Good Practice: Ethics for the caring professions

Essential knowledge – for counsellors, psychotherapists and anyone else working with distressed people
Good Practice: Ethics for the caring professions

Counts towards the HG DiplomaThis new course is designed to stimulate thinking about the ethical dilemmas and professional difficulties you may encounter when working with people suffering emotional distress.

It gives you sound principles to remember and realistic guidelines to follow whenever difficult ethical situations arise.

Whilst primarily designed for counsellors and psychotherapists, the course can be completed by anyone interested in thinking more clearly about ethical matters, including social workers, occupational therapists, mental health workers, medical and legal professionals.  The guidance offered is not a list of static ‘rules’ but a framework of interlocking ideas and insights through which it is possible to create clear and reasonable codes of professional conduct to help ensure we act ethically. The course discussions raise important considerations and give you valuable insights about the evolution of ethical behaviour and the nature of ethical problems.

Why this course is needed

We live in a world that, despite technological progress, seems to have lost its moral compass. It should go without saying that all therapists should act ethically with their patients, but some don’t. The consequences of this can prove distressing and even damaging for the client involved, and, for the practitioner, can mean anything from public censure, suspension from practice, or full-scale striking off.

So, in addition to following guidelines and a code of practice, therapists need to develop a sound inner intuition of what the right thing to do is in any particular circumstance. However, developing this intuition requires us to escape from our mental pigeon-holes so that we can develop richer patterns of thought, through consideration of a wide range of potential pitfalls and ethical dilemmas, to draw upon and return to throughout our professional lives.

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What you will explore

  • The foundations of ethics
  • Ethics and human nature
  • The difference between ethics, morals and the law
  • The reason ethical dilemmas arise
  • The HG Code of Ethics
  • Examples of modern ethical quandaries
  • Living in a ‘victim culture’ that’s obsessed with blaming
  • Why ethical behaviour is socially conditioned
  • The importance of learning from mistakes
  • Why relying on systems can inhibit flexibility of thought and behaviour
  • Why organisational rigidity drives bureaucracies to behave unethically
  • What determines our individual nature, character and mental health
  • The assumptions we make that get in the way of ethical decision making
  • Typical case histories dealt with by the HGI's Registration and Professional Standards Committee
  • Ethics: needs and wants
  • Ethics, tribalism and political correctness
  • Our inbuilt range of moral emotional responses
  • The illusion of shared perceptions
  • Three ethical safeguards arising from the Human Givens approach
  • The importance of spare capacity when helping others
  • The danger of patients putting therapists on a pedestal
  • Why technology, using artificial intelligence, raises ethical questions

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Course format

  •   24 Videos 
  •   30 Quizzes 
  •   1 Text 
  •   6 hrs 

This online ethics course is delivered by four distinguished Fellows of the HGI, Sue Saunders, Ian Thomson, Ivan Tyrrell and Denise Winn – their discussions provide much food for thought and draw on real case histories that have come before the HGI’s Registration and Professional Standards Committee.

As with all our online courses, you are required to answer multiple-choice questions designed to add to your knowledge and deepen your understanding: an enjoyable, thought-provoking part of the learning process.

Once you have completed the course, you will receive a CPD certificate, which counts towards the Human Givens Diploma.

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Diploma-linked Certificate

When you successfully complete the course, you will be awarded a CPD Certificate by HG College and The Human Givens Institute (equivalent to 6 hours of continuing professional development).

'Good Practice: Ethics for the caring professions' is also a required module of Part 1 of the Human Givens Diploma, so by successfully completing this online course you will also have completed a part of this highly respected qualification.

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About the tutors

Ivan Tyrrell

Ivan Tyrrell

For many years a psychotherapist (specialising in brief therapy for depression, anxiety and trauma), Ivan now spends most of his time lecturing and writing. As a Director of Human Givens College, editorial director of the Human Givens Journal, and board member of the Human Givens Institute, his influence in (and knowledge of) the field of psychotherapy and counselling is considerable. He has written numerous articles on ethics as well as the HG Diploma Manual ethics section. He is a co-founder of The Concilliators Guild.

Sue Saunders

Sue Saunders

Sue Saunders is the current Chair of the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee, Educational Director for HG College, a Fellow of the Human Givens Institute and an HG Supervisor. She has worked in training, coaching and psychotherapy for over 30 years and runs a well-established private practice from the Dublin Human Givens Centre. She also has extensive experience in the corporate world, particularly in IT. She holds a degree in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in Cognitive Science from University College Dublin, and a Masters in Human Givens Psychotherapy from Nottingham Trent University.

Denise Winn

Denise Winn

Denise Winn is editor of the Human Givens Journal which regularly covers ethical issues and relevant research findings, and has practised as a human givens therapist since 2000. Having spent many years as a journalist and writer specialising in psychology, she is author in her own right of 18 books on medical and psychological topics for the lay reader, as well as co-authoring the HG Approach Series of best-selling self-help titles on depression, addiction, anxiety, anger and liberation from pain, and Managing the Monkey with Mark Dawes. She also has over 30 years experience as a trainer in numerous subjects.

Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson is the former deputy chair of the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee, Ian now works as a human givens practitioner in private practice and as an HGI accredited supervisor. His past experience includes complaint management for a large organisation and delivering the ethics component of the HG MA course at Nottingham Trent University.

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