Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysts strive to reduce suffering and promote self-understanding, while respecting human dignity. Above all, we take care to do no harm. Working in the uncertain realm of unconscious emotions and feelings, our exclusive focus must be on safeguarding and benefitting our patients as we try to help them understand their unconscious mental life. Our mandate requires us to err on the side of ethical caution. As clinicians who help people understand the meaning of their dreams and unconscious longings, we are aware of our power and sway. We acknowledge a special obligation to protect people from unintended harm resulting from our own human foibles.
In recognition of our professional mandate and our authority—and the private, subjective and influential nature of our work—we commit to upholding the highest ethical standards. These standards take the guesswork out of how best to create a safe container for psychoanalysis. These ethical principles inspire tolerant and respectful behaviors, which in turn facilitate the health and safety of our candidates, members and, most especially, our patients. Ultimately, ethical behavior protects us from ourselves, while preserving the integrity of our institute and profession.
Professional misconduct is not permitted, including, but not limited to dishonesty, discrimination and boundary violations. Members are asked to keep firmly in mind our core values of personal integrity, tolerance and respect for others. These values are critical to fulfilling our mission as practitioners and educators of psychoanalytic therapy. Prejudice is never tolerated whether on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation or social class. Institute decisions (candidate advancement, professional opportunities, etc.) are to be made exclusively on the basis of merit or seniority. Boundary violations, including, but not limited to sexual misconduct, undue influence, exploitation, harassment and the illegal breaking of confidentiality, are not permitted. Members are encouraged to seek consultation readily when grappling with any ethical or clinical concerns. Participatory democracy is a primary value of ICP. All members and candidates have the responsibility for knowing these guidelines, adhering to them and helping other members comply with them.
The ethics code is here.