Code of Ethics


Modern psychoanalysts subscribe to the highest standards of ethical conduct in the course of their professional activities. This Code is intended to guide the Society’s members in their professional work as psychoanalysts, supervisors, teachers, researchers, and in other professional capacities in their relationships to each other and their patients or clients, as well as with external agencies and the general public. The aim of the guidelines that follow is to protect and promote the welfare of individuals and society as a whole and to be in harmony with the law through the use of modern psychoanalytic principles.

1. Relationships Between Analyst-Patient/Supervisee/Student/Client

1.1   Analyst and analysand/supervisee/student/client determine by mutual agreement the length and frequency of sessions, the time and place where the sessions will be held, the cost and method of payment, the conditions for cancellation of sessions, and other issues that may arise, as early as feasible and appropriate. Other aspects of, or changes in contractual arrangements are discussed as they arise in the treatment or other contractual agreement.

1.2   Members have a primary obligation to respect the confidentiality of information revealed in the course of treatment by an analysand. The exception is when the analysand and/or the community need to be protected from imminent danger in compliance with the requirements of the law.

1.2.1  As appropriate, analysands are informed of the legal limits of confidentiality and under what conditions information revealed in the analysis may be disclosed, and to whom.

1.2.2  It is the member’s responsibility to maintain confidentiality in the storage and disposal of records. An analyst may release information obtained in an analysis only with the prior authorization of the analysand or parent or guardian, in compliance with the law.

1.2.3  Except when consulting with colleagues in the interest of the treatment, members obtain consent from an analysand before presenting personal information revealed during the course of their professional activities and disguise all identifying information.

1.3   Members neither misrepresent their academic and/or professional training and/or experience, their professional affiliations, nor the limitations of psychoanalysis either to analysands/students/supervisees, clients or the public. Members do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or advise on issues outside the limits of their own competence.

1.4   Members avoid all forms of physical contact of a sexual or other inappropriate nature.

1.5   When expressing professional opinions, members do not purport to speak on behalf of the Association or to represent its official position except as authorized by the Board.

1.6   Members involved in scientific or scholarly research abide by established ethical norms in the academic community in the conduct of their work.

1.7   Members comply with all laws, rules and regulations of any governmental authority having jurisdiction over him/her and by the guidelines for professional conduct set forth in this Code of Ethics.

Professional Misconduct

1.1   The Board of Trustees may impose appropriate sanctions or termination of membership upon a member, if the Board, or one of its committees responsible for governing appropriate professional conduct or practice, determines that such applicant or member has committed professional misconduct.

1.2   The member upon whom the sanction or termination has been imposed has the right to appeal following guidelines determined by the Board of Trustees. Such appeal procedures will be submitted in writing and made available to all members.

 © 2009 SMP - Society of Modern Psychoanalysts

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