Code of Ethics
Counselling & Psychotherapy is governed by a strict professional Code of Ethics and is respectful of all cultures, sexual orientations and beliefs.
Ines is an accredited member of IFCAPP (Irish Forum for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy) and ICP (Irish Council for Psychotherapy). She adheres to the code of ethics of both, IFCAPP and ICP. It is important to highlight that Ines operates under the Children First National Guidelines to ensure best practice for all the young people she works with. This also means that relevant authorities are notified in the case of a disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse (C.S.A).
Ines was successfully Garda Vetted by ICP in August 2016 and by PCI College in 2020.
For more information on child protection the following documents might be useful:
ICP Standards for Working Therapeutically with Children and Adolescents in Psychotherapy
It is generally recognized that there are common elements in all psychotherapy training courses including modality specific philosophies, theories, and skills. However, therapeutic work with children and adolescents (henceforth referred to as children) requires different knowledge, skills, and competencies. It is recommended that the ideal way to acquire these skills is within a training course that includes content and assessment components directly related to working with children.
Psychotherapists working with children need to demonstrate competence in taking into account the developmental stage of the child they are working with. They should also take cognisance of their level of dependence and their need for appropriate care. This document emphasises the centrality of the therapeutic relationship and the importance of the availability of the therapist for genuine congruent relationships. This ability to form a therapeutic working relationship with children and their families is a key skill and needs to be complemented by the therapist's ability in developing a comprehensive and collaborative understanding of the child’s therapeutic needs. Each modality will approach the necessary competencies differently. Some may view the primary client as the child while others will consider child focussed therapy as happening within the family system where the family is the client rather than the individual child.
In addition to the above there is a need to develop competence in working with multidisciplinary teams and/or other systems of professionals that may be involved in the child's life.
To address these differences of working with children ICP have adopted a set of eight standards with implementation being the responsibility of each individual section. With due regard to these standards, each modality will determine the specific requirements for their own members in regard to working with children. Each standard addresses a core area. As there is much diversity in modality approaches these core areas will need to be addressed in different ways to match the unique approach of each modality.
Each standard is deliberately broad based to allow modalities to have flexibility about how it may be implemented, yet at the same time setting an agreed common standard for safe practice. It is acknowledged that the modalities within ICP have diverse ways of approaching psychotherapy with children. These approaches range from indepth one to one work with children to methods that work with the child within the context of their family and their wider social milieu.
2. What is a Child
For the purposes of this document the ICP are using the Irish legal definition of child which is:
“A child is defined as any person up to the age of 18 years; adolescence defines that period of childhood extending from puberty to adulthood” (In accordance with Irish law and the UNCRC). ICP Standards for working therapeutically with children and adolescents in psychotherapy.
Standard 1: TAC compliant training
In keeping with ICP general requirements for recognition of training courses and registration of members, it is essential that all those who are training in psychotherapy, including those whose client groups will include children, complete a course that is fully compliant with European Association for Psychotherapy and European Certificate of Psychotherapy standards (see appendix 1).
Standard 2: Work in accordance with EAP competencies for working with ‘special’ client groups as described at 10.2.4 of the Core Competencies of a European Psychotherapist.
The European Association of Psychotherapy agreed and adopted Core Competencies of a European Psychotherapist at the EAP AGM in July 2013. These core competencies refer specifically to practice with children in Domain 10: Ethics and Cultural Sensitivities, Clause 10.2.4. This provides a relevant competency standard as a resource and guide for European Associations in relation to working with ‘special’ clients (appendix 2). This clause will facilitate each modality in ensuring that they determine and agree processes and procedures to ensure compliance.
Standard 3: Knowledge of child development and modality specific integration into practice
Developmentally appropriate practice requires the psychotherapist to integrate an indepth knowledge of child development (biological, psychological, emotional, social, and linguistic), and awareness of the particular dependancy and vulnerability of children, into their practice.
Standard 4: Recognition, respect and knowledge of the child’s individual human rights
Children have the same human rights as adults, including the right to self determination. Such rights are only constrained by their need for due safety, protection and care and the rights of their parents and carers.
Standard 5: Ethical, safe and competent practice as established by each modality
Each modality will ensure that their Code of Ethics is sufficiently robust to ensure that members who work with children are competent to do so, and engage in safe and ethical practice with each child client and their family (as appropriate).
Standard 6: Recognition of the role of the family and other systems in the life of the child
Psychotherapists who work with children must give due consideration to the experience of children within the context of their family and other systems. This requires an understanding of and ability to work with the familial and social context of the child.
Standard 7: Knowledge of current legislation in relation to the protection and safeguarding of children
Working with children takes place within specific legal and statutory requirements. It is incumbent on all who engage in this work to maintain an up to date knowledge base in regard to child protection and relevant legislation.
Standard 8: Ongoing supervision and appropriate continuing professional development
Psychotherapists who work with children must comply with all ethical and practice requirements in relation to clinical practice, supervision and continuing professional development. Modalities will consider any specific requirements that may apply in relation to:
appropriate supervision and/or supervisors for those who practise with children
areas of CPD that may be required.