Instructions for Submitting an Ethics Complaint
(revised September 17, 2019)
This document provides instruction for the significant action of formally submitting an ethics complaint about an Energy Psychology Group / EFT Universe (hereafter “the Organization”) practitioner, student, or faculty member (hereafter “practitioner”).
A challenge for any ethics review process is that the responsibility of stopping unethical or harmful behavior on the part of a practitioner must be balanced with the responsibility of seeing that a practitioner is not condemned based on hearsay or other insufficient evidence. The Ethics Committee Procedures attempt to ensure that both concerns are met. Specific points to keep in mind include:
1. The jurisdiction of the Organization’s Ethics Committee is limited to the Organization’s Certified Practitioners who are listed on the Organization’s websites. Only complaints directly involving the delivery or representation of Energy Psychology, EFT and related professional issues can be considered. Complaints may be submitted by any individual having direct knowledge of a possible ethical violation.
2. If the person submitting the complaint is a health care professional, the first step after learning of a possible ethics violation by a colleague, as described in the Ethics Handbook for Energy Healing Practitioners, is to try within reasonable limits to resolve the ethics issues with that person directly. If you are not persuaded that this can be or has been accomplished, an ethics complaint may be appropriate.
3. Before submitting an ethics complaint, please be sure that you are proceeding with reasonable certainty in filing the complaint. It is not unknown for the person submitting a complaint to subsequently be the subject of an ethics complaint or a lawsuit brought by the individual about whom the complaint was registered. Be sure that your formal complaint is not vulnerable to charges of being frivolous or unfounded. To help orient you to the issues you should consider, guidelines taken from the the Organization’s Ethics Code and from the Ethics Handbook for Energy Healing Practitioners are copied at the end of this document. If you are unsure of your responsibilities or the grounds for your complaint, consider consulting with a colleague or an attorney.
4. Like many professional ethics complaint procedures, the Organization does not conduct live hearings with the kinds of procedures you would see in a court of law. Instead, the Ethics Committee ultimately makes its determinations based on the written record. Therefore, it is important that you document with precision the nature of your complaint and carefully describe the evidence you have for making the complaint. Describe what you have observed with specifics rather than to provide only your interpretation of what the behaviors mean or imply.
5. The accused has the right to know who is making the accusation and the nature of the charge. For the Ethics Committee to open a case, the complaint must generally come from a party with direct knowledge of the alleged violation who is willing for the person who allegedly committed the violation to know who is making the charge. In your complaint, please give explicit permission that this information can be shared. Without it, a formal investigation of your complaint may not be able to be initiated.
6. The Ethics Committee is obligated to respect the confidentiality of those involved. If you are naming individuals who are involved in the situation but not being accused of an ethics violation, please indicate if the Ethics Committee is authorized by you to inform them of how they are being mentioned and whether they know you have mentioned them.
7. If you are registering a complaint about a practitioner who provided services to you directly, you are, by registering the complaint, waiving certain confidentiality privileges. Specifically, you are authorizing the practitioner to provide the Ethics Committee with case notes and any other information bearing upon you and your health condition, your professional relationship, and the services rendered.
8. The procedures to insure due process are relatively complex and time-consuming. A ruling often takes at least three months from the initial complaint (in part because the Ethics Committee has to give people time to respond at various points along the way). In cases where there is concern of harm being done during this period, provisions exist for immediate temporary steps, but this is considered an extreme action.
9. The identities of the Ethics Committee members are not public knowledge, for a variety of reasons, but their identities are made known to the accuser and the accused, who have the right to ask that any member of the Committee who can be reasonably shown to hold bias be replaced by an alternative. One of the Organization’s team members will be assigned to carry out communications among the various parties.
Points to consider from the Ethics Code to consider prior to submitting an ethics complaint:
When practitioners believe there may have been an ethical violation by another practitioner, they attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual if an informal resolution appears possible and appropriate. Such interventions may not, however, violate any confidentiality rights that are involved.
If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution as described above, or is not adequately resolved in that fashion, practitioners take further action appropriate to the circumstances. Such action might include informing the appropriate ethics committee of the situation.
Practitioners seek to promote accuracy, honesty, truthfulness, and dignity in the practice, teaching, science, and art of energy medicine.