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''Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.'' Erich Fromm

RGI code of ethics

  1. Basic principles
    1. This code of Ethics regulates norms of the ethics of Gestalttherapy work and relationship between Gestalttherapist and client.
    2. First of all Gestalttherapist cares about the quality of mutual relations between Gestalttherapist and client, always respects interests and individuality of a client.
    3. Gestalttherapist supports a client in his individual development and promotes his own responsibility in all the spectra of a clients choice and making responsible decisions
    4. Gestalttherapist should realize the power of influence of all mutual relations on effectiveness of Gestalttherapy
    5. Gestalttherapist should realize that Gestalttherapy can leave influence on other client’s relations outside of the therapy that can provoke different conflict situations. Gestalttherapist must inform a client about potential risk.
    6. Gestalttherapist should recognize situations of dual mutual relations that exists with employer, close friends, relatives, partners, who could influence his professional decision.
    7. Gestalttherapist must not unfairly discriminate client because of his social origin, social economical status, age, gender, nationality, race, religion or ideological opinion.
    8. Gestalttherapist is fully responsible for his own professional activity and organizes his own work in accordance with Code of Ethics of RIG and existing legislation in the country.
  2. Privacy
    1. Gestalttherapist ensures to a client full confidentiality of personal and social information except cases, which are provided in chapter 2.3; whereof informs a client when psychotherapy contract is concluded.
    2. Gestalttherapist prepares and gives the information for scientific purpose or publications in special way, which assures full anonymity of a client.
    3. In cases when in accordance with Gestalttherapist’s opinion, received information is indicative of inevitable imminent danger for person or society, he must consult with board of RIG and must give this information to competent institutions (medical, police) whereof client is informed in the beginning of psychotherapy relations.
    4. Gestalttherapist has no rights to use acquired information in the time of psychotherapy, blackmail a client.
  3. Psychotherapy contract
    1. There must be explained to a client or a candidate what is the main features of the Gestalttherapy and what could be positive and negative effects of the therapy before drawing up a contract. If client or candidate agrees to the offered rules, verbal or written contract can be drawn up. If Gestalttherapist thinks that the method is not appropriate for the client or the client refuses of it, another psychotherapy method or another professional help must be offered.
    2. Gestalttherapy contract provides the limits of Gestalttherapy, the level of confidentiality , amount of the sessions and frequency, contacts between sessions, terms of end of Gestalttherapy, mutual financial responsibility, possible need of medical aid, potential psychiatric consultation, order of submitting complaints
  4. General principles of Ethics
    1. Gestalttherapist is fully responsible for his professional action especially in view nature of psychotherapy’s interactivity between client and Gestalttherapist, great confidence and partial interdependence.
    2. Gestalttherapist must not exploit and misuse client’s confidence, supply personal needs (emotional, sexual, social and economical using client, to be oblivious to own professional duties in relation to a client.
    3. Gestalttherapist must know about possible personal and professional limitations and disorders in work, and considering it he must consult with colleagues or supervisior or / and must send a client to another psychotherapist.
    4. It is not ethical to discuss or comment colleagues’ work in the presence of a client
    5. Gestaltthearpist must not work in the alcohol condition or intoxication from drugs, if his condition of somatic or psychical health do not allow to work on full value.
    6. Psychotherapeutic relations which is between a client and another psychotherapist must be respected in interests of patients and in respect of colleagues.
    7. Gestalttherapist responsible continues personal and professional development with regular supervisions and individual therapy as well as by doing research by attending professional conferences and by publishing
    8. Any noncompliance of the mentioned principles is a danger to client’s mental health, professional corporation’s image and status, effectiveness of used Gestalttherapy methods and is regarded as bad mistake in using psychotherapeutic methods.
  5. Advertisement
    1. Gestalttherapist must describe his services in the way as well as his professional training, qualification and profession allows in advertising this services.
    2. It is prohibited to use untruthful information, to mention psychotherapeutic experience of person concerned, to use testimonial method, compare himself with colleagues and / or another psychotherapeutic directions.
  6. Safety
    1. Gestalttherapist must care about safe environment and place for Gestalttherapy.
    2. It is highly recommended for Gestalttherapists to insure professional activity.
  7. Complaints and order of revision
    1. Complaints about practice of a member of RIG are revised in the board of the RIG which is elected in general meeting of the RIG
    2. Member of the RIG, a complaint is received about, is informed about the content of the complaint and take part in the meeting of the board.
    3. The board informs general meeting of the RIG about decision.
    4. Every member of the RIG has rights to ask another member of the RIG (members of the board) to become as his adviser in the process of a compliant revision. Advisor has rights to take part in all the times of complaint revisions.
    5. Member of the RIG who has been criminally punished or a client has been as a subject of civil suit, must inform the board of RIG about this fact.
    6. Member of the RIG must inform urgently the chairman of the board of RIG about incrimination and / or possible case, if it is associated with the practice of psychotherapy.
    7. Member of the RIG do not bring a charge of somebody with self-interested purpose and is responsible for the content of charge.
    8. RIG professionally protect it’s members if they meet with offence and danger. Keeping professional secrets, Gestalttherapist’s respect and independence in following rules of this codex are specially protected.

The Code of Ethics is accepted and changed in general meeting of the RIG in accordance with statute.
It is an official document for all the members of the RIG both certified and diplomaed and certified practitioners of Gestalt.


Riga, June 20, 2002.

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