Ethical considerations hold the key to effective and meaningful recovery of a patient from all his/her illness with dignity. Failure to adhere to these ethical practices by the medical practitioners and therapists will not only throw away peoples trust on them, but also create a legal tussle between the two groups, further worsening the situation. In light of the two professional settings (Psychiatric Hospital and Children Psychotherapy), ethical boundary considerations resonates around two crucial parameters; informed consent and Confidentiality (Pope, & Vasquez, 2011). In deed, these are the key to mutual respect and understanding between the doctor and the patient.
In psychiatric hospitals, the issue of informed consent is critical. Professional standards such as HIPAA, affirm to this fact by critically stating that the client has an obligation to demand for disclosure of Privacy Practices. If this important element is not put into consideration, boundary violation is likely to occur, especially to involuntary inpatients.. One ethical dilemma likely to be witnessed in psychiatric hospitals is the blatant exposure or disclosure of client’s information beyond its intended purpose. It is clearly indicated in the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 4.05 that disclosure of client information must give full precedence to his/her consent (Ford, 2006). Example of this boundary dilemma is when the psychologist personalizes client’s information and uses it for personal gain. For instance, telling people about the state of health of the client. If that information reverberates back to the client, it is likely to cause more damage than he initially was. This is because; his secrets will be in the public domain.
Psychological and educational assessment and testing as envisaged in chapter 8 can also be heavily misused if ethical considerations are not upheld. To begin with, this examination is only taken when highly qualified professionals find sufficient grounds to believe that it will yield results. Being a highly complex process to undertake, it requires high quality knowledge that would minimize probability of errors. Ethical problems are likely to arise in this situation when the psychologist might be short of current knowledge to handle the client. Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 2.03 put more weight on continuous competencies for every psychologist. Therefore, ethical dilemma of this magnitude will highly jeopardize section 2.03 (Pope, & Keith-Spiegel, 2008). It is obvious that matters of individual health when handled with insufficient knowledge can create a disaster to the client; it is therefore advisable that psychologists put a lot of effort on continuous training.
I do strongly agree with the colleague post on various ways. First of all, acceptance by the colleague that any professional work requires ethical boundaries to guide the relationship between the professional and the client is inevitable. Imagine situations of lawlessness where nobody really cares about the other person; people will go back to the state of nature (Pope, & Vasquez, 2011). In psychotherapy/counseling, dual relationship has hindered relationships and will continue to do so if not properly checked. Psychologists just like any other human beings may end up engaging in acts or relationships that go beyond imagination hence, impacting negatively on patient’s recovery (Ford, 2006; Pope, & Keith-Spiegel, 2008). In summary, all professionals have to adhere to principles of professional ethics at all times of their practice.
Ford, G. (2006). Ethical reasoning for mental health professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Pope, K. S., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2008). A practical approach to boundaries in psychotherapy:
Making decisions, bypassing blunders, and mending fences. Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Pope, K. S., & Vasquez, M. J. T. (2011). Ethics in psychotherapy and counseling: A practical guide (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.