ethical code

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Dance movement therapists belonging to member organisations of / and within the EADMT agree to work with social and legal responsibility. This entails personal responsibility towards their professional tasks and towards those persons with whom they enter into a professional relationship.

This Ethical Code serves to orientate members in their professional behaviour with their clients/ patients as well as with their colleagues, and to act as a foundation for all ethical codes concerning member organisations within the EADMT.


Dance movement therapy (DMT) is defined by the EADMT as the therapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual and social integration of the individual. Dance as body movement, creative expression and communication, is the core component of Dance Movement Therapy. Based on the fact that the mind, the body, the emotional state and relationships are interrelated, body movement simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for dance movement therapy.

1. Applicability 

1.1. Ethical Codes of EADMT member organisations shall be compatible with the EADMT Ethical Code.

1.2. The EADMT Ethical Code and those of EADMT member organisations shall apply to individual professional members and be pertinent to all professional business of EADMT .

2. Purpose 

2.1. The primary purpose of the EADMT Ethical Code shall be to orientate member organisations and delegates towards the protection of patients/clients and colleagues from harm as a result of unethical behaviour and /or practice. Ethical behaviour is outlined within this document in sections 3-10.

2.2. Member organisations must take this primary purpose into account alongside their other legitimate aims, such as the protection, welfare and professional development of members, the advancement of the profession and the protection of the title of “dance movement therapist”.

3. General professional duties of the dance movement therapist 

3.1. The dance movement therapist shall comply with all relevant requirements, regulations and laws, whether European, national or local.

3.2. The dance movement therapist in employment shall not engage in any official or unofficial action which brings her/him into conflict with the primary purpose of protecting patients’/clients’ safety and best interests.

3.3. The dance movement therapist is required to maintain and extend her/his knowledge and skills by means of supervision, appropriate in-service training, advanced vocational training and required national continuing professional education and development.

4. Specific responsibilities of the dance movement therapist to patients/ clients 

4.1. The dance movement therapist shall be aware of the asymmetrical relationships inherent to a therapeutic relationship. She/he shall in no circumstance act in order to satisfy her/his own personal interests.

4.2. The dance movement therapist shall work on the basis of an explicit appropriate agreement with the patient/client and/or her/his parent/carer. This should cover:

a) dance movement therapy modality;

b) the scope, rules and approximate duration of treatment;

c) fees (where applicable);

d) an explanation of the confidential nature of the therapy and, in the case of a child or person under custodianship, any limitation on confidentiality imposed by law.

4.3. The dance movement therapist shall not treat patients/clients whose particular therapeutic needs he/she is not competent to meet. This includes cases where techniques outside the scope of the therapist`s training are required.

4.4. The dance movement therapist shall only offer treatment following a formal referral or self referral and assessment procedure has been completed.

4.5. The dance movement therapist shall not make or publish misleading claims as to the likely outcome of treatment.

4.6. The dance movement therapist shall be responsible for the safety of the therapy sessions.

4.7. The dance movement therapist shall not carry out assessment, treatment, training, supervision or research while mentally or physically unfit to practise.

5. Responsibility to trainees, interns and supervisees 

5.1. The personal therapy of a dance movement therapy student shall not be given by any person concurrently engaged with the training, supervision and internship of that student.

5.2. Staff or training institutions who have serious concerns about a student`s development into a competent therapist shall take appropriate actions for the protection of that student and (future) patients/clients.

5.3. Supervisors who have serious concerns about a supervisee’s fitness to practise shall take appropriate actions for the protection of that therapist and his/her patients/ clients.

5.4. The trainer/supervisor shall not delegate clinical responsibility to a student or supervisee without adequate supervision.

 6. Professional relations for dance movement therapist 

6.1. The dance/movement therapist shall strive for good and mutually supportive working relationships with colleagues.

6.2. The dance/movement therapist shall refrain from disparaging remarks about colleagues, and in case of conflict shall seek a mutually acceptable solution.

 7. Responsibilities of EADMT member organisations and delegates 

7.1. Member organisations are required to have an up to date ethical code that includes clear complaints procedures.

7.2. Delegates must follow the principles of their national association ethical code that will be in line with this EADMT code. Delegates will be mindful of suitable professional behaviour in all EADMT business meetings and communications.

7.3. Member organisations and delegates must follow appropriate confidentiality, data protection, intellectual property and equality guidelines (sections 8-10) in terms of their EADMT professional business with colleagues and external partners.

7.4. EADMT  member  organizations  and  delegates  shall  strive  for  good  and  mutually supportive working relationships within all meetings, committees, working groups, the Board and in all communications.

8. Confidentiality and data protection 

8.1. Confidentiality:

a) Dance movement therapists shall protect the confidentiality of information gained in the course of their professional work.

b) Regarding group work participants shall be invited to protect confidentiality of their peers.

c) With the client’s/patient’s/carer’s permission:

      • information may be shared with appropriate professionals.
      • information can be shared for training purposes. However, trainees shall be bound by the same requirements as the therapist.
      • appropriate anonymous information may be published or presented as part of a case study or research project.

8.2. Data protection:

a) The dance movement therapist shall respect and abide by national and European laws regarding confidentiality and data protection. In the case of a court of law, the dance movement therapist is bound to disclose only required information relevant to the case.

b) All therapeutic documents, videos and all other material are required to be saved and stored according to national data protection law.

9. Research 

9.1. In all research involving clients/patients either directly or indirectly, priority shall be given to their best interests and their safety as already set out in sections 4 and 6 above.

9.2. Necessary authorisation shall be obtained before commencing research.

9.3. The intellectual property of colleagues shall be handled respectfully. Any contribution of collaborators shall be clearly acknowledged in any presentation or publication.

10. Equality of opportunity 

10.1. Insofar as it lies within the dance movement therapist`s discretion, patients/clients shall have equal rights of access to assessment and treatment regardless of their class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other diversity, which is not relevant to treatment.

10.2. Insofar as it lies within the dance/movement therapist`s discretion, candidates for training, prospective supervisees, applicants for professional recognition or research funding shall not be discriminated against on grounds of class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other diversity, which does not affect competence.

11. Enforcement of Ethical Code 

11.1. EADMT member organisations shall investigate alleged breaches of their Ethical Codes and, where necessary, discipline their members appropriately.

11.2. The EADMT Board, acting on behalf of all members, has a duty to monitor how effectively the member organisations deal with the foregoing procedures, through the application and re-application processes.

11.3. The EADMT Board has the duty of ensuring that there is a process for establishing an ethical committee if the need arises, and a clear set of guidelines for procedures when dealing with formal complaints against the behaviour of a member organisation or delegate.

© EADMT October 2010