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.
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 might I want to take part in IPN?
If you are interested in a form of civic accountability sustained and co-created with peers in ways that matches your ethical commitment to client welfare.
You would be involving yourself in
• a community of other practitioners with whom you could share the delights and difficulties of your work with clients
• a practitioner community devoted to sustaining the values and commitment to ethical practice that you value, along with keeping you 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 perscribed rules
• a community of practitioners that honours, alongside counselling and psychotherapy, the diversity of educators, human potential workers, growth workers and allied practitioners.