Ethics in Psychology





Ethics in Psychology

  1. If one of your patients suffers from a serious psychological disorder whose treatment required more therapy sessions than authorized by his or her insurance company, how would you handle the situation?    

In such cases, excessive modulation of the therapeutic approaches used to treat such conditions may not help the patient to recuperate. Moreover, in extreme cases, the effects of the mental disorder may worsen. Based on this argument, it is unethical to terminate the psychological treatment based on the authorization of the individual’s insurance company (Knapp 152). Accordingly, negotiating with the corporation in order to increase the number of sessions would be an appropriate way of handling the situation. Additionally, I would consider the use of reduced payment terms depending on the provisions of the insurance company. If these stipulations do not concur with my alternative payment terms, I would refer the patient to a health center with more favorable payment conditions or a psychiatrist from a public health institution.

  1. Do you consider it as unethical to accept gifts from patients?

The rightness of accepting such gifts depends on the motive of the patient as well as the relationship between the two parties. For example, it is acceptable to receive a card from a patient with the aim of appreciating the psychiatrist’s efforts. However, if the value of the gift is very high, the rightness of this gesture is questionable. Moreover, the patient should not expect any form of reciprocation. The relationship between the two individuals should also not transform into friendship. The ethical code requires psychologists to maintain a cordial relationship with their patients while upholding professionalism (Koocher and Patricia 19).

  1. When treating someone with psychological problems, which are similar to your experiences, is it ethical to use them in the therapy approach?

According to the ethical code governing the operations of a psychiatrist, it is important to separate one’s personal and professional lives (Bersoff 32). This will aid in proper judgment on the best approach and components of the treatment sessions. However, use of one’s experiences sparingly may aid the patient to realize that his or her situation is not abnormal.

  1. When counseling a twelve-year-old-girl suffering from mild depression, is it right to share with her parents on the causes of this condition?

Confidentiality is a major aspect in the ethical code of psychology.             The information provided by the patient to the psychotherapist should not reach a third party (Sales and Susan 49). However, the parents of such a minor have the legal right to know the medical condition of their daughter. For this reason, the most ethical approach is to define the illness to the parents in terms of hypothetical causes of the illness as opposed to disclosing the details provided to him in the therapy sessions by the teenager.

  1. Would counseling a former sexual partner affect your judgment?

I would have to reflect on my feelings towards the person in order to identify its possible effects on my professionalism. If I still have strong feelings for her, I would recommend a different psychiatrist in order to main my ethical principles (Sternberg, Henry and Diane 110).

  1. Is it ethical to discuss your patient’s profile with his or her employer in cases where the patient poses as a threat to other individuals?

I believe that a psychiatrist should maintain a certain level of confidentiality depending on the danger posed by the ailing individual. Conversely, if the patient is dangerous to other people, enlightening security personnel on the mater is crucial. However, in such cases, the police ought to be watchful of the patient as opposed to considering him or her as criminal. This level of confidentiality will be helpful in the recuperation treatment (Bersoff 38).

Works Cited

Bersoff, Donald N. Ethical Conflicts in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2008. Print.

Knapp, Samuel. APA Handbook of Ethics in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2012. Print.

Koocher, Gerald P, and Patricia Keith-Spiegel. Ethics in Psychology and the Mental Health Professions: Standards and Cases. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

Sales, Bruce D, and Susan Folkman. Ethics in Research with Human Participants. Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association, 2000. Print.

Sternberg, Robert J, Henry L. Roediger, and Diane F. Halpern. Critical Thinking in Psychology. Cambridge [England: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.

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