Membership of the Independent Practitioner Network IPN
Spirit Gym Requires all Spirit Gym Coaches to join the IPN and be in good standing with their IPN group
The IPN is a nationwide network of independent practitioners in psychotherapy, counselling, the education and practice of human growth and similar endeavours. The Independent Practitioners Network offers an authentic model of best practice accountability through open, committed relationships with peers. As peers, each practitioner has equal status within the Network. We work together in linked groups to offer each other mutual support and challenge.
We believe that high quality ethical practice is grounded in honesty, integrity and transparency. We welcome counsellors, psychotherapists, educators, growth workers and allied practitioners.
What is IPN?
The Independent Practitioners Network offers an authentic model of best practice and accountability through open committed relationships with peers. We are a nationwide network of practitioners of equal status rather than a hierarchical organisation. We work together in linked groups to offer each other mutual support and challenge. We believe that high quality ethical practice is grounded in honesty, integrity, and transparency. We welcome counsellors, psychotherapists, educators, growth workers, and allied practitioners.
Non-hierarchical, low bureaucracy. IPN is inclusive of more and less qualified and registered members. We recognise that there are many routes to being an effective practitioner. The structure is horizontal and multi-centred, rather than vertical and pyramidal. There is no central, standardised code of practice, each peer group creates and circulates its own ethical code (such as the Spirit Gym Code of Practice pertaining to the Enneagram and aligned Mindfulness-based practices)
Freedom of Practice
We are committed to defending freedom of practice, and to creating a culture of openness and challenge. The Network grows out of the belief that no centralised organisation has the right or the ability to decide who should practice therapy, facilitation, or equivalent skills.
The IPN has a commitment to encouraging diverse forms of practice, training, or therapeutic relationship, since we value richly pluralistic and multi-skilled ecology.
The Structure Provides for:
• A powerfully effective means of supporting the interests of both client and practitioner
• Self and peer assessment, through a continuing process of scrutiny and validation
• An exciting, stimulating, and creative context for ongoing practitioner development
• Willingness to own mistakes and take responsibility for constructive approaches to improving situations that may result from them.
The unit of IPN membership is:
– A group of at least four practitioners who know and stand by each others’ work
– Who develop a group ethical statement
– Who meet regularly to share, support and challenge
– Who address any problems or conflicts in their work
The group seeks to establish the quality of its members’ work through continuing, personal ongoing interaction. This is consistent with our belief that this most effectively facilitates authentic practice.
A member group is required to have formed cross-links with two other groups. The link groups observe, support and challenge the process of the group and this goes both ways. Thus the process of peer support and challenge is widened and deepened.
Why does Spirit Gym require its Coach/Trainers to take part in IPN?
Spirit Gym is interested in advocating a form of civic accountability sustained and co-created with peers in ways that matches ethical commitments of coaches to client welfare.
The IPN involves us in
• a community of other practitioners with whom we can share the delights and difficulties of your work with clients
• a practitioner community devoted to sustaining the values and commitment to ethical practice that we value, along with keeping us open to challenge from peers
• a form of practitioner accountability based on face-to-face relationship, rooted in continual and group reflection, rather than externally prescribed rules
• a community of practitioners that honours, alongside counselling and psychotherapy, the diversity of educators, human potential workers, growth workers and allied practitioners.
Spirit Gym believes that Civic Accountability can affirm practitioner/client responsibility more robustly than regulation.
Key IPN Concepts
Gathering – Weekend-long event where IPN Participants from across the country, and anyone else interested in IPN, meet together. discuss, explore, engage, enjoy each other and consider ethical, administrative and strategic areas of IPN. The continuing aim of Gatherings is to develop a culture where every voice can be heard. At Gatherings we work to find shared understandings, or ways of managing difference, in respect of IPN business, administration and other topics of interest to those attending. Held three times per year, they are usually in February, June and October, at alternating locations accross the country.
Participant – Individual who pays the annual voluntary contribution to IPN and intends to work within the Network’s ethos. This can either be within a Group, looking for a Group, or without access to a Group.
Member – IPN is based on a Network of groups and members are therefore groups rather than individuals.
Client – This is the term used to describe anyone receiving a professional service from an IPN Participant. Whilst they will usually be receiving emotional, physical, social or psychiatric support or therapy, the service may also be educational, supervisory or focussing on personal development.
Standing By – IPN participants are expected to explore personal and professional issues with, and invite challenge from, their group or at Gatherings or both, to ensure adequate and appropriate standards and boundaries are being maintained. If for any reason an individual’s practice or a group’s process is not experienced by peers as competent and fit for the purpose claimed, an individual’s participation in the group or a group’s participation in the network could cease to be possible.
Status of Groups –
Forming Groups consist of a minimum of four Participants who are developing their ethical statement and working towards links with two other groups. Member Groups have published their ethical statement in Netcom and placed it on the IPN website. They have active links with two other groups.
Civic accountability – Due care towards clients and society to provide the best practice and be accountable ethically and morally.
Practitioner – One who practices in their chosen field. This can be in either a paid or voluntary capacity.
Peer – All colleagues within IPN are held to have equal standing. Within IPN a peer is expected to be open to receiving and giving professional and personal challenge.
Hierarchy – Most organisations are led by a group of individuals charged with taking responsibility on behalf of others. IPN aims to avoid hierarchies and the bureaucracy that frequently results from them. Participants take responsibility for their level of participation.