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Code of ethics

The analytical encounter is a special and unique type of human encounter: it must provide a framework within which the symbolic contents can unfold, and in which they can be experienced, contained and investigated without being acted out and thus made concrete. The analytical practice is a humble, strict and committed craft.


The analyst (hereinafter referred to as he)  is supposed to guide the analysand on an often difficult and painful journey of initiation. With such an undertaking he is often confronted with his own powerlessness. He must refrain from presenting himself as the holder of the real, of knowing or of the truth, or of guaranteeing the distinction between good and evil, and worse of what is "normal".


The list of rules set out below is not exhaustive; on the other hand, some of these rules may be subject to exceptions, for example in the case of analytical work with children. The interest of the patient will be the main concern in any ethical question.



1. The analyst-analysand relationship


1.1. Clarity and enforcement of the framework.

It is the task of the analyst, together with the analysand, to clarify the framework and working conditions, and to firmly enforce the limits of this "container". This framework includes the frequency, length and location of the sessions, and the fees and terms of payment. Any breakdown of this framework, intentional or not, requires investigation.


1.2. Exclusive nature of the analytical relationship.

The analytical relationship excludes any other form of relationship between the analyst and the analysand or his relatives. The analyst must avoid performing any function other than the analytical one in respect of the analysand.


1.3. Professional ethics.

The analyst must maintain and develop his professional competence.

He abstains from any "acting out" (sexual, violent, etc ...) and from any other form of abuse of power.


1.4. Confidential nature.

The content of the sessions is strictly confidential. Supervision is no exception, since the supervising analyst himself is subject to this rule. Any use of clinical material for didactic or scientific purposes must be done with the utmost care in order to safeguard the anonymity of the analysand.


2. The training relationship


The rules 1.1. up to 1.4. apply, mutatis mutandis, to the relationship between trainer, and aspirant or candidate. The analyst must remember that he is also in a professional situation here.



3. The relationship with colleagues


3.1. The analyst treats his colleagues with respect and benevolence.


3.2. If the analyst intervenes in an ongoing course of psychoanalytic treatment, he does so with caution and discretion, and in an analytical spirit.


3.3. The analyst refrains from any critical judgment towards a colleague, the association to which he belongs or from psychoanalysis, especially in the presence of the analysand.


3.4. When an analyst feels that a colleague of the B.S.J.P. (hereinafter referred to as the School) is not respecting the code of ethics, he first discusses the matter with the person concerned in a spirit of understanding and good faith, in order to clarify the matter. A possible referral to the Ethics Committee is only considered as a last resort.



4. Relationship with the outside world


4.1. In his relations with the outside world, the analyst assumes an attitude that conforms to this code. He avoids denigrating the analysis by making nuanced criticism, or by improperly idealizing it.


4.2. If the analyst thinks he may find himself in a delicate situation with regard to his ethical commitment to the School or to the public image of the analysis (public lectures, radio interviews or discussions, TV appearances, etc.), he is requested to discuss the matter with the Ethics Committee in advance.



5. The relationship with the Ethics Committee


5.1. Each member of the School has the responsibility to request a meeting with the Ethics Committee when he feels that he is faced with a deontological problem.


5.2. The refusal to meet the Ethics Committee when called upon to do so and failing to cooperate in good faith is considered to be non-ethical behaviour.


5.3. The status of member of the School implies full agreement with this code of ethics. This comment also applies to the aspirants and candidates.

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