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Having campaigned for 3 years for this to be included, I am very pleased that the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) new Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions 2018 is now available and includes this measure (clause 42). This version will replace the 2016 Ethical Framework from 1 July 2018. A clinical will means having arrangements and a clinical executor to ensure clients are informed and supported, should a counsellor be suddenly unable to work due to accident, worsening illness or death.
This is coming up 14-20 May, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. Keep a lookout for it! The theme is stress, as this is a key constituent of mental health problems, so if we can stop or slow the harmful kind in its tracks, so much the better. The event's website clarifies why stress (the wrong kind) can be so harmful in ways we may not realise, eg by starting to shut down the part of our brain which regulates our amygdala, blood pressure and heart beat and also enables us to learn, plan, concentrate and make judgements.
Having been published in Private Practice and Children and Young People BACP journals, my revised article, making a robust case for including clinical wills in the Ethical Framework and mandating it, has now appeared in Therapy Today (October 2016), reaching a wider readership. Why is this so important? A clinical will is a system with a clinical executor (usually another therapist) to ensure clients will be informed and supported in the event of that person's death or sudden incapacity such as accident or deterioration in long-term illness. Although this is mandated by other professional bodies BACP, the largest professional body for therapists and counsellors, do not include it in the ethical code or make it obligatory. I discovered many practitioners don't have such a system, exposing clients to potential damage and trauma.