Report from the Ethics Representative

In 2015/16, three complaints were received by AAFT.

Of these, 2 complaints were examined further in accordance with Procedures for Dealing with Ethical Matters. One complaint was not accepted as it as it did not meet the criteria required for further consideration. One complaint resulted in initial temporary suspension of clinical membership with reinstatement dependent on satisfactory completion of requested supervision. This was later converted to permanent suspension of the therapist.

The determination in the final complaint was that there was insufficient evidence on which to proceed.

The types of issues which caused complaints were:

  • Therapist interventions which were deemed inappropriate and contravened confidentiality and privacy of clients without their consent.
  • Clients stating that they had experienced biased treatment, humiliation, and inappropriate/inadequate treatment suggestions from their therapist.
  • Client requests for information from their past therapist, which clients felt were not dealt with adequately.

Questions sent in for clarification in respect to ethics covered:

  • Record keeping.
  • How to keep record files of various family members where more than one combination of people had attended therapy sessions and seen by the one therapist.
  • What were the risks associated with files being subpoenaed if session notes of attendances by individual family members, of family groups in different combinations were all in the same file? What right did the therapist have to withhold information divulged about others who attended in the session who were not able or asked to give permission for this to be given to the requesting party/ies.