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Code of Ethics

Highest Standards of Practice and Ethics

  1. Counselling and therapy providers at Cherish Pediatric Counselling must go above and beyond to meet the Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics set up by their licensing colleges or associations.

  2. We presume the competence of our clients.  We challenge the assumption of deficit and incapableness.  We believe our clients have the capacity to think, learn, and understand and work to facilitate the right support and systems to help them succeed.

  3. Human self-determination is paramount. We uphold every child's right to autonomy and peace. Children have the right to consent and withdraw consent to therapy services at any time.  

  4. We uphold every child's right to dignity and privacy.  We hold confidentiality for our clients regardless of age and we will reframe from discussing and talking about them in front of them unless they are collaboratively involved in the discussion.

  5. We value trust, open communication, and teamwork with the adults in the children's life.  We desire and welcome their interests, curiosity, and involvement.  We are committed to supporting them from a judgment-free, respectful, compassionate, and collaborative approach.

  6. We recognize adults may carry fear and shame regarding their parenting mistakes and bad habits.  We also recognize that Aboriginal families are systematically over-reported for child safety concerns.  Therefore, we must proactively and continuously communicate about our safety threshold towards breaking confidentiality. If necessary, we first inform the adults and invite them to be a part of the reporting process. 

  7. We actively examine and confront our own privileges and biases, especially ablism through an intersectional perspective.  

  8. We uphold Canadian Disability Rights and the social model of disability.  Disabled people have always been a part of human existence.  We reject the perception that disability is a tragedy and disable people as a burden.

  9. We pledge to uphold the ethics and code of conduct set forth by Therapist Neurodiversity Collective.  This includes a commitment to not use or encourage the use of applied behavioural analysis (ABA), positive behavioural support (PBS), and masking-oriented behavioural modification.

Ethical Principles in Pediatric Therapy

  1. Humans are perfectly imperfect.  Everyone is perfect, including neurodiverse children, exactly the way they are.  We reject the idea that children should not misbehave or make mistakes.  We also reject the idea that neurodiverse individuals should live and act neurotypically.

  2. We acknowledge that therapists are perfectly imperfect ourselves, and we are dedicated to constantly question our own assumptions, triggers and how they may colour our perspective and reactions.  

  3. Power dynamics and financial transactions are an inescapable part of the therapist-client relationship.  Even though parents are the payer, children are our clients, and we prioritize children's wellbeing over our own desire to demonstrate our therapeutic competence.  We are also sensitive to the children's additional vulnerability in therapist-child client relationships.

  4. Everyone is the first witness and expert of their person and experience.  Although subjective, we are committed to believing children's lived experience, perspective, and narrative as they see it and not how we or the parents may imagine their experience to be.

  5. We prioritize establishing and maintaining safety on all 5 levels of Maslow's hierarchy in all areas of the client's life.  We prioritize belonging over fitting in. 

  6. We believe the best, authentic, and most embodied changes come from within. We prioritize helping clients discover their own understand and answers.  We believe there is no formula or prescription to living a full and fulfilling life.

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