Ethical Standards of Psychologists

Ethical Standards of Psychologists

Review the American Psychological Association Ethical Standards and Ethical Principles Provided to State Ethical Standards Violated in Cases One and Two


Ethics in psychology is the precise instructions essential for carrying out the psychological evaluation. Psychologists should remember their responsibilities to respect the rights and dignity of their patients. Essentially, this means that they should abide by the code of conduct and principles that govern their profession. The American Psychological Association (APA) sets the psychological code of conducts, rules, and regulations that should be followed by American psychologists. The first and second cases review how ethical standards have been broken.

Case One. Evaluate the Visit of Jackie to Dr. Roberts, a Psychologist. Dr. Roberts Provides Jackie with Forms to Gather Information on Medication Taken, Consumption of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, Jackie’s Sexual Orientation and Religion. Due to Jackie’s Sexual Orientation of Being Gay, Dr. Roberts Says She Cannot Treat Him. She Provides Him with Resources that May Help a Person of His Kind. Furthermore, She Says that His Sexual Orientation is the Cause of His Problems. The Following Are Some of the Ethical Standards that She Fails to Regard in Her Procedure.

Psychologists are provided with the guidance on how to work with people that do not fall in their category of work in what has known human relations. Such provisions help psychologists to avoid discriminating their patients. For instance, psychologists should avoid prejudice because it may have an adverse mental effect on a patient (American Psychological Association, 1981). Dr. Roberts discriminated against Jackie because he was gay and outlines that his sexuality is the cause of his situation although there was no fact to back up the claim. It is unethical for any psychologist to discriminate people based on their sexual orientations. Another ethical standard is competence. This provides ways in which psychologists should approach clients that fall out of their beliefs. In this regard, if Dr. Roberts believes Jackie falls out of her practitioner category so she should refer him to another professional who does not have an issue with people who does not have natural sexual orientations. Therefore, Dr. Roberts should provide professional judgment concerning on to deal with a gay person in an ethically consistent manner

There is the providence of ethical guidelines to record therapy sessions for numerous reasons that include training. This ethical standard involves privacy and confidentiality. This principle limits the kind of information that psychologists may get from a patient. Additionally, the psychologists should maintain the confidentiality of the information from the patients (American Psychological Association, 1981). Unfortunately, Dr. Roberts does maintain the privacy and confidentiality of her patient because she does not minimize her intrusion to the life of Jackie and asks many questions concerning religion, and sexual preference during her assessment of Jackie.

Psychologists should support their views using findings from assessments and provide evidence to justify their judgment. In this case, Dr. Robert does not conduct further assessments on Jackie but uses Jackie’s sexual orientation to give the final assessments on his troubles which is ethically wrong. This means that Dr. Roberts disregards the ethical procedures on assessing John to find the real problems.

Case Two. John, a Recent Graduate Finds Dr. ROBERTS Site which Outlines Her Work when He is Looking for an Internship Position. He Finds Advertisements on Her Work with Previous Patient’s Statements. Dr. Roberts Has Been a Specialized Child and Adolescent Psychologist For 10 Years According to Information Provided on Her Site. Moreover, She Uses Hypnosis to Get More Information from Her Patients and Know What the Cause of their Problems Is. In Response, John Decides to Get More Information on the Ethical Standards Broken By Dr. Roberts

The APA provides ethical standards on advertising and public statements by the APA. According to this ethical standard, deceptive information should be avoided regarding one’s competence levels. One should not offer services outside his/her area of expertise (American Psychological Association, 1981). For instance, here the media presentations and testimonials that regard one’s work are availed. Moreover, using testimonials from previous or present patients is obnoxious. Dr. Robert disregards this rule, and that is why she uses the former client’s testimonials to promote herself.

All psychologists should adhere to ethical standards of privacy and confidentiality psychologists. Measures should be taken to minimize intrusion on the privacy of the patients (Campbell, 2016). Nevertheless, Dr. Roberts does not regard the confidentiality and privacy of her patients, and that is why she uses them in advertising her work. Concerning competence, guidance is provided on how to approach patients that fall out of their expertise. The use of hypnosis to get problems affecting a patient is lack of competence on the doctor’s side. Nevertheless, Dr. Robert displays her incompetence by using hypnosis to conclude on the clients’ cause of problems which show that she does not know how to identify problems of her clients procedurally correctly.

In essence, ethical standards are provided to guide the psychologists in while they are carrying out their professional duty.  Disregard these standards for ethical punishment for the psychologist. Therefore, a psychologist should only provide the relevant, necessary information concerning themselves in their sites.




American Psychological Association. (1981). Ethical principles of psychologists. American Psychologist, 36, 633-638.

Campbell, R. (2016). “It’s the way that you do it”: Developing an ethical framework for community psychology research and action. American Journal of Community Psychology58(3-4), 294-302.