The aim of Society is the promotion of Philosophical Consultancy in all it’s forms including, for example, Socratic dialogue, philosophy with children and philosophical counselling.
The Society for Philosophical Praxis, Counselling and Spiritual Healing (SPPCSH ) has developed and established this Code of Practice as the result of the wish and the need to give the profession " Consultant Philosopher " a clear identity. The code represents a step towards further social recognition and establishment of a profession. The SPPCSH will develop further quality and training criteria in the near future . This Code is necessary because a "Consultant Philosopher " offers a service that creates professional obligations towards clients.
The main terms used in this document are defined as follows:
Consultant Philosopher – ( hereinafter also known as " Consultant ") some one who has a qualification in philosophy or related fields as recognised by the SPPCSH, has received additional training, who is continuing his / her professional development and who holds a practice within which he / she receives people who typically pay for his / her expertise and who therby become the philosopher’s "clients".
- Dialogue between the philosopher and the client during an appointment and for which the client typically pays a fee.
- Any situation where the philosopher’s advice is sought, typically in exchange for a fee. The Code covers practitioners whether or not they are charging fee.
- SPPCSH is very soon going to publish The National Register of Consultant Philosophers ( hereinafter known as "NRCP " ) It will list all the consultants who are signatories to the Code and who are practicing members.
By signing this Code, as part of the application procedure to be on the NRCP, the consultant philosopher has agreed to adhere to the Code.
No member should claim ( either implicitly or explicitly) to be a practitioner member without having satisfied all training and degree requirements of the SPPCSH.
The Code gives clients, potential clients and those who refer them to a consultant philosopher, access to the rules the philosopher will adhere to. If necessary, the client and those referring him / her can use the Code to remind the philosopher of those rules. The Code is intended to achieve a greater degree of consistent professional behaviour.
If clients, or those referring them, believe that the consultant is not adhering to the code, they can report this to the SPPCSH’s executive committee, which will deal with the complaint under Article 8 of this Code given below.
The client can be an individual, a group or the representative of an organization or professional body. The code deals with relationships where the client typically pays a fee for the provision of a service which is in effect a consultation.
The consultant can maintain a broad spectrum of aims but must respect the wishes of the client and use these as the basis for a consultation. The wishes of the consultant will be either put aside or must be clearly explained to the client and explicitly agreed upon.
A. The consultant can employ a broad spectrum of methods. The consultant must realise that every method represents a means of dealing with the client and also contributes towards defining the relationship. Therefore, the consultant must ensure that the methods used and the resultant definition of relationship, is not in breach of other articles of the Code, expresses respect for the client, contributes to the dialogical form of the relationship and avoids any abuse of power or authority.
B. The consultant will regularly evaluate the progress made during the course of his/her work together with its philosophical character and will reflect on this with colleagues, either orally or in writing.
C. The consultant will obtain business and promote his/her practice only in manner which is ethical, dignified in presentation, accurate and not misleading in content.
- The consultant should respect the client’s right to privacy, except where disclosure is required by law or is justified in order to prevent imminent, substantial harm to the client or others.
- The consultant may contact other relevant parties such as specialists who referred the client or members of the client’s family or household but only with client’s express permission. Thereby the client’s stated wishes are always respected and subject to clause a.
- The consultant should ensure the client’s anonymity when discussing the client’s case with colleagues.
- The consultant should inform the client of the pertinent limit to confidentiality upon initiating service.
The consultant will regularly re-assess his/her expertise and supplement and update it through further study and training as recognised as relevant by SPPCSH.
Consultant philosophers should not employ techniques for which they are not qualified.
Consultant philosophers should inform the client of her/his fees ( if any ) prior to the commencement of services.
- The consultant will enter a consultancy relationship only if the client has explicitly expressed a wish to do so and if the consultant is satisfied that the client is reasonably well informed about the content and form of such a relationship.
- The consultant will not practice on any occasion when his/her judgement might be impaired through any cause.
- The consultant will be sensitive to the client’s ethical and religious views, alternative "world views" and philosophical perspectives including those based upon cultural or gender distinctions among diverse client populations.
- The consultant will make it clear where his/her limits of expertise lie and at what point referral to another relevant consultant would be considered for example, in the teaching, mental health, social work, medical or psychology professions. The consultant is careful not to overstep these limits ( see also article 5 ) Consultant philosophers should avoid sexual intimacy with current clients or any other form of dual role relation which might compromise the integrity of the professional relationship.
8. Complaints procedures
If the client feels that the consultant has breached any terms of the Code, he/she may complain to the SPPCSH’s executive committee. The committee will, within 30 days of the complaint, convene the Professional Conduct Committee to hear both parties ( client and consultant). Within 30 days of convening, the PCC will make a decision on whether or not the complaint is justified. If consultant has been found in breach of the Code,the consultant he/she should resign. If he/she does not resign, the SPPCSH’s full executive committee shall decide at its next meeting on one or more of the following actions:
- Accepting the member’s resignation from SPPCSH
- A warning Suspension from the NRCP.
- Suspension pending satisfactory completion of further training and / or suprvision.
- Expulsion from the SPPCSH, if necessary with immediate effect and subject to confirmation at the next Annual General Meeting ( AGM ) At the NEC ( national executive committee meeting, the consultant can present his/her case in person or in writing or appoint another person to do so. The decesion will be published in the SPPCSH’s Newsletter. The consultant can appeal to the SPPCSH’s Annual general meeting ( AGM), both management committee and consultant can appoint a member to prepare the case for the AGM. No action is taken pending the outcome of the appeal.
The SPPCSH is not liable for any damages claimed by clients as the result of a consultation with an SPPCSH member. The consultant alone is responsible for his/her work and carries full liability for any action for damages