PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations

PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations

In this discussion I will focus on 9.01 Bases for Assessments subclause (a) and (b) in APA’s ethical principles for psychologists and code of conduct (American Psychological Association, 2017).  In this section, the ethical principles state that, psychologists should provide their opinions only after conducting adequate examination; and when individual examination is not needed, psychologists should conduct thorough record review and explain what information they use to come to the opinions, and why individual examination is not necessary (American Psychological Association, 2017).  I am curious where in the ethical principles can “do no harm” be found, but am confident that this should be important for all psychologists as well PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations.

It bothers me significantly after reading these APA principles and knowing that in my home province in Canada, there is an expert panel consisting of a registered psychologist, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist and physiotherapist, which the provincial funding agency routinely consults with to determine if a child with disabilities is severe enough to be approved for therapy, and the intensity of therapy offered.  Based on my own personal experience, when this panel is consulted, it is almost always certain the leading psychologist will recommend reduction or discontinuation of therapy, to the child and family’s dismay.  I have participated in meetings like this to present the needs of the children, but because of the “expert opinions” given by the leading psychologist and their panel, many of the children were not approved the therapy they desperately need, despite severe disability.  This practice in my province bothers me greatly.

This situation may also involve conflict of interest, as the provincial funding agency compensates the members on the panel to participate in those meetings to determine approval or denial of children’s therapy.  This may be beyond the current discussion, but I also believe psychologists must be cautious about conflict of interests and how it may affect their acting ethically and professionally PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations.

As a professional in training, these ethical principles really remind me how profoundly my behaviors in practice will impact my clients.  If I make recommendations without thoroughly examining my clients, or offer opinions without noticing how conflict of interest cloud my judgment, I could make recommendation detrimental to my clients and would be accountable for the long-term damage done to my clients. This oversight can so profound; it can negatively impact client outcome and not be overlooked.


We are here to receive training to become an expert in the future, not to inflict harm on our clients but to help them obtain improved functioning and self-actualization.  The APA ethical principles 9.01 Bases for Assessments (American Psychological Association 2017) reminds me how crucial it is to examine our individuals carefully and thoroughly, and conduct record review stringently in order to offer appropriate recommendation that benefit our clients.  I will remind myself over and over again in everything I do with my clients – is this ethical? Am I protecting my clients?PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations

American Psychological Association (2017).  Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.

Discussion: Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations can become complex, particularly within the many careers in which psychology graduates find themselves. This week, you received just an introduction to the area of professional ethics. Your Discussion gives you an opportunity to consider what ethical principles are in psychology and what they might mean to you as a professional.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Read the information on ethics presented in the APA websites listed in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Review the General Principles of the APA Ethical Standards from the resource titled “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” found in the Learning Resources
  • Select one of the principles and think about how it applies to your program or area of specialization.
  • Take the time to really envision what your success looks and feels like; really sit back and put yourself in that position and create the “you” that successfully finishes this program and how you might put what you learn into action for positive social change PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations.


With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the principle you selected from the General Principles of the APA Ethical Standards you read about in “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.” Explain it in your own words. Explain in what way the principle could be applicable in your area of specialization and why.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to this week’s Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 5

Respond to two of your colleagues and continue the Discussion through Day 7. Choose one of the ethical principles discussed by your colleagues and respond with your thoughts about how positive social change relates to this ethical principle. Describe one act of positive social change that you can foresee resulting from your psychology specialization/program.

Return to this Discussion periodically to read the responses to your initial posting and reply as you wish. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations.

One of the ethical principles of practicing psychologist listed on the American Psychological Association webpage is the first principle of “beneficence and nonmaleficence” (American Psychological Association, 2010). The principle discusses the importance of professionals in ensuring clients “…benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm” (American Psychological Association, 2010). It is imperative to understand the impacts of treatment, especially in working towards becoming a behavior analyst. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (2014), “effective treatment procedures have been validated as having both long-term and short-term benefits to clients and society.” As a future professional in the field of psychology, as a behavior analyst, utilizing unethical treatment protocols does not create positive change, is detrimental to not only the client, their family and the practice of others in the field. Currently, I am working in the field as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), and I strive to follow the treatment procedures set forth by the behavior analyst as it is written to ensure that the client is safe.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychological Association.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2014). Compliance code for behavior analysts. BACB. PSYC-6002 Discussion: Ethical Considerations.

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