Ethical Principles of Psychologists

Ethical Principles of Psychologists: Preparation

Review the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct on the APA Web site linked in the Required Resources section of this assessment. Then, conduct your own search for information on the topic of ethics in psychology. Find at least three scholarly and professional resources on the topic of ethics and ethical behavior to use in this assessment. At least one of the resources you use must be a peer-reviewed journal article.

The work for this assessment is based on the following case study:

You have known Dr. Betsy Jones professionally for a number of years and have maintained a friendly relationship via email and social media after she moved to a small town several hours away. Yesterday you received an e-mail asking for your advice regarding a professional situation.

This is the situation Dr. Jones outlined in her e-mail to you:

Dr. Jones lives and practices psychology in a small town. She began treating a 52-year-old man she refers to as Mr. Albertson, who was suffering with depression. After only five sessions, Mr. Albertson suffered a serious concussion while at work. His impairment is quite noticeable; he has trouble understanding concepts and becomes easily confused during his next two sessions with Dr. Jones.

One of Mr. Albertson’s co-workers helped him find an attorney to protect his rights. Dr. Jones had Mr. Albertson sign a release so she could talk to the attorney and to the co-worker. The attorney calls to say that Workers Compensation wants to work out a settlement. But the attorney has no idea just how impaired Mr. Albertson is; they have never met face-to-face, only by e-mail and phone.

Mr. Albertson demonstrates multiple cognitive deficits. He needs assistance and monitoring with things such as cleaning his house, shopping, transportation, paying bills, and understanding the settlement process. He will likely need to go into an assisted living facility. His family members all live some distance away and are unable to provide much help. Workers Compensation refuses to pay for the services of an independent social worker, and attempts to find social service agencies that can help have not been successful. Further, Mr. Albertson does not appear to understand either his legal rights or the settlement process.

Before providing extra therapy support, Dr. Jones had Mr. Albertson sign a document explaining her fees for the additional services. She does not feel that he completely understands what is happening. Dr. Jones has been doing much of the case management work such as locating a long-time friend who is willing to help at home, referring him for neuropsychological testing, having long discussions with his primary physician, participating in conference calls with the attorney, and trying to find a guardian.

Dr. Jones is not sure that her actions would be considered ethical, and feels she is just too close to the situation to know what to do. She has asked for your help.

Requirements

Write a 4–6 page response to Dr. Jones (because you want to be as thorough as possible) in which you:

  • Describe the potential ethical issues in the situation. (Review the principles and standards in the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, and think about which principles and standards are relevant to the situation.)
  • Explain the competing ethical principles.
  • Analyze the implications of Dr. Jones engaging in multiple roles associated with Mr. Albertson’s care.
    • If Dr. Jones is practicing outside the scope of her license, what might happen as a result? (Check the licensing and legal requirements in your state.)
    • Is there a conflict of interest in Dr. Jones’ actions?
    • Are there possible issues involving confidentiality?
    • Are there possible legal implications?
  • Recommend an evidence-based, ethical course of action for Dr. Jones.

Be sure you support your statements, explanations, analysis, and recommendations with references to at least three scholarly or professional resources. Because this is being written to another psychology professional, format this assessment following APA guidelines.

Additional Requirements

  • Include a title page and reference page.
  • Number of pages: 4–6, not including title page and reference page.
  • At least 3 current scholarly or professional resources.
  • APA format.
  • Times New Roman font, 12 pt.
  • Double-spaced.
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