Sunday, July 6, 2014
What are the most common ethical violations in clinical psychology? What do you think contributes to a clinician acting unethically?
Psychologists, no matter the professional field are expected to and must maintain the highest professional ethics in any activities one takes part in or conducts constantly (Plante, 2011). Within psychology, psychological professionals must adhere to adopted ethical guidelines more so greatly than laws; especially when conducting research on individuals and treating clients. Ethical guidelines became of a greater concern when the formation of the ethics committee occurred by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the 1930s, and more so of a concern when the first set of ethical principles were developed in 1953, by the APA (Plante, 2011). The most common ethical violations in clinical psychology committed by psychologists involve patient confidentiality, and numerous occurrences of these violations occurred when psychologists broke confidentiality with disregard for the permission of patients. Also, when legally and ethically required, psychologists refuse to break confidentiality in the instances of reporting child abuse to state child protective services or the police (Plante, 2011).
Other common ethical violations include insurance/fee misbehavior, nonsexual dual relationships, and sexual misconduct or sexual relationship with a patient (Plante, 2011). When ethical violations occur, clients or patients are put at risk which can have an aversive affect in regard to treatment(s). However, behavior abiding by professional or ethical guidelines occurs with the majority of clinical psychologist. It may be difficult to determine why a minority of clinicians act unethically; each clinician that does behave in such a manner has his or her own reasons. However, I believe that what contributes to a clinician acting unethically unresolved problems that occur in a clinician's life that they do not seek help for which affects them in a aversive manner and cloud their judgment.
Plante, T.G. (2011). Contemporary Clinical Psychology (3rd ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.