ISPS Certified Therapists Ethical and Professional Code
October 28, 2008
The following code of ethics and principles are the standards that the Institute for the Study of Peak States (ISPS) expects certified therapists to use in their work.
The ‘Pay (Charge) for Results’ Fee Structure Agreement
The Institute uses a ‘charge for results’ fee structure, which means that the therapist charges for performance, not for time. (From the client's perspective, this is a 'pay for results' fee structure.) Therapists who are licensed by the Institute to use our techniques agree to use this principle. It is somewhat unusual in the field of psychotherapy, but it has several important advantages:
1) it encourages therapists to be as capable as possible;
2) it encourages the therapist to make clear and realistic criteria with their clients;
3) it minimizes the problem of unrealistic client expectations;
4) it discourages the problem of prolonging a client’s unnecessary suffering by becoming a ‘paid friend’;
5) it encourages therapists to refer clients to therapists who can heal the client;
6) it minimizes the problem of the client forgetting that they ever had the problem after it is gone (the apex effect); and
7) is ethically satisfying.
In the initial session, the therapist and client come to a written agreement of what is to be worked on and what would constitute success. In some cases, the Institute sets a non-negotionable criteria for success for a given process – for example, some peak states processes are guaranteed to actually give the client the sensations of the state, the addict no longer has cravings, and so on.
If the predetermined criteria for success are not met (or new criteria negotiated), the certified therapist does not get paid, and does not charge for the time spent. (In some cases, the therapist and client might negotiate payment for time spent on problems that have no known solution, but we strongly discourage this for basic level practitioners – this is close to a violation of Institute ethical guidelines, because advanced practitioners and research groups are much more qualified for investigating these sorts of problems.) Obviously, this means that some people won’t become clients, and some clients won’t generate income (or only partial income), and, in cases with dishonest clients, the client will get the service but the therapist will not be paid. However, this fee structure is not unusual – it is standard for most businesses, and the fees are adjusted to take these problems into account.
Our intent is to make the Institute certification become a standard that clients will seek out (like a brand name with an exceptional reputation). However, in some circumstances this fee structure isn’t possible or isn’t appropriate to implement. For example,
- for health insurance company payouts (and they won’t allow a performance based fee structure);
- the client wants to try out one of the techniques that you know and doesn’t have any particular success criteria;
- the client is your student and the session is part of or supporting a training program.
Our licensed certified therapists sign a contract with the Institute to use the charge for results principle with all their therapy clients, even when they are not using our Institute's techniques (where possible). Thus, only therapists who are willing to embrace this principle should start our training; otherwise they won't be legally able to use our proprietary techniques with clients (but they would still get personal benefits from the training, if they chose to attend anyway).
Only Use Techniques While in Communication with the Client, and with their Consent
"I agree to only use techniques that heal clients at a distance (surrogate EFT, aWHH, PCT, etc.) with the clients’ or guardians informed consent and only when I am actually able to communicate with the clients."
Institute certified therapists use many state-of-the-art techniques, and like any powerful techniques, they come with their own constraints and procedural requirements. This guideline was created to address both ethical and safety issues with some of these techniques (Institute as well as from other technique developers). First, client participation is necessary for client safety. First, you might not know if something goes wrong if you don’t have verbal feedback - the client needs to be able to let you know if something doesn’t feel right, and to be able to describe symptoms so you can help them or get help for them. Secondly, the techniques may cause major physical or emotional symptoms to suddenly and unexpectedly occur in the client. He or she might be accidentally harmed if they are involved in activities that require undisturbed attention, such as driving or using dangerous tools (saw, knife, etc). Third, because the client would have no idea why a symptom just suddenly appeared, it might cause them needless anxiety and worry, or cause them to seek unnecessary emergency or long term medical interventions.
At this time, we permit the use of DPR without these restrictions, due to its usefulness and demonstrated minimal issues. However, If possible, we still strongly suggest that it still be used only with the other person present, and with their permission, for both the ethical and safety reasons previously discussed.
Code of Ethics
Trainers, practitioners and trainees in the Institute for the Study of Peak States agree to observe the following code of ethics: "I agree to accept and aspire to the principles of the ISPS and to uphold the following code of professional ethics described below."
Practitioners obligated to this code of ethics are listed in this website under "Find Trained Therapists".
The following ethical code is the result of years of work by Jim Morningstar and his colleagues at the International Breathwork Training Alliance. We have modified the guidelines slightly to adapt them to our Institute for the Study of Peak States. The original text can be seen at http://breathworkalliance.org/form_1.htm. Our thanks to Jim for his kindness in letting us use and adapt his work.
1. Client Suitability
a) Establish a client’s ability to utilize and healthfully integrate trauma healing, as far as is possible.
b) Not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or appearance.
2. Contract with Clients
a) Establish clear contracts with clients regarding the number and duration of sessions and financial terms.
b) Establish clear boundaries and discuss the possible employment of touch.
c) Practice my skills primarily for the benefit of the client, rather than solely for financial gain.
d) Maintain confidentiality of client information and security of records of client session content.
3. Practitioner Competence
a) Practice within my area of professional competence, training and expertise, make this clear to my prospective clients, and not make claims for my service that cannot be substantiated.
b) Continue to develop personally, practicing the technique that I offer to others while nourishing passion and reverence for my calling, and keeping a healthy balance in my work and self care.
c) Seek supervision and consultation when appropriate.
"If psychological, medical, legal, or other relevant issues are presented by the client that are outside the scope of practice of the Peak States Therapist, the therapist will provide a referral to the relevant provider or direct the client to the appropriate resources."
4. Practitioner/Client Relationship
a) Establish and maintain healthy, appropriate and professional boundaries, respecting the rights and dignity of those I serve.
b) Refrain from using my influence to exploit or inappropriately exercise power over my clients.
c) Refrain from using my practice to promote my personal religious beliefs.
d) Refrain from all forms of sexual behavior or harassment with clients even when client initiates or invites such behavior.
e) Provide clients with information about community networking, educational resources and holistic lifestyle with their consent and within my scope of knowledge.
f) Refer clients to appropriate resources when they present issues beyond my scope of training.
5. Practitioner Interrelationships
a) Maintain and nurture healthy relationships to other practitioners.
b) Give constructive feedback to other practitioners who I believe have failed to follow one or more of the ethical principles. If this does not sufficiently resolve the issue, seek consultation with the most appropriate professional and/or civil authorities within my local region for the protection of the clients involved.
ISPS Principles for PeakState Therapists
Unconditional positive regard is one of the most powerful therapeutic healing agents. Institute for the Study of Peak States (ISPS) therapists are committed to an attitude of unconditional love and positive regard for clients, themselves and other practitioners.
a) ISPS techniques, and trauma healing techniques in general, are methods of self-healing and self-empowerment. An ISPS therapist must inform clients of the necessity to be self-motivated and accept personal responsibility for their own transformational process.
b) ISPS practitioners commit to ongoing personal growth and spiritual development, caring for their bodies, mind, emotions and spirit.
Therapists are dedicated to the highest good of themselves and others as well as planetary wellness, wholeness and peace.
a) ISPS therapists do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or appearance.
b) Membership in the ISPS is meant to be inclusive, inspiring and supportive in reflecting the highest intention of the collective consciousness of the peak states and trauma healing community.
a) Acknowledging ourselves as ISPS therapists involves receiving the necessary training and continuous involvement in the peak state therapist community.
b) A professional ISPS therapist is committed to excellence and continuing education and supervision for professional enhancement.
A professional ISPS therapist accepts and offers honest constructive feedback with colleagues in settings of mutual agreement, e.g., trainings, conferences, meetings, exchanges, etc.
Peak states and trauma work involves personal growth and expanded states of consciousness and requires a high level of personal integrity, keeping the welfare of the client as the primary focus.
ISPS therapist values are only shared in the context of respect for the sacredness of the client’s unique process and in deference to the client’s right to choose his or her own values.
1.3. October 28, 2008: Added a paragraph to the 'charge for results' section, and moved items around to emphasize this principle. I also added an exception statement for DPR in the use of remote healing techniques guideline. Moved the webpage under the 'Updates for our Graduates' navigation entry.
1.2. February 4, 2007: Added the agreement to only use techniques while in communication with the client and with their consent. February 2, 2007.
1.1. August 16, 2006: First published version.