The Board of Directors of The Mormon Mental Health Association (MMHA) hereby put into effect the following code of ethics for all members who choose to associate themselves with this organization – effective July 1, 2014.
The MMHA strives to honor the public trust in members of this organization by setting standards for ethical practice as described in this Code. The ethical standards define professional expectations and will be enforced by the MMHA Board of Directors. The standards written here are not meant to be exhaustive. Members of our organization who are uncertain about the ethics of a particular course of action are encouraged to seek counsel from consultants, attorneys, supervisors, colleagues, or other appropriate authorities. If the Board decides a member has broken the Code of Ethics after investigation, the member will be dismissed from the organization. The Board reserves the right to dismiss any member at any time for unethical conduct.
When making decisions regarding professional behavior, members of our organization are expected to consider the Code of Ethics of their particular profession (if applicable). If the MMHA Code of Ethics prescribes a standard higher than that required by law, or other codes of ethics – MMHA members must be willing to comply to the higher standard of the MMHA code of ethics. The MMHA supports legal mandates for reporting of alleged unethical conduct.
The MMHA Code of Ethics is binding on members of MMHA in all membership categories. MMHA members have an obligation to be familiar with the MMHA Code of Ethics and its application to their professional services.
Principle I Responsibility to Clients, Students, Supervisees, Research Participants, etc. (referred to as “clients” in the following document) MMHA members are committed to the advanced welfare of families and individuals who identify anywhere on the Mormon spectrum. They respect the rights of those persons seeking their assistance, and make reasonable efforts to ensure their services are used appropriately.
1.1 Non-Discrimination. MMHA members provide professional assistance to persons without discrimination on the basis of race, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, gender, health status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.
1.2 Informed Consent. MMHA members obtain appropriate informed consent to professional services rendered and use language that is reasonably understandable to clients.
1.3 Multiple Relationships. MMHA members avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of those they serve. Clinical therapists, especially, make every effort to avoid conditions and multiple relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation. Such relationships include, but are not limited to, business, ecclesiastical or close personal relationships with a client or the client’s immediate family.
1.4 Sexual Intimacy with Current Clients and Others. Sexual intimacy with current clients, or their spouses or partners is prohibited. Engaging in sexual intimacy with individuals who are known to be close relatives, guardians or significant others of current clients is prohibited. Engaging in therapy with previous sexual partners is prohibited.
1.5 Sexual Intimacy with Former Clients and Others. Sexual intimacy with former clients, their spouses or partners, or individuals who are known to be close relatives, guardians or significant others of clients is likely to be harmful and is therefore prohibited for two years following the termination of last professional contact. Even after two years, sexual contact is largely discouraged.
1.6 Client Autonomy in Decision Making. MMHA members respect the rights of clients to make decisions and help them to understand the consequences of these decisions. Clinical therapists clearly advise clients that clients have the responsibility to make life decisions such as cohabitation, marriage, divorce, custody/visitation, sexual orientation status claims, religious affiliation, and religious/spiritual belief or practice, - and they do not allow their own personal biases to encourage or discourage a client’s life decision.
1.7 Referrals. MMHA members assist persons in obtaining other therapeutic services if the therapist is unable or unwilling, for appropriate reasons, to provide professional help.
1.8 Evidence-Based Treatment. MMHA members strive to use evidence-based, best-practice approaches in their professional services. They agree not to use treatments that have been repudiated by major professional organizations. For example, a treatment model such as reparative therapy for sexual orientation is not permissible.
1.9 Confidentiality. MMHA members abide by confidentiality regulations mandated by their professions. MMHA members are expected to report suspected child or elder abuse to applicable state agencies. They disclose to clients confidentiality procedures as early as feasible, they attain written authorization when release of client information is necessitated, and they do not share identifying information with colleagues or referral sources. MMHA members are willing to train ecclesiastical leaders who may be unfamiliar with confidentiality practice and do not pressure clients to sign releases of information for ecclesiastical leaders.
1.10 Truthful Representation of Services. MMHA members represent facts truthfully to clients, third-party payors, and supervisees regarding services rendered and financial fees. Principle II Professional Competence and Integrity MMHA members maintain high standards of professional competence and integrity.
2.1 Maintenance of Competency. MMHA members pursue knowledge of new developments, particularly in evidence based practices, and maintain their competence in their respective fields through education, training, or supervised experience.
2.2 Knowledge of Regulatory Standards. MMHA members maintain adequate knowledge of and adhere to applicable laws, ethics, and professional standards.
2.3 Seek Assistance. MMHA members seek appropriate professional assistance for their personal problems or conflicts that may impair work performance or clinical judgment.
2.4 Bias. MMHA members seek to be aware of personal bias, such as religious or ideological views, which could interfere in allowing clients to explore freely within a therapeutic process.
2.5 Conflicts of Interest. MMHA members do not provide services that create a conflict of interest that may impair work performance or clinical judgment. This would include ecclesiastical roles.
2.6 Veracity of Scholarship. MMHA members, as presenters, teachers, supervisors, consultants and researchers, are dedicated to high standards of scholarship, present accurate information, and disclose potential conflicts of interest.
2.7 Harassment. MMHA members do not engage in sexual or other forms of harassment of clients, students, trainees, supervisees, employees, colleagues, or research participants.
2.8 Exploitation. MMHA members do not engage in the exploitation of clients, students, trainees, supervisees, employees, colleagues, or research participants.
2.9 Accurate Presentation of Findings. MMHA members make efforts to prevent the distortion or misuse of their clinical and research findings. Plagarism, falsification of fabrication will not be tolerated.
2.10 Accurate Professional Representation. MMHA members accurately represent their competencies, education, training, and experience relevant to their services rendered.
2.11 Public Statements. MMHA members exercise special care when making public their professional recommendations and opinions through testimony or other public statements. Only MMHA members who serve on the Board of Directors can make statements that represent the official views of MMHA.
2.12 Violations. MMHA members are in violation of this Code and subject to termination of membership or other appropriate action if they: (a) are convicted of any felony; (b) are convicted of a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions; (c) engage in conduct which could lead to conviction of a felony, or a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions; (d) are expelled from or disciplined by other professional organizations; (e) have their licenses or certificates suspended or revoked or are otherwise disciplined by regulatory bodies; (f) continue to practice in their respective fields while no longer competent to do so because they are impaired by physical or mental causes or the abuse of alcohol or other substances; or (g) fail to cooperate with the Association at any point from the inception of an ethical complaint.
Principle III Responsibility to Research Participants Investigators respect the dignity and protect the welfare of research participants, and are aware of applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards governing the conduct of research.
3.1 Protection of Research Participants. Investigators are responsible for making careful examinations of ethical acceptability in planning studies. To the extent that services to research participants may be compromised by participation in research, investigators seek the ethical advice of qualified professionals not directly involved in the investigation and observe safeguards to protect the rights of research participants.
3.2 Informed Consent. Investigators requesting participant involvement in research inform participants of the aspects of the research that might reasonably be expected to influence willingness to participate. Investigators are especially sensitive to the possibility of diminished consent when participants are also receiving clinical services, or have impairments which limit understanding and/or communication, or when participants are children.
3.3 Right to Decline or Withdraw Participation. Investigators respect each participant’s freedom to decline participation in or to withdraw from a research study at any time. This obligation requires special thought and consideration when investigators or other members of the research team are in positions of authority or influence over participants.
3.4 Confidentiality of Research Data. Information obtained about a research participant during the course of an investigation is confidential unless there is a waiver previously obtained in writing. When the possibility exists that others, including family members, may obtain access to such information, this possibility, together with the plan for protecting confidentiality, is explained as part of the procedure for obtaining informed consent.