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Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute
FOAT® ETHICS AND GUIDELINES

If you have questions or concerns about the FOAT® Ethics and Guidelines document, please contact us

FOAT® Ethics

1.       SAFETY COMES FIRST:

This is a guiding principle of FOAT®– always attending to the safety needs of the Focuser– emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Safety comes before any intervention. Concern for the Focuser’s wellbeing is primary. 

 

Safety is guided by Focusing-oriented principles of encouraging the Focuser to always listen to what is right for them according to their felt sense and following their lead.

2.       Ethical Guidelines of your Profession or Affiliation:

You must also follow the ethical guidelines of your profession, registration, or credential in your field. This is essential because you are training in FOAT® to integrate into your profession or area of interest. Therefore, adhering to those ethical guidelines is essential for the integration of FOAT® into your profession or area of interest. 

3.       Listening:

FOAT® is guided by compassionate listening– always listening and honoring what the Focuser has to share– honoring the Focuser’s experience and felt sense.

4.       Scope of Practice:

It is important to understand what your role is and follow that Scope of Practice. Think about and determine, are you a:

 

a. Peer– FOAT® Partnership or Trio

b. Psychotherapist, expressive arts therapist, counselor

c. Bodyworker, massage therapist, etc.

d. Spiritual director, advisor, etc.

e. Trainer in a workshop

f.  Coach

g. Mentor 

5.       Dual Roles:

Please be aware of the possibility of dual roles.

 

Examples: 

As a FOAT® partner, you are peers in the relationship. It seems appropriate that you may develop a friendship. If so, please be aware of what it is to be a friend and hold the FOAT® partnership with confidentiality.

 

As a psychotherapist integrating FOAT®, you are a psychotherapist and the Focuser is a client. Please follow your professional association’s guidelines regarding dual roles.  

 

Although at times dual roles are unavoidable (such as a psychotherapist counseling another psychotherapist and attending the same conference), the FOAT® guidelines advise clarifying this dual role ahead of time, if possible– and checking to see how that feels for the Focuser and agreeing on what would be the best way to handle the situation.

6.       Confidentiality:

The Focuser’s confidentiality is maintained at all times except under specific circumstances– such as if the person is a danger to themselves or others. You must first follow the Ethical and Legal guidelines if you are a mandated reporter. Please follow the guidelines within your primary profession (e.g., psychologists, social worker, counselor, marriage and family therapist, educator, etc.). 

 

If you are not a mandated reporter and have concerns about your client or student while working with FOAT®, please seek immediate consultation/supervision to assess the most appropriate ethical response. 

 

Confidentiality also includes keeping confidential photos, artwork, digital media, and other identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) unless you have a signed release of information. This applies to postings on social media, as well. You can share your own work but not others unless you have a written release to do so.

7.       Sexual Energy and Dynamics:

It is imperative to keep your energy clear. It is important to seek consultation so that you keep  the safety and integrity of your FOAT® work clear. It is considered unethical to cross boundaries of FOAT® work and to engage in a sexual relationship. Sexual intimacies and sexual harassment are considered unethical behavior. If you consider crossing that boundary of sexual behavior with a client, supervisee, or student, you must immediately seek professional consultation for therapeutic assistance to resolve these personal issues. It is also recommended to seek legal consultation related to the ethics and legalities of your profession and/or training (credentials, certifications, etc.). 

8.       Agreements and Informed Consent:

It is advisable and ethical to begin any working relationship with a contract, agreement and/or Informed Consent form so that the client understands the terms of working together. You must abide by the guidelines of your profession, registration, or credential in your field. Agreements typically include the following: Introduction (description of service, scope of practice, etc.), Disclaimer, Payment, Refund policy, Rescheduling policy, Client responsibility, Confidentiality, Termination, Indemnity / Limitation of Liability.

9.       Copyright and Professional Materials:

It is ethical to cite materials from other professionals and colleagues and to abide by the legalities of copyrighted materials. 

10.     Continuing Education:

I will abide by the continuing education requirements in my profession (if required) and also participate in at least 1 FOAT® learning activity per year.

11.     Ethics Concerns and Right to Revoke Certification:

The Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute will attempt to resolve any ethical issues first through direct communication with the Certified FOAT® Facilitator or FOAT® Practitioner. The Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute has the right to revoke Certification as a FOAT® Facilitator or FOAT® Practitioner due to violation of any items stated in this FOAT® Ethics and Guidelines document. If you are a Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT®, The International Focusing Institute will be notified of Ethics concerns.

FOAT® Guidelines

Guidelines for the use of Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) for:

  • Certified FOAT® Facilitator or FOAT® Practitioner

  • Certified Focusing Trainer: Specialization in FOAT®

1.     About the Training:

The training is in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®)

Note: It is not Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts Therapy

The trainings offered in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) are not trainings to be an expressive arts therapist or psychotherapist. It is about integrating Focusing and the Expressive Arts into your area of interest or expertise (which may be in psychotherapy, expressive arts or other arts therapies, social work, education, coaching, wellness, body-work, personal growth, arts, etc.). 

 

You can only call yourself an "Expressive Arts Therapist" (or other Arts Therapist) or psychotherapist only if you have the proper training. In the U.S., one needs to have a Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Drama Therapy, Dance Therapy, etc. 


Therefore, completing a certification program in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) allows you to state it as it is: you are trained in Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) and integrate that into your profession or non-clinical application.

2.     It is important to understand the terminology:

 a.  Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®):

An integration of one or more of the expressive arts modalities (i.e. art, dance-movement, writing, drama, music, etc.).  It is an umbrella term for both clinical and non-clinical applications.

 

This term, phrase and acronym can and should be used to describe what you are learning or providing to others as a Certified FOAT® Facilitator or Practitioner; or Certified Focusing Trainer (FOT or Professional): Specialization in FOAT®.  

 

IMPORTANT: This does NOT have the word “Therapy” in it.  This phrase is the correct phrase and acronym for everyone in the Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) Trainings. There are only certain situations when the word “therapy” can be used. See “b” and “c” below.

 b.  Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy (FOAT®):

A professional application of the integration of Focusing and Art Therapy developed by Dr. Laury Rappaport. Only professionally trained art therapists with a graduate degree in Art Therapy should use this term; otherwise people may think you have professional training as an art therapist– which would be misleading– and therefore unethical. 

 

If you have been trained in an Institute or similar program, then it is more accurate to describe that you have a degree in _area of study_ with additional institute training in art therapy (or certificate in art therapy). The same applies to all of the arts– music therapy, psychodrama, drama therapy, poetry therapy, etc.

 c.  Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts Therapy (FOAT®):

A professional application of the integration of Focusing and Expressive Arts Therapy developed by Dr. Laury Rappaport. Only professionally trained expressive arts therapists should use this term; otherwise people may think you have professional training as an expressive arts therapist– which would be misleading– and therefore unethical.

 

If you have been trained in an Institute or similar program, then it is more accurate to describe that you have a degree in _area of study_ with additional institute training in art therapy (or certificate in art therapy). The same applies to all of the arts– music therapy, psychodrama, drama therapy, poetry therapy, etc.

By signing and submitting this form, I am verifying that I have read and agree to abide by the FOAT® Ethics and Guidelines document.

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