Code of Ethics of the Sandplay Therapy Association of New Zealand and Australia (STANZA)
Sandplay Therapy Association of New Zealand and Australia (STANZA) is an organisation whose purpose is:
- to promote sound and ethical clinical practice, education, training and research in Sandplay Therapy in the tradition of Dora Kalff as based on the theories of C.G. Jung and as promulgated by ISST
- to facilitate collegiality and provide a means of peer collaboration and professional development for members
- to encourage, support and promote the work of ISST in Australia and New Zealand
- for the benefit of the community in Australia and New Zealand
The STANZA Code of Ethics shall apply to all levels of membership in STANZA. All members shall at all times comply with and be bound by the STANZA Code of Ethics which is set out below and includes STANZA’s complaints and disciplinary procedures in relation to ethical practices. It is a requirement of all members, upon joining STANZA, to read this document and agree to abide by it by signing a declaration to that effect.
The members of STANZA pledge themselves to creating and following rules of equal rights, which forbid all discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual preference in relation to applications for membership, in training programs, and public events organized by STANZA.
Purpose of STANZA Code of Ethics
The STANZA Code of Ethics serves four main purposes:
- The Code enables the association to clarify the nature of the ethical responsibilities held in common by its current and future members, and those served by members.
- The Code helps support the mission of the association.
- The Code serves as an ethical guide designed to assist members in constructing a professional course of action that best serves those utilizing Sandplay Therapy and best promotes the values of STANZA and ISST.
- The Code serves as the basis for adjudication of ethical complaints and inquiries initiated against members of the association.
Application of STANZA Code of Ethics
This Code applies to all STANZA members, that is those persons admitted to membership of both STANZA and ISST and those Associate Members of STANZA. These ethical principles are not intended to create any legal liability on the part of the members of STANZA.
A.1. Primary Responsibility. STANZA members should conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards and shall hold the best interests of their clients to be paramount. This responsibility is central to being a STANZA member.
A.2. Familiarity with Standards. STANZA members are expected to be familiar with and abide by these standards.
A.3. Applicable Laws. In addition to the standards cited in this document, each STANZA member shall comply with applicable national and regional laws and professional regulations governing the conduct of his or her licensed and/or certified specialty within the country, region, or state in which he or she practices.
A.4. Informed Consent. Before therapy begins, STANZA members shall state clearly the nature of the treatment method to be used, the length and frequency of sessions, fee arrangements, where and when meetings shall take place, conditions for cancellation of sessions and possible case supervision.
A.5. Records. STANZA members maintain records necessary for rendering professional services to their clients and as required by local laws, regulations, or agency or institutional procedures.
B.1. Confidentiality. STANZA members respect client rights to privacy and do not share confidential information without client consent or without sound legal or ethical justification.
B.2. Explanation of Confidentiality Limitations. At initiation and throughout the therapeutic process, STANZA members inform clients of the limitations of confidentiality and seek to identify foreseeable situations in which confidentiality must be breached.
B.3. Professional Use of Client Material. The identity and confidentiality of clients must be protected when client material is used in professional settings. When the material is presented in large venues, such as conferences, public presentations in person or online, journal articles, and books, written permission shall be obtained from the client and/or parent(s) or legal guardian.
B.4. Confidentiality of Case Study. With the submission of the final case study, a signed statement from the member must be included verifying that the member holds written permission from the client regarding use of case material.
B.5. Confidentiality of Records. STANZA members ensure that records are kept in a secure location and that only authorized persons have access to records.
B.6. Transmitting Confidential Information. STANZA members take precautions to ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted electronically, including but not limited to electronic mail, voicemail, answering machines, facsimile machines, and websites.
Relationships with Clients
C.1. Working with Children. STANZA recognises the particular responsibility that members have to protect the vulnerable status of children and the particular interests and welfare of children/young people.
C.2. Dual Relationships. Nonprofessional relationships with clients, their romantic partners, or their family members should be avoided.
C.3. Dual Relationships with Members. It is recognized that in some cases members of STANZA may assume dual roles in the training of sandplay therapists. Special consideration must be undertaken to preserve the boundaries between the personal psychotherapeutic process and the supervision and training of a member. In the view of STANZA, the supervisor(s) should be different from the personal process therapist. Further, the member’s supervisor(s), personal process therapist, and advisor must not serve as a formal evaluator of the final case study.
C.4. Avoiding Harm. STANZA members act to avoid harming their clients and supervisees and to minimize or to remedy unavoidable or unanticipated harm. Sexual or romantic therapist-client interactions or relationships with current clients, their romantic partners, or their family members are prohibited.
C.5. Abandonment Prohibited. STANZA members do not abandon or neglect clients. Therefore, during interruptions, such as vacations and illness, therapists assist in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment, when necessary.
C.6. Appropriate Termination. STANZA members terminate a therapy relationship when it becomes reasonably apparent that the client no longer needs assistance, is not likely to benefit from, or is being harmed by continued therapy. Pretermination therapy or closure sessions are provided and other service providers are recommended when necessary.
Relationships with Colleagues
A STANZA member:
D.1. Refrains from conduct, which may bring STANZA into disrepute and damage its aims.
D.2. Conducts his/her relationships with colleagues both within and outside STANZA with appropriate respect and courtesy, fairness and good faith; s/he shall not falsely or maliciously speak ill of a colleague or colleagues, in such a way as to damage their personal or professional reputation
D.3. Promotes cooperation with colleagues to further professional interests and concerns
D.4. Respects professional confidence concerning the clinical work of colleagues
D.5. Seeks to resolve conflicts with colleagues
D.6. Upholds and fosters the value, integrity, knowledge and ethics of the profession
D.7. Not defame, professionally or personally, a colleague or group of colleagues, to clients, either privately or in public, or to members of the public in general
D.8. Unless there are reasonable and valid reasons, a member shall not supersede or takeover a client from another member if s/he is aware that the client is in active treatment with another member
D.9. As elected office bearers and members of STANZA committees they are committed to the principles of ethical best practice as they undertake their positions of leadership and management.
D.10. It is the responsibility of members to declare and take responsibility for conflicts of interest when advising or participating in STANZA committees or professional activities of STANZA or outside bodies and organisations. A conflict of interest may be potential, actual or perceived.
D.11. A member shall not negatively expose colleagues on social media networks. In making verbal or written public statements, a member shall make it clear whether s/he is speaking personally or as a representative of STANZA.
E.1. Professional Competence. STANZA members practice only within the boundaries of their competence and use techniques for which they are qualified, based on their education, training, supervised experience, state, regional, and national professional credentials and appropriate professional experience.
E.2. Misrepresentation. STANZA members may not misrepresent their academic background, professional training, experience, or professional affiliations. They may not advertise to the public using materials that contain inaccurate or untruthful claims about their preparation or the techniques and approaches they use in therapy.
E.3. Continuing Professional Development. STANZA members maintain high standards of competence and continue to pursue their personal and professional growth and development through education and/or supervision.
E.4. Consultation on Ethical Obligations. STANZA members and candidates take reasonable steps to consult with other STANZA members, therapists, or related professionals when they have questions regarding their ethical obligations or professional practice.
E.5. Impairment. STANZA members and candidates refrain from undertaking any activity in which their personal problems or physical or mental impairments are likely to lead to inadequate performance or harm to a client, colleague, or supervisee. If engaged in such activity, they must seek competent professional assistance to determine whether they should suspend, terminate, or limit the scope of their professional activities.
Resolving Ethical Issues
F.1. Knowledge. STANZA members and candidates shall understand the STANZA Code of Ethics, other applicable ethics codes from professional organizations, and from certification and licensure bodies of which they are members. Lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of an ethical responsibility is not a defence against a charge of unethical conduct.
F.2. Conflicts Between Ethics and Laws. If ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, STANZA members take steps to resolve the conflict. If the conflict cannot be resolved, adherence to the requirements of law, regulations or other governing legal authority takes precedence.
F.3. Ethical Behaviour Expected. STANZA members expect STANZA colleagues to adhere to the Code of Ethics. When members possess knowledge that raises doubts as to whether another STANZA colleague is acting in an ethical manner, they take appropriate action. (See Section G below.)
F.4. Informal Resolution. When STANZA members have reason to believe that another member is violating or has violated an ethical standard, they attempt first to resolve the issue informally with the other colleague if feasible, provided such action does not violate any confidentiality rights that may be involved.
F.5. Reporting Ethical Violations. If an apparent violation has substantially harmed, or is likely to substantially harm, a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution or is not resolved properly, STANZA members take further action appropriate to the situation. Such action might include referral to state, regional, or national committees on professional ethics, voluntary national certification bodies, state licensing boards, ISST Ethics Committee, or to the appropriate institutional authorities. This standard does not apply when an intervention would violate national or regional confidentiality regulations.
F.6. Consultation. When uncertain as to whether a particular situation or course of action may be in violation of the STANZA Code of Ethics, STANZA members and candidates consult with others who are knowledgeable about ethics and the STANZA Code of Ethics, with professional colleagues, or with appropriate authorities always with care that such action does not violate any confidentiality rights that may be involved.
F.7. Cooperation With Ethics Committees. STANZA members assist in the process of enforcing the STANZA Code of Ethics and cooperate with investigations, proceedings, and requirements of the STANZA Ethics Committee or ethics committees of other duly constituted associations or boards having jurisdiction over those charged with a violation.
F.8. Unwarranted Complaints. STANZA members do not initiate, participate in, or encourage the filing of ethics complaints that are made with reckless disregard or wilful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation.
Procedures for Ethics Complaints
- An individual with an ethics concern or wishing to make a formal complaint against a member of STANZA should contact the Ethics Convenor on the Executive Committee.
- The Ethics Convenor determines whether the matter is a grievance or an ethical complaint.
- In making a formal complaint persons should be made aware of the damage that can occur to a professional
- If it is determined to be an ethical complaint the Convenor instigates a complaints procedure where the complainant sets out their complaint in writing and the STANZA member is informed and given opportunity to respond. A Complaints Form for this purpose will appear on STANZA’s website.
- The handling of an ethics complaint is instigated with utmost concern to confidentiality.
- All effort will be made to resolve the matter quickly.
- The Convenor would attempt to reach an informal resolution with complainant.
- Should this not be possible there would be an opportunity for discussion between the complainant and an appointed member of the Executive Committee. The complainant would always be welcome to bring a support person to any such meeting.
- Depending on the nature of the complaint and the outcome of the complaints process, the Convenor would recommend to the Chairperson of the Executive Committee the appropriate action to be taken.
- Complaints will not be accepted more than one year after the alleged event.
Grounds for Expulsion from STANZA
H.1. Possible Grounds. Should a STANZA member be expelled from an affiliated or other recognized professional association, be de-licensed in his or her field of practice, or be convicted of a felony, STANZA shall investigate and adjudicate the matter in accordance with the procedures promulgated by STANZA.
H.2. Mental or Physical Disability. Any physical or mental disability (e.g., senility, substance abuse) that causes a STANZA member to be unable to perform the service implicit in the psychotherapeutic contract or to fulfil his or her responsibilities as a member in good standing in STANZA, and/or the professional community shall be grounds for STANZA to institute its own investigation and adjudication of the conduct of a member of STANZA.
Procedures for Possible Expulsion from STANZA
J.1. Wherever possible, complaints will be resolved by the STANZA Member society using their rules and procedures.(see Section G)
J.2. STANZA will inform the ISST Board should there be an outcome related to a complaint that has led to an expulsion from STANZA.
J.3. If the complaint cannot be resolved locally, the STANZA Member society may request assistance from the ISST Board.
J.4. In the event of a written complaint to ISST of an alleged breach in the STANZA Code of Ethics by a STANZA member or a failure to resolve a complaint at a local level STANZA will cooperate with the ISST Board and the ISST Board will appoint three members to hear and investigate the complaint. The three members will not be affiliated with the accused member.