EDEN Ethical Framework | EDEN

By: Eden  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Counselling

This document outlines the ethical framework of the EDEN Counselling Service.  Our Service seeks to engage a respectful, collaborative, transparent, culturally appropriate and negotiated professional practice that is grounded in EDEN philosophy and values. Our ethical aims are to be explicit about the model underpinning the EDEN counselling service, to align what we choose to do with our philosophy and values, and to ensure congruency across the organisation.  We also seek, through this framework of ethical practice, to name, value and legitimise our approach to eating difficulties.  EDEN counsellors and support workers agree to work within the hallmarks of practice outlined below.

Some assumptions and ideas informing our work

  • We assume that our clients hold knowledges about the eating difficulties they are experiencing.  Through counselling, we seek to make visible the knowledges and competencies of our clients so that they can value and harness these resources in their journey away from eating issues.
  • We actively promote health-giving ideas, such as the idea of ‘health at every size’, which includes affirming eating when hungry and stopping when full; enjoyable and sustainable exercise; and finding ways to appreciate and enjoy our bodies regardless of size and shape.
  • We do not support a dieting or weight loss focus for anyone because such approaches may introduce people to disordered eating and have not been shown to independently improve health.
  • We understand that the ‘personal is political’ and seek to make many kinds of connections between the two, so as to support individual, social and cultural change.

Our approach to counselling

  • Our approach recognises and seeks to resource the power and knowledge of the client through a transparent, negotiated and collaborative counselling practice that supports a person’s preferred identity and health-giving ways of thinking and living.  We negotiate ways of talking about eating difficulties to ensure that individuals can engage fully in counselling without feeling that their whole identity is determined by the problems they are experiencing.  We therefore promote a non-pathologising and non-medicalising approach to eating difficulties.
  • Our intention is to generate useful questions and co-create valuable knowledges that will enable the person to develop insights that will support change.  Our counselling approach is not ‘a one size fits all model’.
  • We recognise that eating difficulties are not an individualised phenomena and therefore we endeavour, when appropriate, to connect clients with ‘communities of concern’ that may offer them useful support.
  • We actively promote a ‘hope-full’ approach on the basis that people can and do make significant life-enhancing changes in relation to the eating difficulties they are experiencing – with and without counselling.

Our positioning and commitments as counsellors and support workers

  • We discourage any positioning of EDEN counsellors and support workers as ‘experts’ and seek actively to harness the expertise of our clients so as to disrupt traditional power relationships in counselling and professional practice.
  • We see the counsellor as a practitioner who comes with knowledges that may be of use to the client.  These knowledges may include ‘book-learning’ and/or knowledges gained through life experiences.
  • We seek to use language that is accessible to people; and through the use of such language want our work to be seen, available and clear to, and inclusive of clients, staff, health professionals and the wider community.
  • In addition to operating within the ethical framework outline here, we uphold and are bound by the Code of Ethics of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors and the EDEN Code of Ethics.

Applying the imperatives of the Treaty of Waitangi to our work

  • We seek to understand and engage with Maori interpretations of and approaches to eating difficulties as well as to collaborate with Maori practitioners and agencies working in the field.

Keywords: Counselling

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Dr. Johnston developed Hawaiiâ??s first inpatient eating disorders treatment program at Kahi Mohala Hospital in 1986 and is an expert in treating a wide range of eating disorders from anorexia and bulimia to compulsive/binge eating and eating disorders associated with severe obesity and bariatric surgery.