How to handle conflicts of ethics and the law

One of the issues that has always felt gray to many psychologists is when the APA (2010) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code) conflicts with the law. Should a psychologist follow the legal code or the Ethics Code? The Ethics Code specifically states in section 1.02, “If psychologists’ ethical responsibilities conflict […]

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  • Therapists Vulnerable to Sexual Misconduct Accusations

    Between October and November 2017, former film producer and entertainment biz executive, Harvey Weinstein achieved infamy as the poster child for sexual misconduct after more than 80 sexual misconduct allegations covering a 30-year period surfaced in a mere 30-odd days. In the immediate aftermath of the Weinstein allegations, there was some initial victim-blaming backlash toward […]

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  • Ethics for Psychologists: How to Fine Tune Consultations

    When confronted with an ethical dilemma, most of us have been encouraged to consult a colleague. In some states, peer consultation is considered part of a standard of care. Graduate school is likely when most of us first encountered this recommendation. Beyond the direction to “consult,” however, many of us were probably not provided information […]

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  • Risk Management: Psychologists Producing Quality, Well-Documented Patient Care

    The goal of risk management is to reduce the likelihood of discipline by a malpractice court, licensing board, ethics committee or another oversight body. Risk management is an important topic, but it could be viewed as a subset of the larger issue of how to deliver high quality professional services. The best risk management strategy […]

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  • Ethics for Psychologists: Working ethically with LGBTQ clients

    Working ethically with sexual and gender minority clients requires cultural competence. While this column attempts to address some specific ethical issues, clinicians are advised to seek training and supervision and to develop relationships with LGBTQ people outside of the office to continue to develop cultural competence. It is also important to recognize that there are […]

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  • Drug to Combat Opioid Addiction Little Used

    Washington, D.C. – A researcher with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told psychologists at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association that physicians in private practice are under-using a drug that could help combat the nation’s epidemic of opioid addiction. Andrew Huhn, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow with the school’s behavioral pharmacology […]

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  • Ethics of Technology and Clinician Responsibility

    Rapid advances in technology are everywhere, including in the field of clinical assessment. These changes have prompted many clinicians to ask the question, “Will technology soon take the place of the clinician in assessment?” Although recent technological advances now improve adherence to standard administration procedures, accuracy in scoring and allow clinicians to conduct near-seamless digital […]

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  • Gun Violence: A Professional Psychology Proposal

    Gun violence continues to be a serious and growing problem. At least monthly, another mass shooting becomes the news of the day. Politically, there appears to be no sincere attempt to address gun violence by the Republican Party that controls all levels of the federal government. I’m sure some will bristle at singling out Republicans. […]

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  • Ethics for Psychologists: Laws/Rules Vary for Telepsychology Practice

    Psychologists are increasingly incorporating the use of technology to provide a wide range of services.  Older technologies such as telephones and facsimile machines have been used for decades but more often use of newer technologies such as teleconferencing, email or texting are becoming common practice. Psychological services provided via telecommunications or telepsychology can include not […]

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  • Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Clients Require Special Ethical Consideration

    You receive a request for services via voicemail from an individual using a video-phone relay service, suggesting the potential client is deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH). Upon returning this individual’s call, they identify themselves as deaf and request the presence of a licensed and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter at their intake the following week. […]

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