The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with Clients

The Ethics of Caring is written for all professionals, including psychotherapists, bodyworkers, medical practitioners, clergy, hypnotherapists, and acupuncturists, who want to become more conscious in their relationships with clients. It provides unique help to volunteer and professional caregivers who want to sort out confusing ethical dilemmas in seven categories including love, truth, insight, and oneness as well as the more well-known ethical issues of money, sex, and power. Ethical issues pertain to longings, feelings, and motivations which resonate at our very core.


The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship with Clients


The Ethics of Caring is a unique and widely recommended text that complements standard ethics texts by helping the student or professional find  right relationship with a client. Written for practicing therapy and medical professionals, bodyworkers, clergy, students, teachers, supervisors, and mentorsThe Ethics of Caring model first promotes self-compassion, then gently guides self-reflection about motivations and unconscious countertransference that often occurs in the main areas of human life (Money, Sex, Power, Love, Truth, Insight, Oneness.) The book illuminates many extra-ordinary types of human experiences to help professionals become aware in case clients bring these experiences and profound states to the professional for support, as many are doing now as psychedelic-assisted therapy becomes more accessible.

The Ethics of Caring won the Nautilus Book Award, the Silver Medal for the category, Relationships & Communication.

Staying in right relationship with a client is often an artful movement, a dance with a different “partner” each time. Yet there are helpful rules of thumb that can keep us from stepping on toes (doing harm) and actually support both professional and client in doing a beautiful, healing dance together (creating client benefit). The Ethics of Caring is a unique ethics text designed to guide the self-compassionate self-reflection of professionals (therapists, clergy, hospice workers, bodyworkers, educators, medical professionals, mentors, and other caregivers) toward understanding human motivations and countertransference, finding professional right relationship, and making good choices with clients. The Ethics of Caring also illuminates the inevitable, profound, transformative moments that occur in many professional relationships, which furnish greater potential for client healing, but also may bring greater ethical challenges.

The Ethics of Caring can be used as a classroom text, a manual for self-supervision, a guide for peer consultation or supervision groups, or to assist supervisors in more formal individual and group supervision. [See also]


Kylea Taylor is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC# 34901). She teaches InnerEthics®, based on her book The Ethics of Caring, in numerous psychedelic psychotherapy training programs. She earned a Master of Science degree from San Jose State University, San Jose, CA in Marriage, Child, and Family Counseling. She has worked as a counselor in the addictions and trauma recovery field since 1970 and was the executive director of a community counseling program for sixteen years. Kylea has been studying the theory and practice of therapeutic work with clients in non-ordinary states of consciousness with Stanislav and Christina Grof since 1984, with particular interest in the effect of non-ordinary states on trauma recovery and the phenomena and healing potential of kundalini. After completing the Grofs’ first three-year training program in the United States, she was certified as a Holotropic Breathwork® Practitioner and assisted Stanislav Grof in facilitating large group Holotropic Breathwork® workshops and trainings both in the United States and in other countries.

Kylea’s books include: The Ethics of Caring, The Breathwork Experience, Exploring Holotropic Breathwork®, and Considering Holotropic Breathwork®. She has written numerous articles and conducted workshops in the USA and abroad.

InnerEthics® Resources

  • “Ethical Right Relationship in Psychedelic Therapy”, Kylea’s introductory course on InnerEthics®, is available HERE. The course offers two CEs to licensed professionals.
  • Visit and for information about Kylea’s consulting practice and other work.
  • Receive Kylea’s article “Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy” and occasional updates when you sign up HERE.


The Ethics of Caring is an extraordinarily helpful and groundbreaking new book for healers, clergy, therapists, and bodyworkers that illuminates what is necessary to offer wise and trustworthy relations to their clients. Kylea has grounded her work in the spiritual principle of reverence for life that underlies all the world’s great religions and healing systems. She elaborates upon the basic principles of non-harming as they are needed for the vast terrain of healing realms, including crisis of trauma, loss and grief work, spiritual counseling, expanded consciousness, and energetic and shamanic openings. The Ethics of Caring alerts healers not to underestimate the power of energies that arise in extraordinary states through transference and countertransference.

~ Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., author of A Wise Heart, A Lamp in the Darkness, The Art of Forgiveness and Lovingkindness, A Path with Heart, and After the Ecstasy the Laundry


This is a wonderful resource book that can be an invaluable professional guide for maintaining ethics and integrity within the helping professions.

~Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist, author of The Four-Fold Way, Signs of Life, and The Second Half of Life.


I want to highly recommend Kylea’s book, The Ethics of Caring. It is truly in a class by itself in the literature on ethics in therapy. I’ve read many books in this area and have been on a Board responsible for reviewing and approving the code of ethics for a large professional association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and, to my knowledge, Kylea’s book is unique in the field. It combines the rigors of professionalism with a deep and complex understanding of the human heart, soul, and mind. It really is an important book. If you are a professor or teacher you might want to consider it as required reading.

~ Sara Wright, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board Member, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Past-President, Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT)


The work with extraordinary states of consciousness brings specific new challenges and problems that go beyond those encountered in traditional verbal and experiential approaches. Kylea Taylor’s book is a pioneering venture into these new territories, providing important guidelines for practitioners and students.

~ Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Psychology of the Future, The Ultimate Journey, Realms of the Human Unconscious, and The Adventure of Self Discovery


The Ethics of Caring is a must have for practitioners of all kinds, and most especially those working with regressed or altered states. Kylea Taylor’s model provides the scaffolding for practitioners to self examine where they are particularly vulnerable to ethical digression.  Her work is required reading for educators in prenatal and perinatal psychology and health; it has helped us form a container for our professionals to self reflect and create awareness about appropriate behavior and responses in our field. This model also has a way for ethics to make sense beyond the usual mode of “do no harm.” Many professionals think of ethics as common sense. The Ethics of Caring allows professionals to go deeper into their own material and embrace how their mistakes are gifts. Kylea Taylor also includes spirituality and extraordinary states of consciousness and other special conditions for transpersonal work. I highly recommend this book.

Kate White, MA, LMT, RCST®, CEIM, SEP, Director of Education and Administrator, Prenatal and Perinatal Educator Certificate Program, The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health.


The Ethics of Caring is a book that students and professionals actually read!  Kylea Taylor’s book is uniquely situated to assist anyone involved in depth psychology, pastoral care, traditional counseling or human services. Any helping professional will find it both intriguing and insightful. Kylea Taylor’s assessment of the vulnerabilities inherent in the therapeutic process and the effects of the work on the therapist are brilliant and useful. Kylea Taylor reveals the myriad of personal and collective, conscious and unconscious dynamics present in the room.

Invaluable and vital for anyone who takes inner psychological or spiritual work seriously, this text is both instructive and illuminating and is often eagerly and voluntarily read by students and professionals alike. No other book articulates the personal, professional, and relational issues involved with extraordinary states of consciousness as well as the intense and profound experiences encountered in traditional therapy work.

 ~ Dr. Jane Steinhauser, D.Min., Licensed Professional Counselor, counselor educator and spiritual direction trainer


[It’s] … important to think about how to go beyond what is proper or legal to what is best. Taylor’s approach does this. She’s not satisfied with just avoiding preventable problems. Her goal, instead, is to help her readers create and maintain “right relationship” with their clients. She’s also concerned to help practitioners develop an internal locus of control, a strong personal sense of wise, kind and helpful ways to work with people, an ethic of care instead of rules. Because of this, you won’t find dogmatic judgmental statements in this book. Instead, Taylor takes a nuanced and compassionate approach. By understanding how good people become confused about what they should or should not do, we are both warned and strengthened. Her chapters on money, sex, and power contain some of the most insightful discussions of these complex issues that I have ever seen.

~ Judy Harrow, excerpted review in the New Jersey Association for Spiritual, Ethical & Religious Values in Counseling Newsletter.


Especially important for the practitioner are Taylor’s chapters on vulnerabilities to unethical behavior, and keys to professional ethical behavior.

~ Brendan Reed, Lac, in Book Review from The Library Letter, Bastyr University


Too often, ethical questions are considered dreary subjects best left to a committee. This book helps us see ethics as integrally related to how we do our work, and to our own personal growth… The Ethics of Caring will be especially valuable for trainee caregivers, supervisors, clients looking for the appropriate therapist, and any professionals who finds themselves, as we all do from time to time, out of our depth. Comprehensive and visionary.

~ Martin Boroson, author of Becoming Me and One Moment Meditation


The Ethics of Caring alerts healers to not underestimate… the palpable physical, emotional, and psychic vulnerabilities that come in these states and provides tools for navigating these deep and often confusing relationship elements. Only by understanding their own vulnerabilities can caregivers hope to enter more fully into truly healing relationships with their clients.

Mid-West Book Review


The Ethics of Caring is a state-of-the-art approach to dealing with relationship issues and in particular body contact arising in therapy. Her courage will inspire others to tackle issues which break open the boundary between politics and individual experience.

~ Arnold Mindell, Ph.D., author of The Quantum Mind and Healing, Working with the Dream Body, and Sitting in the Fire.


This is a unique book addressing in an honest and humble way the dangers and pitfalls that all therapists face daily in their practices. It offers a conceptual framework which is widely accepted outside our culture, but has not been previously discussed in any standard texts on either ethics or therapeutic interpersonal dynamics.

~ Robert R. Newport, M.D.


View Table of Contents / Download PDF (10 pages)

View Excerpts / Download PDF (7 pages)

View Book Sheet with Reviews / Download PDF (2 pages)

Additional information

Weight 1.4 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in



Kylea Taylor