Practitioners Professional Code of Ethics

Apart from the retreat protocols and confidentiality agreement for participants, there is a practitioner’s professional code of ethics. This code is specifically related to the Retreat4Change group therapy programme.

Statement of Intent

Retreat4Change upholds the belief that personal integrity of the practitioner, professional competence, transparency and commitment to participant’s wellbeing and safety is paramount while facilitating a Retreat4Change programme.

Governance of Group Therapy Practice

Good Practice

Participants can be assured that retreat practitioners are governed by the principles of good practice and impartiality. The practitioner will take care in demonstrating competency skills that involve:

  • Communicating clarity, confidence and empathy
  • Communicating clarity, confidence and empathy
  • The ability to manage emotional and/or psychological issues
  • Being adaptable while balancing time management
  • Creating interpersonal and group synergy
  • Exercising care, diligence and sensitivity
  • Balancing subjectivity with objectivity

Delivering a systematic group therapy experience also requires balancing workbook material with time for interpersonal processing, feedback and robust discussion.
While there is a management component to good practice, procedure and methodology there is no substitute for spontaneity, laughter and the dynamic of inner healing effecting the group as a whole.

Respecting Individuality

Throughout the retreat each individual will be shown respect, equality and affirmation. The practitioner will respect and reinforce the worth, needs and beliefs/values of each group participant regardless of religious creed, cultural perspective or world view. This is especially important as the power differential between retreat therapist and group participants is seen as neutral.

As the practitioner is in a position of privilege and trust, participants can be reassured they will not become subjected to persuasion of any political, ethnic or religious judgments. Accordingly, the retreat therapist will not discriminate against nor exploit individuals on the grounds of age, gender, race, cultural background, sexual orientation and will respect each person’s integrity and autonomy.

Respecting individuality means treating each person as equals for the advancement of individual and collaborative enlightenment and change.

The Therapeutic Relationship

An important aspect of this retreat is the nature of the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and participant. In the context of creating change, the trusted relationship with the retreat therapist forms a significant part in the healing process.

In the delivery of this group therapy programme, all care is taken by the practitioner to nurture such a therapeutic relationship making the transition for change more fluid and beneficial to the group as a whole. To this extent, the therapeutic effect on one individual means all group members are impacted.
The therapeutic relationship is based on mutual respect rather than it being a personal friendship that disproportionally exploits or blurs an individual’s boundaries, privacy and/or becoming an inappropriate relationship within the retreat and beyond.

Even after a considerable length of time following the completion of a retreat, the influence of transference (projected expectation towards a former participant) could be seen as unprofessional. The therapeutic relationship needs to be held within the space it was created and not hijacked by personal advantage.

The therapeutic relationship can complement a participant’s Aha Moment/s. This is especially true when personal enlightenment is underpinned by the practitioner’s empathy or objectivity. To this degree, the therapeutic relationship needs to remain neutral with all group participants for making possible the continuation of other forms of personal growth.

Disputes Process

In the event of a participant being at odds with another participant’s point of view, retreat philosophy, direction, workbook focus or style of the retreat therapist, the complainant is encouraged to take up their concerns with the retreat practitioner.

Any matter needing further processing should be put in writing to the retreat practitioner for possible mediation with an independent third party.