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Code of Ethics & Ethical Codes of Practice

The IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines is a set of principles that all members of the International Institute of Holistic Therapies must follow. These guidelines provide a framework of ethical standards that allow for flexibility, reflecting the various working practices of individual practitioners. They form a solid base of ethical practice that is the hallmark of a grounded, boundaried, integrated, and ethical practitioner.

The IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines aims to maintain and promote standards, ethics, and professionalism among its members. The holistic therapy field is diverse, and IIOHT members share the common goal of supporting clients' individual personal growth, empowerment, and integration, and their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. IIOHT recognizes that members may work in differing though related disciplines, including but not limited to talking (e.g., coaching, counseling, education, psychotherapy) and/or somatic modalities (e.g., body coaching, breathwork, massage, trauma release) and/or energy work (e.g., Reiki, healing).

While the specific modalities used may vary between practitioners, the IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines applies equally to all work-related professional activities, including individual or group work, teaching, training, assisting, supervision, and consulting. It provides a common set of values upon which members continually build their professional work. The term "client" in the Code refers to any person or corporate entity who is paying for our services or undertaking a free or reduced-price session that will count towards a professional certification.

The IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines is intended to provide both general principles and rules covering most situations encountered by members. It has as its primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom members work. Members respect and protect human, civil, and sexual rights and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair or discriminatory practices.


The development of a dynamic set of ethical standards for members' work-related conduct requires a personal commitment to a lifelong effort to behave ethically, to encourage ethical behavior by colleagues, employees, supervisors, and students, as appropriate, and to consult with others as needed concerning ethical problems. Each member supplements, but does not violate, the IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines values and rules on the basis of guidance drawn from personal values, culture, context, and experience.

The IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines is not exhaustive.


The fact that a given conduct is not specifically addressed by the Code does not mean that it is necessarily either ethical or unethical. In the process of making decisions regarding their professional behavior, members must consider this Code, in addition to the requirements of law. When the Code establishes a higher standard than the law, members must meet the higher ethical standard. If the Code's standards appear to conflict with the requirements of law, members take steps to resolve the conflict in a responsible manner.




The IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines is enforceable and includes the following guidelines:

  1. Members will be professional in attitude and conduct, responsible in relations with clients and colleagues, reliable in agreements, and timely in appointment schedules.

  2. Members agree that they have read and understood the provisions of the IIOHT Code of Conduct Guidelines. They represent the standards to which members aspire and will abide by to the best of their ability. Further, members agree to be held accountable to their colleagues for any actions that deviate from its standards.

  3. Members recognize the importance of consent and choice in all professional interactions with individuals and groups. Members will strive to provide a range of options from which the client can actively elect that which will serve their growth. At no time shall a client be required or coerced to participate in any activity, event, or exercise. Members inform and educate their clients about consent and choice

  4. Members of IIOHT will conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner, treating clients and colleagues with respect and reliability. They will honor agreements and appointments and strive to provide a range of options to clients, ensuring they are informed and empowered to make their own choices.

  5. Members of IIOHT acknowledge and agree to abide by the ethical code of IIOHT, which represents the standards to which they aspire. They will be accountable to their colleagues for any deviation from these standards.

  6. Members of IIOHT recognize the importance of consent and choice in all professional interactions and will provide clients with a range of options. Clients will not be coerced or required to participate in any activity. Members will educate and empower clients about consent and choice and create learning environments where clients can exercise those skills.

  7. Members of IIOHT may use physical touch with clients, but only with conscious intent to do no harm and with concern for safety and agreed-upon boundaries. Members agree to establish clear agreements with clients before engaging in any form of bodywork, with written intake forms as best practice.


Regarding sexual contact and/or conduct with clients:

  • Sessions will prioritize the clients' boundaries.

  • Boundaries will be discussed and agreed upon at the beginning of each session, and will not be renegotiated or changed during that session.

  • Touch will stop when clients request it.

  • Members understand the inherent power imbalance in their role and will not use this power for sexual exploitation of clients.

  • Members will not seek to fulfill their own or their clients' desire for romantic or sexual connection.

  • Members will not engage in any form of sexual contact with clients outside of sessions.

  • fAttraction within the professional relationship will be discussed at professional supervision to maintain clear professional boundaries.

  1. Members of IIOHT recognize the importance of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual well-being and take steps to minimize harm in collaboration with clients.

  2. Protocols for intimate touch include the use of medical-grade examination gloves and quality lubricants. Members will maintain proper hygiene and take precautionary measures against communicable diseases and infections.

  3. Sexual surrogates must have regular sexual health screenings.

  4. Members of IIOHT will engage in regular supervision and seek guidance when experiencing ambiguity or difficulty in ethical behavior.

  5. Members of IIOHT will consider their own limits of skill and experience before providing educational or instructional services to potential clients and will refuse work for which they are insufficiently qualified.

  6. Members of IIOHT will terminate professional relationships with clients when such services are no longer required or no longer serve the clients' needs and interests, and will make appropriate referrals and provide support during transitions.

  7. Members of IIOHT will refrain from providing services while either they or the client is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

  8. Members of IIOHT will not exploit professional relationships with clients for personal gain or research purposes.

  9. Members of IIOHT will respect and preserve the privacy of all information gained from clients and preserve their anonymity when using information for teaching, research, and supervision.

  10. Members of IIOHT will represent the profession of Somatic Sexology with respect and integrity and further its development.

  11. Members of IIOHT will refrain from soliciting colleagues' clients.

  12. Members of IIOHT will encourage appropriate communication between clients and their current or recent therapists.

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