Principle VI

Welfare of the Analysand

Analysts have the continuing duty to respect the integrity and protect the welfare of their analysands.

  1. Analysts shall inform analysands and/or potential analysands about the purpose and nature of psychoanalytic treatment and about any evaluative, clinical, educational or training procedure proposed, with full cognizance that the person has full freedom to choose whether to participate.
  2. Aware of their own needs and of their influential position vis a vis those in their care, analysts shall make every reasonable effort to avoid dual relationships that could impair their professional judgment. Special caution is to be exercised in regard to the dual relationships involved with those who are analysands as well as students or supervisees. Acting as both analyst and supervisor is to be avoided.
  3. Analysts shall use the initial sessions to explore the presenting problem and determine whether analytic treatment can be of help. They are cautious in their initial prognosis and shall not exaggerate the efficacy of their service.
  4. Analysts shall not use their professional relationships to give or receive other personal gain or services to further their business, political or religious interests, nor shall they encourage analysands to engage in activities in order to profit professional groups or organizations.
  5. Analysts shall terminate an analytic relationship when it is reasonably clear that the analysand is not benefiting from it. At an appropriate time the analyst will initiate a discussion with the analysand about the termination of the relationship and attempt to secure a mutual agreement with the analysand. An analyst shall not cease treatment without giving the analysand adequate notice to locate an alternative. Where appropriate, the analyst shall offer to help the analysand locate alternative sources of assistance.
  6. Any sexual intimacies defined as all forms of overt and covert seductive behavior as well as physical contact of a sexual nature are unethical within the therapeutic relationship. Sexual harassment such as deliberate or repeated comments, gestures, or physical contacts are equally unethical. Sexual intimacy between analyst and analysand constitutes a de facto termination of the analytic process whether consultations continue or not. It is an infringement of an analysand’s right to professional and unimpaired treatment, even when the analysand invites or consents to such involvement. With an awareness that such a transgression is a violation of professional ethics, for which they have a social responsibility and a legal liability, analysts shall terminate the analysis in a respectful and nonpunitive manner, and insofar as possible, with the analysand’s agreement. The analyst will remain aware that a patient so abused may seek redress. In such a situation, analysts shall have the obligation to seek peer consultation and/or competent professional assistance to resolve the personal conflicts and countertransferential reactions that interfere with their professional effectiveness.
  7. Analysts are sensitive and responsive to information received during analytic sessions concerning unethical behavior of another professional. After careful exploration of the circumstances, if deemed appropriate, the analyst shall inform the analysand that the reported behavior is or may be unethical and that guidelines for ethical conduct have been formulated and are available. At all times the principle of confidentiality and the rights and wishes of the analysand shall be the priority consideration.