Guidelines of ethical conduct for members and leaders

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Ethical Conduct for All Members

  1. The Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa (SLCO) was established to create a community that maximizes personal growth, empowerment, high self-esteem and congruent communication using the Satir Model.  At all times it will encourage the development of safe environments that support self-awareness, honest non-judgmental communication and personal transformation.
  2. It is the responsibility of all members to:
    1. base all interaction on the Satir Model by using congruent communication, thereby allowing honest and respectful expression of thoughts and feelings;
    2. conduct him/herself in such a way as to respect the individuality, dignity and personality of each person, including oneself, by being honest with oneself and with others, not embarrassing or humiliating anyone and  respecting  personal boundaries;
    3. respect the privacy of members and treat information obtained privately or during SLCO activities with confidentiality;
    4. respect that participation in any SLCO activity is voluntary;
    5. respect ethnic, religious, cultural and other differences;
    6. use appropriate language;
    7. avoid participating in, condoning or being associated with dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
    8. treat with respect all SLCO material and to return borrowed items in a timely fashion and in good condition.

Ethical Conduct for Leaders

  1. The Satir Learning Centre of Ottawa (SLCO) was established to create a community that maximizes personal growth, empowerment, high self-esteem and congruent communication using the Satir Model.  At all times it will encourage the development of safe environments that support self-awareness, honest non-judgmental communication and personal transformation.
  2. The SLCO will provide broad educational context including classes, workshops and seminars.  Leaders of these classes, workshops and seminars should adhere to an ethical code that is based on respect for the integrity of each participant and themselves.
  3. Leaders are expected to set the standards for the group. At a minimum, Leaders need to adhere to the professional code of ethics established under their particular licensing body.
  4. Leaders shall not misrepresent professional qualifications, education, experience or affiliation in any way.
  5. Leaders shall not participate in, condone, or be associated with dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
  6. At all times, Leaders shall conduct themselves in such a way as to respect the individuality and personality of each person. This respect for dignity also models for group members how they are to treat each other.
  7. Leaders shall respect participants’ boundaries and shall not engage in sexual intimacies with participants.
  8. Conducting oneself in an ethical fashion is critical to people feeling safe and protected enough to move, change and grow. Ethical means:
    1. being honest with oneself and with others;
    2. inviting but not demanding participation;
    3. allowing people to save face;
    4. not embarrassing or humiliating anyone;
    5. respecting personal boundaries of group members;
    6. accepting one’s own limitations; being comfortable admitting  that you don’t know something or cannot do something.
  9. Before any SLCO activity, Leaders need to create a welcoming and safe environment.   Areas of importance include:
    1. providing a protected space for the workshop, free from intrusions by others;
    2. showing respect for ethnic, religious, cultural and other differences;
    3. making sure that there is to finish a major piece of work before the end of a workshop;
    4. not being afraid to suggest that a participant seeks support and/or counseling outside the scope of the current activity when indicated;
    5. ensuring that participants are de-roled from exercises before they leave a workshop. It is not ethical to let participants leave “open” and possibly “wounded”, or in a trance state.
  10. All activities conducted by the SLCO should be advertised in a way that clearly states the context, the content and the experience the participants could expect.
  11. Training programs in general are designed to teach a particular process. Leaders need to advise participants that workshops and trainings can hit core issues and may provide and/or generate new insights. A statement indicating that the workshop is not a substitute for therapy is appropriate.
  12. Leaders are responsible for the safety of participants and the quality and extent of the services that she/he assumes, assigns or performs.
  13. At the beginning of any SLCO activity Leaders must discuss and clarify the limits of confidentiality with all participants.
  14. Leaders shall encourage participants involvement but shall respect their choice to take part or not in an exercise or task.
  15. Leaders should encourage each participant to respect themselves, emphasizing Virginia Satir’ s saying: accept what fits and leave what does not fit.
  16. Leaders need to respect the privacy of participants and hold in confidence information obtained privately.  It is up to the participant to choose disclosure or not, and Leaders should respect this choice.
  17. If audio/video taping is done, the parameters around the release of such tapes need to be made clear at the onset of the activity, and the person participating should be able to revoke  consent at any time as the process evolves.
  18. It is important that Leaders acknowledge the “transference issue” in the inequality of power.  The position of Leader is often linked to “authority” or “expert”.  Even though participants may be very knowledgeable and competent in their own rights,    Leaders should be aware that they may give greater importance to the Leader’s statements, answers to questions, and behaviours than to their own.