Positive Psychology Practitioner Guidelines
The Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) is dedicated to the development of occupational standards for Positive Psychology in Practice. Our professional guidelines provide a minimum standard of ethical conduct before, during, and after client engagement for PPG members and professionals on the PPG register.
What is Positive Psychology?
Positive Psychology is a scientific approach to wellbeing and educating people, organisations and communities on how to thrive. (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001). It encourages people to connect with their inner strengths and cultivate happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment, growth, and better relationships (Seligman, 2011).
Who is a Positive Psychology Student?
A Positive Psychology student is an individual who is enrolled within a structured piece of training, such as a course, training session, or workshop, whether taught or online. Owing to the introspective nature of Positive Psychology; the student may also spend time within a “client” dynamic, and as such – the client rules and boundaries may also apply.
What is a Positive Psychology Practitioner?
A Positive Psychology Practitioner is someone who applies Positive Psychology in a professional practice such as coaching, training, facilitation, mentoring, teaching, research, counselling, and psychotherapy. A Positive Psychology Practitioner should hold at least a UK level 5 qualification in Positive Psychology (or the equivalent) and posses the research skills required to draw on evidence-based approaches when working with their clients. They should also hold a recognised and reputable qualification in their area/s of Positive Psychology Practice (e.g. certificate, degree or diploma).
Who is a Positive Psychology Client?
A Positive Psychology client is an individual or organisation who engages in Positive Psychology Interventions with a qualified practitioner whether paid or otherwise. Interventions may include coaching, training, facilitation, mentoring, therapeutic, or psycho-educational skills and approaches.
Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct
As a Positive Psychology Practitioner, I hereby commit to:
- Honestly presenting my skills, experience, and qualifications in Positive Psychology to my clients and potential clients, and to any other audience engaging in my work;
- Agreeing on a contract outlining service costs and expectations, and the nature of a professional relationship with my clients in advance of any service delivery;
- Disclosing any existing conflict or known potential for conflict with my clients in advance of any service delivery, or as soon as the knowledge of this arises;
- Providing knowledge to my clients on aspects of Positive Psychology that are relevant to their personal and/or professional growth so that they may develop an awareness and basic understanding of this field;
- Supporting my clients in developing a resilient and positive outlook while allowing space for processing of negative situations and emotions that can accompany the reality and challenges of life and work;
- Supporting my clients in the development of Positive Psychology life skills such as critical thinking, being present and authentic, and developing personal character strengths;
- Leading authentically in these above two areas as a positive role model and example to my clients;
- Respecting client confidentiality at all times unless I believe a client is an immediate threat to themselves, or to other people, in which case I will report the situation in an appropriate manner to the relevant authorities;
- Respecting client diversity and cultural differences;
- Respecting client boundaries and avoid using my clients for any kind of personal gain, sexual gratification, or other exploitation;
- Respecting my own professional boundaries and cultivating a practice that includes care for myself as well as care for my clients;
- Maintaining clear, correct, and confidential records of my client work;
- Referring clients to appropriate service providers should I be unable or unwilling to offer my professional support;
- Running an evidence-based practice and correctly referencing any sources I use in my research and/or to support the promotion or visibility of my work;
- Committing to my ongoing professional development in Positive Psychology and other related fields.
If you would like to receive a PDF copy of these guidelines for your practice, or you wish to become Positive Psychology Practitioner or Student Member of the Positive Psychology Guild, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org