Skip to main content

Ethical Framework - Projecting a Positive Image

Projecting a Positive Image

The increasing availability of Play Therapy and Filial Playmeans that most practitioners have other practitioners working in their locality, or may be working closely with colleagues within specialised or multidisciplinary teams.

The quality of the interactions between practitioners can enhance or undermine the claim that play and creative arts therapies enable children to fulfil their potential. This is particularly true for practitioners who work in agencies or teams.

Professional Relationships

Professional relationships should be conducted in a spirit of mutual respect.

Practitioners should endeavour to attain good working relationships and systems of communication that enhance services to clients at all times. It is essential to respect members of other professional bodies working in related fields.

It is not ethical to make overt or implied derogatory remarks about other organisations, methods of training or about the professionalism of their members unless they are founded on evidence and the practitioner is willing to justify them.

Practitioners should treat all colleagues fairly and foster equality of opportunity.

They should not allow their professional relationships with colleagues to be prejudiced by their own personal views about a colleague’s lifestyle, gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, beliefs or culture. It is unacceptable and unethical to discriminate against colleagues on any of these grounds.

Practitioners must not undermine a colleague’s relationships with clients, carers, referrers or commissioners by making unjustified or unsustainable comments.

All communications between colleagues about clients should be on a professional basis and thus purposeful, respectful and consistent with the management of confidences as declared to clients.


The practitioner is responsible for learning about and taking account of the different protocols, conventions and customs that can pertain to different working contexts and cultures.

Making and Receiving Referrals

All routine referrals to colleagues and other services should be discussed with the carer and if at all feasible with the client in advance. The carer’s/person legally responsible and/or client’s consent should be obtained both to making the referral and also to disclosing information to accompany the referral. Reasonable care should be taken to ensure that:

  • the recipient of the referral is able to provide the required service
  • any confidential information disclosed during the referral process will be adequately protected
  • the referral will be likely to benefit the client.

Prior to accepting a referral the practitioner should give careful consideration to:

  • the appropriateness of the referral
  • the likelihood that the referral will be beneficial to the client
  • the adequacy of the carer/client’s consent for the referral

If the referrer is professionally required to retain overall responsibility for the work with the client, it is considered to be professionally appropriate to provide the referrer with brief progress reports. Such reports should be made in consultation with clients and carers and not normally against their explicit wishes.