Ethical Principles with Annotations


“Feeling always binds one to the reality and meaning of symbolic contents and
these in turn impose binding standards of ethical behavior.”
C. G. Jung, The Psychology of the Transference

Practicing psychoanalysts regularly encounter problems characterized by a conflict of duties and the call of opposing ethical demands. Jungian analysts feel that such conflicts are best resolved through an honest inner struggle. These guidelines are meant to serve as an aid in that endeavor.

The ultimate criterion of ethical behavior is the conscience of the individual who has wrestled with the ethical issues involved in any given situation. However, the ethical results arrived at by an individual are not binding on the community or society at large. Like the individual, every community has a right, and an obligation, to define its own standards and values. At times, the demands of individual conscience come into conflict with the accepted social values. For conscience’s sake, the individual may then have to bear the opprobrium of the community and submit to social, professional, and legal sanctions.

Not every ethical conflict between an individual and a community is the result of different standards. Often the problem is the absence of ethical feelings, the subordination of ethics to other needs, and an inability to uphold one’s ethics in practice. Every individual and community suffers from such lapses and failures. No individual or community can lay claim to moral superiority. When we personally fail to live up to the ethical standards we have set for ourselves and our colleagues, or when we are unaware of such failures and they are brought to our attention, we hope to be treated in a compassionate and humane way. When others find themselves in similar circumstances, we hope to accord them the same compassion and humanity. It is in this spirit that we endorse the following guidelines.

The members of the New York Association for Analytical Psychology (NYAAP) are Jungian psychoanalysts trained in helping people to deal with human problems in a psychological way. They remain aware of the fact that membership in the Association is not a given right, but a privilege to be earned and maintained. They are committed to increasing knowledge of the personal and archetypal dimensions of human behavior and to the promotion of interpersonal and intrapsychic understanding. They recognize that the freedom of enquiry and exploration necessary to their work carries with it the commitment to increased consciousness, competence, objectivity and concern for the best interests of analysands, students, colleagues, and the public at large.

In order to fulfill this commitment and to make it more explicit, the members of the NYAAP have agreed upon the following ethical guidelines. These guidelines will not be used to deprive any member of the opportunity or freedom to practice with professional integrity, nor will any procedural action be taken without due provision for safeguarding the rights of the member affected.

All members of the NYAAP are expected to be in compliance with the contents of the code of ethics of other professional groups to which they belong, with the code of ethics for psychoanalysis formulated by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and with the laws of the state(s) in which they practice.

The following provisions are not to be taken as creating any kind of legal liability, either civil or criminal.