Making a complaint

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All members of AFT agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics and Practice, for more information click here - key details of which are summarised below.

You can expect your therapist to be appropriately trained, to keep up to date in their professional knowledge and to have consultation/supervision to their practice.

Your therapist should be open and honest with you about the practical aspects of therapy, including fees if working in private practice.

Your therapist should not take advantage of his/her professional relationship with you, or discriminate against you in any way.

Your therapist may be a member of a team working with you and/or your family. Where this is the case relationships in that team should be strictly professional. Sometimes teams have trainees on placement. Trainee members should only be given tasks suitable to their level of training.

Records of therapy sessions should be kept secure to ensure your confidentiality is protected. Any sessions that are recorded will need your signed consent and recordings can only be kept for a stated period and purpose.

It can be helpful for your therapist to contact other professionals involved with you and/or your family, but generally this will require your agreement. It is only in exceptional circumstances that others will be contacted without your permission. Your therapist is able to explain this to you.

Therapists may work in agencies where they are bound by other policies and procedures. Your therapist and the agency should be able to clarify these.

Dissatisfied with the conduct of your therapist(s)?

If, for any reason, you have concerns about the conduct of your therapist, please first try to discuss these with the therapist, and/or, in the case of an agency, with their manager. You can follow the Agency or Trust Complaints Process.

If your therapist is a UKCP registered family and systemic psychotherapist, (s)he is subject to the UKCP Central Complaints Process (CCP).  These procedures can lead to a range of sanctions against a therapist whose fitness to practise has been found wanting. Complaints have to be judged against the UKCP code of ethical principles and professional conduct. 

If you wish to make a formal complaint against your therapist, you should contact the UKCP by:

1. Email:  complaints@ukcp.org.uk

2. Telephone: 0207 014 9498

3. In writing to: The Professional Conduct Co-ordinator, UKCP, 2nd Floor, Edward House, 2 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7LT

Please download the information sheet on How to Make a Complaint and also view the outline process and the CCP policy document

AFT does not have a complaints procedure, but expects members practising as Family and Systemic Psychotherapists, Systemic Psychotherapists and Family Therapists to be registered with UKCP or another registering body which can protect the public by receiving and managing complaints. However, members whose behaviour is deemed by the Board to be detrimental to the Association are subject to discipline by the AFT Board who may suspend or terminate membership of the Association. This will usually be following the report of sanctions imposed by UKCP or another registering body. AFT has Rules of Conduct for Members and Procedures for Managing Breaches of the Rules of Conduct.  Allegations of a breach of the rules must be made in writing to the Chair of the Member Conduct Committee, AFT, 7 Executive Suite, St James Business Centre, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, WA4 6PS with any relevant evidence to support the allegation.  

To make a complaint against AFT (the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice), see our process information sheet. 

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