About Code of Conduct and Ethics
1. Leaves Institute strongly recommends that those who take professional training from Yumiko Naka, or who plan to conduct their own work related to Yumiko Naka’s training, should accept this Leaves Institute Code of Conduct & Ethics (COCE) and conduct their work based on this COCE. Yumiko Naka and Leaves Trainers act strictly in accordance with this COCE.
The fundamental values within this statement are individual dignity, fairness, humility for learning, and honesty. Holding and acting with regard to these values is necessary to provide the best work. The COCE stipulates ethical responsibility and principles of value and respect for individual multiplicity. The COCE does not exclude or recommend any particular religion or thought.
Practitioners should act as professionals with professional responsibilities. The COCE, like other ethical codes, does not answer every question which might arise in a variety of situations. Practitioners must be able think and act with certainty by themselves, as professionals.
2. The COCE is based on the fundamental values listed below:
- We place high esteem and value upon each individual we meet, and we endeavour to establish stable mutual trust which is indispensible for open-minded work
- We respect each client’s will and act as professionals who provide the work that clients want.
- We respect each client’s privacy, protect confidentiality of personal information, observe the law, and strive to work for the benefit of the public.
- We take care of ourselves in order to provide the best work to clients. We try to be flexible in responding to changes of society and environment and steadily enhance ourselves.
3. We believe the following ethical capacities are important qualities for practitioners:
(1) being thoughtful and empathic to others, being humble, fair and faithful in all communications, respecting human beings and natures, and being flexible to various events occurring around us;
(2) having enough skill as professionals, and trusting our own judgment, feelings and orientation (direction);
(3) the ability to act with courage from true feelings of compassion and gratitude;
4. The COCE intends to protect clients and those who are related to Leaves’ work by specifying the guidelines on which practitioners should act as professionals in a variety of situations. At the same time, we envision the COCE becoming beneficial to the public and society, and bringing happiness to human beings and the whole of nature.
5. Practitioners meet and listen carefully to clients – humbly, with thoughtful mind and gratitude, and respect for each individual. Remember that each client has a unique background including age, gender, race, culture, religion, thought, possible mental or physical handicaps, social positions, sexual orientation, life style, and any other diversity. Practitioners should strictly refrain from pushing their own thought and religion onto clients.
6. Practitioners respect each client’s will and freedom of choice. Practitioners provide clients in advance, with clarity and accuracy, details of work to be provided, range of responsibility, fees, and possibility of additional work in the future. Most importantly, practitioners respect the client’s decision whether or not to have the work.
7. All treatment decisions are made with the client’s free-thinking mind and agreement. This is the most important point in starting the work. Practitioners do not disturb, enforce, or manipulate the client’s free will, even when practitioners feel that their conduct would be beneficial to the client.
8. Practitioners obtain clear agreements from clients in advance of implementing the work. As vague agreements might cause misunderstanding later, practitioners record and retain the agreements in written form (such as e-mail and documents) so that they can confirm it later.
9. Practitioners are obliged to give proper answers to questions from clients about their work. However, practitioners should also be flexible and may decide not to answer at times if they think their work might be compromised or that clients might be harmed by disclosing all details of the work.
10. Practitioners describe the range and the effect of their work accurately and faithfully. Unless they are a specialist with legal license (like a doctor, for example) practitioners should not give medical advice to their clients.
11. With younger clients, practitioners should think especially carefully about the balance between the client’s dependence on their guardian and their own independence. Consider young clients’ instability from their age, sensitivity, susceptibility to their environment and so on. Practitioners should also carefully consider young clients’ ability to form agreements and how to handle personal information provided by the clients. In Leaves, basically we need a guardian’s written agreement for clients whose age is under 20. For clients under age 16, practitioners need to report the contents of the work to the guardians, with respect for the clients’ privacy, if the guardians request it.
12. Practitioners should very carefully consider whether to perform work in any case where the client seems unstable, mentally or emotionally. Practitioners withhold their service if clients have an illness that might badly affect the clients, or if clients are badly drunk, or in any other case where practitioners think it difficult to provide safe and effective work. Practitioners should also refrain from working if they do not know the condition of a client.
13. Practitioners think carefully whether they can provide the work that clients wish to have, by considering their own ability, skills and experiences. Practitioners should ask opinions from specialists who have more skills and experiences than themselves, when necessary, in order to decide if they can provide the work.
14. Practitioners do not take any immoral or objectionable actions against clients. Sexual harassment, monetary pressure, emotional pressure, any other mental and physical harassment, any other type of pressure, violence and exploitation are unacceptable behaviors. In case of any misunderstanding with clients, practitioners try to dispel the misunderstanding at once.
15. Practitioners are responsible for displaying their work and providing information by which clients decide whether they want to commit to performing the work. The information and contents of such displays must be accurate. Practitioners should show only the work that they can provide it safely and should not display any work that they have not mastered yet. If practitioners are under training to learn a technique, they should clearly indicate that. Practitioners should be willing to display their work at any time with clarity, honesty and fairness.
16. Practitioners show their work to the public properly, subject to regulation such as the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions and copyright law. Practitioners cannot portray someone’s work without written permission from the person who made the original work. As deceptive acts are usually illegal and are deeply harmful to professional trust of the practitioners, we need to be very careful to portray our work honestly and accurately.
17. Practitioners should separate carefully their personal and private relationships from their professional relationships. Practitioners do not take advantage of the trust with clients who need healing facilitated by open work, both mentally and physically. In particular they should not take sexual relationships with clients. In terms of sexual relationships, practitioners should think carefully about possible damage to the clients even after the work has been completed.
18. Practitioners take care to ensure the quality of their work, and to make certain the work performed is what clients wanted and agreed to. To be certain of their work process, practitioners provide supervision or additional work if they think it is proper or if clients request them to do so. Practitioners must respond to client feedback in good faith and issue refunds or take other appropriate action if clients are not satisfied with the results of the work. Practitioners should explain in advance their policies, including response to complaints and refunds to clients.
Privacy and Confidentiality of Information
19. Practitioners respect clients’ privacy and have a duty of confidentiality toward information which they obtain at their work. Privacy and Confidentiality is a legal right of clients, and practitioners are responsible for protecting those rights.
20. Privacy and confidentiality of personal information is a fundamental element of mutual trust between practitioners and clients. Practitioners administrate and protect confidentiality carefully, and in principle they do not disclose private information to anybody except in the cases listed below:
1) There is legal request by a government or other recognized authority.
2) There is prior agreement or permission by clients.
3) There is a necessity of disclosure (for example in a case where there is danger to somebody’s life, body or property) and it would be difficul to obtain the client’s permission at the moment.
4) Exceptions can be made when the personal information is edited and processed so that no one can discern the data or identify the clients.
22. Practitioners keep records of the work they perform, and store all recorded data of the work with strict confidentiality.
23. Practitioners need to make clear the contents of their work and obtain agreement from the clients in advance when there is a possibility that clients’ personal information might be uncovered, as in the following situations:
1) There is an observer at the session.
2) Practitioners record the work, take a picture, or make a film of the work.
3) Practitioners reveal the contents of the work to somebody by written form.
Self-Management: Maintenance and Improvement of Skills
24. Practitioners are responsible for tending to themselves so that their work is done legally and properly.
25. Leaves Institute values supervision. Practitioners have to have counseling or consultation regularly regarding their work in order to maintain and constantly improve the quality of the work they provide to clients. (This is defined as supervision.) Regular supervision is an important element for practitioners to maintain their own mental and physical condition, and to protect clients who are provided work from the practitioners.
26. When practitioners are not confident with their work, their mental or physical condition, or the environment surrounding them, it is highly recommended to seek supervision. However, whether practitioners take supervision depends on their free will as professionals.
27. Practitioners are responsible for keeping themselves in peak mental and physical condition in order to provide safe and fulfilling work at any moment. If practitioners recognize that their condition is not good, they should consult doctors or other professionals. They should also consult supervisors and refrain from performing work in case they cause harm to clients or their work becomes detrimental to themselves.
28. Practitioners need to have feedback from clients and from others related to their work – colleagues and supervisors – so that they can improve the contents of the work. Practitioners also need to provide a system by which they can obtain feedback and assessment, by being monitored and reviewed by others. Practitioners should be willing to accept assessment, judgment, opinions, and reviews in order to enhance their work.
29. Practitioners should be flexible about changes in their environment including surroundings, society, their own work, type of relationship with clients and any other elements that might change around them. To deal with those changes properly, they should always try stay in top condition mentally and physically, and learn humbly the knowledge and skills necessary to professionals.
30. If clients harm themselves or others, practitioners should consider carefully not only the protection of those clients but also the injured parties, others related to the victims, and the effect on society in general. In such cases, because practitioners must act in a manner that maintains trust with the clients, protects the clients, and is responsive to other related people, the case tends to become difficult. Generally, the practitioners should consult those who have more experience than themselves, specialists of the field, or supervisors.
Relationship between Practitioners
31. Practitioners should respect and trust each other and foster good relationships. By exchanging knowledge, skills and professional opinions, they continually improve their ability to provide the best work to clients and enhancing their own skills.
32. Practitioners should respect the relationships between other practitioners and their clients, and not disturb or break those relationships. Because the trust between practitioners and clients is vital for any work, practitioners should never defame, malign, or contend with each other. Practitioners should be very careful never to make clients and other related people anxious or perturbed.
33. In cases where one practitioner introduces clients to other practitioners, the practitioner must first get agreement from the clients, including handling of their personal information. Practitioners, in their professional judgment, can introduce their clients to other practitioners only when the new practitioners have the skills to satisfy those clients’ needs and expect the work to be beneficial for the clients. Practitioners respect clients’ dignity when contacting other practitioners on behalf of their clients.
34. Practitioners are responsible for protecting clients from harm. If a practitioner recognizes that another practitioner is working in bad conditions (for example when ill or unstable, mentally or physically), practitioners should advise the affected practitioner to stop working or to have supervision. Urge the practitioner to see a doctor or other professional organization, as appropriate.
35. If a practitioner finds other practitioners conducting their work illegally, he or she must recognize that such behavior harms not only clients and related people but also society itself. The practitioner should advise the illegal practitioners to immediately stop their conduct and call police or other proper organization, if necessary. If a solution cannot be found, please consult other experienced practitioners, supervisors or other professional organization.
36. Practitioners should act humbly, immediately and faithfully when they have claims from clients or other related persons. Practitioners must endeavor to handle such matters with gratitude and as learning opportunities, even when they do not believe themselves to be at fault.
37. Practitioners should immediately consult more experienced practitioners, supervisors or any other proper professional organization, if they cannot resolve the claims or find it difficult to deal with those matters by themselves.
38. If complaints occur, practitioners should immediately remove any mental or physical harm (injury, stress or other damage) from the clients or related persons. It is the practitioner’s responsibility to discontinue the harm and consult immediately more experienced practitioners, supervisors or other professional organizations for advice.