AAPEL organization - Code of ethics and good psychotherapeutic practice  with all respect to patient
Non-profit organization conforming to a law passed in July 1st 1901

Same page in french / Meme page en français
General principles:
The intent is to guide and inspire psychologists toward the very highest ethical ideals of the profession.
The therapeutic practice is a "craft industry", humble, rigorous and committed.  The therapist is supposed to accompany his patient in an often difficult and painful voyage. Such enterprise will confront it (often) with its helplessness. He will refrain from to make himself out to be the holder of the real (the person supposed to know) or of the truth, like the guarantor of the good and the bad, and worst of the "normality"

The list of the rules stated below is not exhaustive.
The patient's interest will constitute the main concern of our ethical preoccupation.

1. The therapist-patient relationship

A) Ethical agreement
It falls to the therapeutist to clarify with his patient the framework and the working conditions and to firmly maintain the limits of this agreement. This framework includes the frequency, schedules and place of the sessions, the amount of the fees, the modes of payment, etc and will constitute a moral contract. Any rupture of the moral contract, intentionaly or not, will be discussed with the patient in order to try to find new agreement.

B) Exclusive character of the therapeutic relationship.
The therapeutic relationship excludes any other form of relationship between the therapeutist and his patient thus with the close/family relationship of him/her.
The therapist will avoid to direct towards his patient any other function that the function of therapist. In clear, the relationship meants to be only therapeutic and in the interest of the patient.

C) Professional ethics.
The therapist has to duty to maintain and develop his professional competence in a field in perpetual evolution. He will abstain from any passage to the act (sexual, violent one, etc...) and any other form of power abuse.

D) Privacy and professional confidentiality.
The contents of the sessions are strictly confidential. The supervisions of case do not constitute an exception, the supervisory therapist having to being subjected to this confidentiality. A possible use of clinical material to didactic or scientific goals will be made with the greatest caution in order to preserve confidentiality of the patient. The patient will be able in exceptional circumstances and within a clearly defined framework, ask its therapeutist to raise part of this professional confidentiality, if he estimates that this could be beneficial for him, the therapist reserving the right to refuse.
E) Limits of competence
Any therapist estimating that the problems of a future patient do not come within his competence has the duty to send this one towards a colleague potentially more able to reach a result.
Similarly, in view of an objective inability to relieve the sufferings of his patient, the therapist has the duty to discuss about it with his possible supervisor then, in a second time, to send his patient towards other colleagues potentially more able to reach a result.

2. Training of new therapists
The rules 1A to 1E apply in the same way to the relation between training therapist and "candidate" therapist. The therapist will not forget that he is also there in a professional situation.

3. Relations between the colleagues who subscribe to the present code of ehics
A) Respect
The therapist will treat its colleagues who subscribe to the present code of ethics with respect and benevolently.
B) Prudence
The therapist who would be lead to intervene in a therapeutic work in progress (for example if his/her colleague is sick or in vacation) will do it with prudence and discretion, and this in a spirit compatible with the ethics.

4. Outside relations
A) Picture
In his relationships to outside the therapist will adopt an attitude in conformity with this code of ethics. It will avoid to denigrate the AAPEL's organization like its members.
B) Commitment
Any therapist being by his action in a delicate situation compared to his ethical engagement with respect to the organization or to the public image of the therapy (public conferences, radio, TV., etc...) is brought of this fact to personally assume the possible consequences of them.

5. The relation with the persons in charge of the AAPEL organization
A) Problem
All adhering to this present code or member of the AAPEL's organization has the responsibility to require to contact with one of the persons in charge of the organization when an ethics problem arise.
B) Refusal
The refusal to get in touche with a person in charge of the AAPEL's organization, when he's called or to collaborate with him with the best intentions constitutes a non ethical behavior which made lead to its radiation

C) Member
The membership of AAPEL's organization implies adhesion with this code of ethics, this remark is worth also for the therapists "candidates".

D) Complaints
Each complaint lodged by a patient against a therapist and who's proving to be legitimate will be objectively analyzed and will be able to possibly lead to his radiation in the event of seriuous fault objectively shown (judiric continuations being able to constitute a last recourse)


Founder president of the aapel
September 19th 2003

AAPEL's statutes(in french)

Vocations of the organization

Doctors code of ethics, right to diagnosis and information

The right to be sick and dignity,(in french)


Contact us

Page formulaire pour s'inscrire dans l'annuaire des spécialistes du trouble (in french)

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All the information in this site is aimed at helping people understand a "rather particular" and puzzling kind of disease
But more especially, to support everyone affected by it, sick or not.  In any case, it is ESSENTIAL to see a therapist who specialises in this field they can confirm or give an alternative diagnosis
The name of what you’ve got doesn’t matter so much, getting the right treatment for the right patient does
Page created sept 19th 2003
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Author, , , founder of the Aapel