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This is the new edition of a Code of Ethics and Professional Practice for all individual and institutional members of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy. The purpose of this code is twofold; firstly, to define general values and principles and to establish standards of professional conduct for Gestalt Therapists and Gestalt Training Institutes, and, secondly, to inform and protect those members of the public who seek their services.

Gestalt Therapists are responsible for the observation of the principles inherent in the Code of Ethics and the Professional Practice and are to use this code as the basis of good practice rather than a set of minimal requirements.

These codes are beneficial not only for the protection of clients, but are also meant to protect the therapist by establishing standards of conduct that clarify the boundaries of practice and accountability in the work setting.

The general aim of psychotherapy is to promote the psychophysical and socio-environmental well being of the individuals, groups and community at large within the psychotherapeutic relationship (preferred setting). Gestalt therapy recognizes these goals in general, and in particular the subjectivity of the well being of the individual as a phenomenological entity within their field. Since the realization of this specific goal is implemented through a dialogical approach grounded in the recognition of the autonomy and self-regulation of the individual, these codes of practice offer a meeting place for the resolution of difficulties between two or more parties. The resolution of difficulties for Gestalt Therapists is attained through dialogue and exchange as opposed to a hierarchical system of judgment and consequences.

These codes are applicable to all individual and institutional members of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy on an international level. When a discrepancy between this code and national codes occur, the conditions of the national code take preference. This code is subject to revision in the event that it proves inadequate in the practical application as standards of professional conduct.
Complaints against a Training Institute as such, or against the majority of a staff will be addressed – also for consultation – to the EAGT Ethics Committee.

The code is divided into two sections. The first section states those values and principles that are inalienable rights of the individual. The second section demonstrates guidelines that honour and protect these rights.

All members of the EAGT agree to have a complaints procedure to report and evaluate the violations of their Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
Each member will adopt and adhere to, together with the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, the rules for Complaints Procedures.

The EAGT Ethics Committee is responsible for maintaining an overview of the Code of Ethics and Complaints Procedures for national umbrella organizations and, where relevant, national awarding organizations.

The EAGT will encourage and support those countries without a Code of Ethics and Complaints Procedure in their process of developing and establishing such a code that is agreeable to EAGT standards allowing for cultural diversity or field conditions (e.g. legal, political).

The EAGT will also encourage and support each national umbrella organization to establish and maintain a code of Ethics and Complaints Procedure in the event that this does not already exist.

The complaint procedure in section C of this Code is the procedure that is to be followed in the event that there is a grievance or a complaint against a Member of the EAGT who resides in a country where there is NO national awarding organization or no national Gestalt Psychotherapy organization with a Code of Ethics and a Complaints Procedure.

In countries where these organizations do exist, the national awarding organization will be the arbiter with EAGT providing the final appeals process in the event that correct procedures have not been followed.

The entire document can be found in our public documents.


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