, dignity, opinions and natural desire to grow and to heal.
As helping and health practitioners our goals and intentions towards our client’s welfare are paramount. It is imperative for us to understand our own core values and to implement those values in the kindest and most authentic way possible.
In essence, self-accountability is the cornerstone of an ethical and responsible way of treating our clients. It is about who we are as practitioners and as people in our particular practices as well as what we do when no one’s is watching. When we have a well developed sense of self-accountability as professionals and as individuals, we are honest with ourselves, answerable and fully responsible for what we say and do at all times. It is important that we thrive to be the best we can be. Practitioners need to have the ability to look beyond the immediate moment to consider all the consequences and know if we are willing to accept them. It is this capacity for self-accountability that keeps us functioning ethically and responsibly.
Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D., poignantly states, “No matter where you go, there you are.” Therefore, how we are as individuals in our personal lives is truly how we will show up in our practices. Our clients cannot really know if we are competent as healers and helpers by just looking at our licenses and our credentials. Such credentials aid and inform a client on how extensive our training is, and aid your decision as to whether we are the best to serve you in your quest of obtaining your highest goals. It does not tell you if we, the practitioners are successful or ethical. In the State of Colorado, all helping and health practitioners, licensed or unlicensed, must be registered with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA); this department is one of the best supports to you, the client. Anyone may call this department at (303) 894-7766 to learn about the practitioners they are considering. The World Wide Web and the Colorado statutes are additional resources for clients to perform independent research.
The following list of terms refers to actions and behaviors generally considered unethical by professional codes of ethics and accountability:
- Practicing beyond the scope of said practice
- Sexual Misconduct
- Misrepresentation of Educational Status
- Exploiting the Power Differential
- Misleading claims of Claims of Curative Abilities
- Inappropriate advertising
- Dual relationships
- Informed consent which is mandatory in the State of Colorado
Our highest level of accountability and ethical standards means that to serve you best, we have the responsibility to be honest, to be disciplined and to be authentic. It takes courage to maintain openness, fairness and integrity. Understanding and creating an empathetic environment will bring an intimacy, a lessening of tension that will provide a sense of peace and well-being, as well as a sense to you, the client, of being understood and connected.
The following are characteristics of an authentic, accountable, ethical and empathic helping and health practitioner:
We make a distinction between a person and the practices (emotional, behavioral, cognitive and health related practices) that the person has developed. We do not judge the person or label them as “bad” or “flawed” in any way.
We are compassionate and competently empathic.
We are curious, inviting the client to share information about their life and world, without demanding to know.
We are authentic and open without regard to our own vulnerabilities, biases and uncertainties.
We are never sexually inappropriate.
We allow ourselves to care, we let the client know we care, and our caring is unconditional.
We care for ourselves and can admit if we are not the best practitioner for the client and know when to refer to another practitioner.
Therefore, it is in the best interest for you, the client, that we, as helping and health practitioners, are dedicated in bringing you our highest core values; to be the best we can be. We are here to facilitate you in developing the behaviors and actions that you want. We are here to stand by you on your journey to reach your own deepest goals and intentions, knowing that each individual is unique and special; capable of self-healing and self-love. This is a rewarding process for everyone involved, especially so for the right client practitioner partnerships.