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Professional Association Codes of Ethics and Guidelines On
Retirement or Death of Therapist, or Sudden Closure of Practice

Complete comparative list of different Codes of Ethics on a variety of topics

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.
 

This page is part of an Online Course,
Retirement of Therapists: Ethical, Legal, Clinical and Psychological Considerations.

See our online course on Termination in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Ethical & Clinical Considerations
 

Table Of Contents


American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
American Counseling Association Code of Ethics
American Mental Health Counselors Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards 
Australian Psychological Society
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
Canadian Psychological Association
National Association for Addiction Professionals
National Association of Social Workers
National Board for Certified Counselors
United States Association for Body Psychotherapy

 

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Code of Ethics (AAMFT, 2015):
https://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/Legal_Ethics/code_of_ethics.aspx

Standard II Confidentiality

2.6 Preparation for Practice Changes.
In preparation for moving a practice, closing a practice, or death, marriage and family therapists arrange for the storage, transfer, or disposal of client records in conformance with applicable laws and in ways that maintain confidentiality and safeguard the welfare of clients.

American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2014):
http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf

B.6. Records and Documentation

B.6.i. Reasonable Precautions
Counselors take reasonable precautions to protect client confidentiality in the event of the counselor's termination of practice, incapacity, or death and appoint a records custodian when identified as appropriate.

Section C Professional Responsibility

C.2.h. Counselor Incapacitation, Death, Retirement, or Termination of Practice
Counselors prepare a plan for the transfer of clients and the dissemination of records to an identified colleague or records custodian in the case of the counselor's incapacitation, death, retirement, or termination of practice.

Section G Research and Publication

G.2.i. Research Records Custodian
As appropriate, researchers prepare and disseminate to an identified colleague or records custodian a plan for the transfer of research data in the case of their incapacitation, retirement, or death.

American Mental Health Counselors Association Code of Ethics (AMHCA, 2015):
https://amhca.site-ym.com/?page=codeofethics

B. Counseling Process

5. Termination and Referral
Mental health counselors do not abandon or neglect their clients in counseling.
a) Assistance is given in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment, when necessary, during interruptions such as vacation and following termination

American Psychiatric Association Principles of Medical Ethics (ApA, 2013):
http://www.psychiatry.org/File Library/Practice/Ethics Documents/principles2013--final.pdf

Nothing found

American Psychological Association Code of Ethics (APA, 2010):
http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/principles.pdf

3. Human Relations

3.12 Interruption of Psychological Services
Unless otherwise covered by contract, psychologists make reasonable efforts to plan for facilitating services in the event that psychological services are interrupted by factors such as the psychologist's illness, death, unavailability, relo- cation, or retirement or by the client's/patient's relocation or financial limitations. (See also Standard 6.02c, Maintenance, Dissemination, and Disposal of Confidential Records of Pro- fessional and Scientific Work.)

6.02 Maintenance, Dissemination, and Disposal of Confidential Records of Professional and Scientific Work

(c) Psychologists make plans in advance to facilitate the appropriate transfer and to protect the confidentiality of records and data in the event of psychologists' withdrawal from positions or practice. (See also Standards 3.12, Interruption of Psychological Services, and 10.09, Interruption of Therapy.)

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards Code of Conduct (ASPPB, 2005):
http://www.asppb.org/publications/model/conduct.aspx

Nothing found

Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics (APS, 2007):
http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/APS-Code-of-Ethics.pdf

B.11. Termination of psychological services

B.11.3.
Psychologists make reasonable arrangements for the continuity of service provision when they are no longer able to deliver the psychological service.

B.11.6.
Psychologists whose employment, health or other factors necessitate early termination of relationships with clients:
(a) provide clients with an explanation of the need for the termination;
(b) take all reasonable steps to safeguard clients' ongoing welfare;and
(c) offer to help clients locate alternative sources of assistance.

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Code of Ethics (CAMFT, 2011):
http://www.camft.org/images/PDFs/CodeOfEthics.pdf

1. RESPONSIBILITY TO PATIENTS

1.3 TREATMENT DISRUPTION:
Marriage and family therapists are aware of their professional and clinical responsibilities to provide consistent care to patients and maintain practices and procedures that assure undisrupted care. Such practices and procedures may include, but are not limited to, providing contact information and specified procedures in case of emergency or therapist absence, conducting appropriate terminations, and providing for a professional will.

1.3.1 TERMINATION:
Marriage and family therapists use sound clinical judgment when terminating therapeutic relationships and do so in an appropriate manner. Reasons for termination may include, but are not limited to, the patient is not benefiting from treatment; continuing treatment is not clinically appropriate; the therapist is unable to provide treatment due to the therapist's incapacity or extended absence, or in order to avoid an ethical conflict or problem.

1.3.2 ABANDONMENT:
Marriage and family therapists do not abandon or neglect patients in treatment. If a therapist is unable or unwilling to continue to provide professional services, the therapist will assist the patient in making clinically appropriate arrangements for continuation of treatment.

Canadian Psychological Association Code of Ethics for Psychologists (CPA, 2007):
http://www.cpa.ca/docs/File/Ethics/cpa_code_2000_eng_jp_jan2014.pdf

Privacy

I.41
Collect, store, handle, and transfer all private information, whether written or unwritten (e.g., communication during service provision, written records, e-mail or fax communication, computer files, video-tapes), in a way that atte nds to the needs for privacy and security. This would include having adequate plans for records in circumstances of one's own serious illness, termination of employment, or death.

National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC, 2011).
http://www.naadac.org/code-of-ethics

Nothing found

National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (NASW, 2008)
http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

DIRECTIVES
NCCs take appropriate action to prevent harm.

9. NCCs shall take proactive measures to avoid interruptions of counseling services due to illness, vacations or unforeseen circumstances. To prevent the harm that may occur if clients are unable to access professional assistance, such measures shall identify other professionals with whom the NCC has a working agreement or local emergency service agencies that can respond to clients in a mental health crisis.

10. NCCs shall create written procedures regarding the handling of client records in the event of their unexpected death or incapacitation. In recognition of the harm that may occur if clients are unable to access professional assistance in these cases, these procedures shall ensure that the confidentiality of client records is maintained and shall include the identification of individual(s) who are familiar with ethical and legal requirements regarding the counseling profession and who shall assist clients in locating other professional mental health providers as well as ensure the appropriate transfer of client records. These written procedures shall be provided to the client, and theNCC shall provide an opportunity for the client to discuss concerns regarding the process as it pertains to the transfer of his or her record.

National Board for Certified Counselors Code of Ethics (NBCC, 2012)
http://www.nbcc.org/Assets/Ethics/nbcc-codeofethics.pdf

59. NCCs who are retiring or departing from an established practice with other mental health professionals shall notify current and former clients as appropriate regard ing their pending departure from the practice. Such notifications should include information about record availability and access, and contact information of appropriate referrals within the established practice.

United States Association for Body Psychotherapy Code of Ethics (USABP, 2007):
http://usabp.org/about-us/usabp-code-of-ethics/

IV. AVOIDING HARM

6. Body psychotherapists make reasonable efforts to ensure continuity of treatment. When services must be terminated for a legitimate reason, the therapist makes every reasonable effort to insure that appropriate referrals are made for the ongoing needs of the client prior to termination and makes reasonable efforts to terminate the relationship satisfactorily.

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