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PROFESSIONAL CODE OF ETHICS (As stated at BACP.CO.UK website)
Ethical standards are important in promoting safe and professional counselling and psychotherapy practices.
These are important in order that members deliver a professional level of service that caters for the best interests of their clients, and the public at large. Professional accountability is also key in ensuring public protection and allows the Profession to move forward enjoying the public confidence in the services provided.
It unified and replaced earlier Codes of Ethics and Practice and gives practitioners the opportunity to consider ethical practice in a more mature and professional manner.
At the time of its introduction a series of promotional workshops were run across the United Kingdom. These reflected on the ethos behind the development of the Ethical Framework. Link to Ethical Framework and presentation slides.
All members are bound to abide by the guidelines set out in the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. The Association relies on members of the public as well as members of BACP bringing matters of poor and unethical practice to its attention. Only in so doing, can the Association act in order to consider any matters of complaint and ultimately to protect members of the public and the reputation of counselling and psychotherapy.
BACP does have a formal Professional Conduct Procedure binding upon all members which is available to a person seeking or using the services of a member, or by another member who has reason to believe that there has been a true breach of the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice. The Association encourages complainants to attempt to remedy their differences before formally bringing the matter to its attention. In the case of organisational members BACP encourages complainants to utilise the internal procedures of the organisation.
When attempting to resolve the situation it should be addressed within a reasonable time frame and you may wish to take into account that a complaint submitted to BACP needs to be received correctly formulated. However, where resolution is not possible or appropriate given the specific circumstances of a complaint, the matter can be brought directly to BACP’s attention, but the complainant must give details as to why it was not possible to resolve it by any other means.
The ‘Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy’ (EFGPCP) details the standard expected of a member since its introduction on 1 April 2002. If your complaint, or portion of your complaint, relates to a period prior to April 2002, the standards by which a member will be accountable are outlined in the relevant Codes of Ethics and Practice. When writing the complaint one will need to give a detailed account of the action or in action, of the Member Complained Against. While you do not have to cross-reference it to the EFGPCP or detail the clauses in the Codes of Ethics and Practice you believe have been breached, you may do so if you wish. Your account should be as detailed and succinct as possible. Where you have any other evidence or documents which support an allegation, these should be attached and cross-referenced, if possible. You will find a list attached, which you should use as a reminder system to assist you.
The Association has introduced the ’Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy’ (EFGPCP), which became effective on 1 April 2002.
In making a complaint, a complainant has to give a detailed and succinct account of what has occurred. Where other evidence or documents are available which support the allegations, they should be attached to the complaint and cross-referenced, if possible. There is a Complaint Checklist available which one could utilise as a reminder system, together with the Making a complaint which demonstrates how a complaint can be presented.
If a complaint, meeting the requirements of the Procedure, is submitted to BACP, the member is notified and sent a copy. It is only if a complaint is accepted by the Pre-Hearing Assessment Panel, that a member complained against is expected to formally respond to the allegations made.