InnerEthics® provides a reflective, compassionate, and transpersonal approach to being in “Right Relationship” with ourselves, our clients, and in community with others. It offers concepts and practical tools to help us avoid ethical pitfalls and develop our inner ethical awareness.
The InnerEthics® model complements our traditional ethics education of codes, laws, and standards of care. Although these external guidelines are necessary, they do not provide a comprehensive ethics model. InnerEthics® addresses missing elements of ethical discernment and behavior that help us more skillfully navigate the complexities of our profession.
This approach extends and strengthens our internal locus of control and bridges our internal and external ethical worlds with self-inquiry and compassion. When we encounter the unique ethical challenges of profound, extra-ordinary states of consciousness, the need for a holistic ethical intelligence intensifies. InnerEthics® has concepts and tools to help.
“I have found it true and comforting that every ethical misstep I have taken myself, or have seen others take, has proven to have had a healing impulse at its root.”
What I Mean by Right Relationship
I use the word “Right” in “Right Relationship” to mean appropriateness, caring, and truthfulness rather than perfection or the opposite of some arbitrary “wrong.” Think of “Right Relationship” as fluid and akin to dancing rather than as a fixed destination.
We learn to find “Right Relationship” anew in every relationship, even in each moment, and as each relationship evolves.
Self-compassion and awareness are our twin allies on this inner ethical journey. A compassionate exploration of when and how we go off track helps us recalibrate our inner compass. We continue to learn and refine our own Right Relationship Code to more effectively recognize and serve the healing and well-being of our clients.
Right Relationship includes the process of unintentionally mis-stepping. One then is challenged to lovingly forgive oneself in order to quickly transition back into the dance and into sync again.
Clients in Extra-Ordinary States of Consciousness
The InnerEthics® approach clarifies essential ethical differences and special safety needs of clients in profound and extra-ordinary states of consciousness, such as psychedelic-assisted therapy, grief, trauma, and dying.
The increased intensity, vulnerability, and suggestibility associated with these experiences require commensurate professional skill and awareness of their unique ethical challenges. There is potential for transference and countertransference issues to be more powerful, subtle, and complex.
Adherence to standard ethics criteria combined with an InnerEthics® approach of mindful awareness, self-reflection, appropriate competencies, and supervision when needed provide an ethical safety net for professionals and their clients.
Only our courageous soul-searching can bring consciousness to our fears, desires, and spiritual longings…Only our willingness to face our vulnerabilities and hidden motivations will allow us to apply self-compassion and make choices that are truly in the best interests of our clients.
The InnerEthics® chart, “Professional Vulnerabilities to Ethical Misconduct,” serves as a general map to point out where a practitioner may get pulled out of Right Relationship.
Decrease Client Harm with InnerEthics®
- Engage self-compassion.
- Identify particular vulnerabilities to countertransference.
- Understand how unconscious material arises when working with clients in profound states of consciousness.
- Learn when to do self-inquiry and/or get supervision.
- Learn about situations (such as dual relationship or transference, etc.) where ethical missteps are more likely to occur.
Increase Client Benefit with InnerEthics®
- Decrease our fear of clients’ profound states.
- Identify one’s own needs, fears, desires, and longings.
- Choose to do self-care outside of a relationship with a client or student.
- Make choices in the best interests of the client.
Learn More: InnerEthics® Resources
The Ethics of Caring Book – Discover how and why InnerEthics® matters. Written for students and practicing professionals: therapists, educators, medical professionals, hypnotherapists, and other professional caregivers. Required reading by many professional training programs.
Ethical Right Relationship in Psychedelic Therapy – Learn the foundations of InnerEthics®. Self-paced courses offered in Partnership with Psychedelic Support Education. Certificate of Completion or CE Certificate (2 hours) available for each course.
Training and Consulting Options – Live IE training programs for students and staff, program design consulting, and licensing opportunities
Video Gallery – A selection of interviews and conversations covering a wide range of topics related to professional ethics.
“InnerEthics” is one of my major takeaways from the course. I also really appreciated the C-DEEPEN tool, PP&C, and discussing the vignettes with my small group. I am already applying these tools as a therapist and am reflecting on my fears, desires, and longings from the Chart of Professional Vulnerabilities.
I have now a different approach to Ethics, one that is more profound, more meaningful and that makes me feel excited. I really think it will be the foundation of my practice…. I got very excited when I realized you were going to be my teacher, I’m very grateful for it. Your classes were wonderful.