Preamble

The Expressive Arts Therapist (EXAT) honours the essential connection between art and life by striving to promote health, well being and empowerment in those we serve. In doing so, we are guided by the intermodal creative process rooted in the theory of EXAT. The EXAT respects the client’s inherent creativity. The EXAT models and facilitates aesthetic responsibility to the images which emerge through our co-creative therapeutic relationship. The EXAT supports individuals, groups and communities to recognize, access, develop and exercise their capacity to creatively express and respond to their lives.

Outlined here is our Code of Ethics and our Standards of Practice.

The Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA) strives to honour the trust given to us by those whom we serve by setting standards and measures of accountability for the everyday conduct of our members and the ethical practice of our profession. The Code of Ethics expresses the core values and principles which define our profession. The Standards of Practice clarify best practices in ethical behaviour for the purposes of education and consistency, and to provide a reference for the EXAT when resolving ethical dilemmas.

The OEATA Code of Ethics is a statement of eight ethical values which represent a unified expression of our fundamental principles. These are: care and respect for the rights and dignity of persons, continuing education, autonomy, confidentiality, integrity in relationships, aesthetic responsibility, accountability, and social justice. This statement of ethical values is followed by the Standards of Practice with regards to: professional conduct, extended responsibility, professional competence, records, remuneration, leadership, research, and publications.

Professional members are committed to abide by the OEATA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, and thereby to meet the expectations established therein. The Expressive Arts Therapist is aware of the increasingly complex social dynamics which challenge and potentially enrich the therapeutic relationship. Members are encouraged to continue to develop the skills of attunement in relation to the needs of those we serve, and to exercise the highest level of ethical and professional judgement.

As Expressive Arts Therapy practice responds to experience and social change, so too will EXAT ethical principles and standards. The Code of Ethics will be reviewed periodically in response to emerging ethical dilemmas. Open and lively discussion is a welcome and necessary part of this process.

The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice outlined here define professional expectations at this time.

Professional members will be held accountable by the Ethics Committee in order to bring learning and, when necessary, restorative justice for the sake of all involved.