Spiritual Care Code of Ethics

Our commitment to care seekers and the ecosystem

Dhamma Sila Parisa has agreed that our ministers and apprentices will:

1. Put cares seekers first in the context of greater ecological regeneration by:

• making care seekers and their ecological context the primary focus of our work with them

• acting with care and compassion towards care seekers and their ecosystem by endeavouring to do them no harm

• avoiding conflicts of interest and not exploiting clients for financial, sexual, emotional, academic or other personal gain or in a way that damages the ecosystem

• protecting care seekers when we believe they may be at risk of harm in or out of the organization

2. Work to high professional standards by:

• delivering competent services that aim to meet care seekers’ and their ecosystm’s desired regenerative outcomes

• practicing within the limitations of our training, experience and competence

• maintaining our fitness to practice and never practicing while intoxicated or impaired

• maintaining our professional competence through supervision and spiritual formation

3. Build a relationship of trust by:

• informing care seekers about the nature of the counselling services we offer

• clarifying the terms on which our services are offered, including fees, barter opportunities, gifting, and other forms of exchange including energy exchange, community time banking, and other ground up community building forms

• obtaining adequately informed consent for our services from care seekers and respecting their right to choose whether to continue in spiritual care and counseling

• working within a clearly contracted, principled relationship with our care seekers including proof of insurance

4. Respect diversity by:

• not discriminating against care seekers based on their lifestyle, ideology, values, gender, age, ability, culture, religion, spirituality, sexual identity, and level of ordination either directly or indirectly

• being aware of our personal values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to our diverse care seekers

• being competent to work with care seekers if they come from diverse groups or have special needs

5. Respect confidentiality by:

• protecting care seekers’ privacy and upholding their rights under privacy laws

• informing care seekers’ of their right to confidentiality and explaining the exceptions and legal limits to confidentiality

• explaining realities of current unauthorized surveillance practices  

• taking steps to prevent unauthorized disclosure of care seekers’ personal information

• Taking steps to prevent unwanted exposure of financial transactions

6. Respect professional boundaries by:

• Recognizing the web of interconnection we have between care providers and care seekers, we foster healthy non-exploitative relationships with our care seekers

• not engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with care seekers or with close members of their families both during spiritual care and counseling, and for a period of at least one year post spiritual care and counseling

• we seek to foster healthy relationships with care seekers, former care seekers and their families or friends based on traditional mutual aid models from Buddhism, indigenous traditions, etc.

7. Work ethically with colleagues by:

• communicating in a professional and respectful way that upholds care seeker confidentiality

• ensuring referrals for care seekers are in their best interests and are made with informed consent

• reporting serious cases of ethical misconduct or unfitness to practice

8. Deliver ethical supervision, if they work as Supervisors, by:

• overseeing the work of supervisees in order to protect care seekers from poor practice

• not exploiting supervisees for financial, sexual, emotional, academic or other personal gain

9. Take responsibility for self-care of the Practitioner by:

• taking action to ensure our work doesn’t become detrimental to our own health or wellbeing

• ensuring our practice is safe by not taking undue risks to ourselves