January 28, 2015
Dr. Eshanda Nwamara
Legal Issues Associated with Clinical Psychology
Clinical psychology faces a number of legal issues that require address to ensure effective service delivery to clients. For example, a patient may be threatening to commit suicide and is unwilling to commit to an agreement that aims at protecting him. In this incident, the psychologist has no option but to reveal the threat by the patient to the relevant authorities. In such a case, the clinical psychologist compromises the welfare of the individual for the interest of the society (Weiner, 2003). A client is always required to give necessary information without coercion. He should also be in the right legal and mental position to give consent.
An attack by a member of a group in training by a psychologist could trigger a sarcastic answer from the doctor. The sharp response leads to a conflict that makes the team lose their trust in the psychologist. This example shows another instance of a legal but unethical situation, since it is unethical to answer a client sarcastically (Leach, 2012).
Ethical Issues Associated with Clinical Psychology
Ethical principles protect the public and guide the conduct of professionals. They, however, may differ with the law. There could be situations that are ethically correct, but illegal. For instance, a court ordering a psychologist to give out information about a client is ethical because the analyst will work by the order. However, it is illegal to release confidential information about a customer without his consent for interpretation by unqualified people (Plante, 2005).
It is important for psychologists to be aware of the ethical issues they are likely to face while discharging their duties. For instance, the level of competence of a psychologist under training is a critical issue that needs thorough supervision because incompetence will lead to poor service delivery for clients. However, some supervisors may take advantage of supervisory relationships to overuse trainees leading to exploitation. It is thus ethical to check whether there is any form of exploitation in such a set up (Sweet, 1991).
Professional boundaries refer to rules and regulations that guide a particular profession. They are necessary to ensure the existence of categories. It is through these boundaries that some behaviors are prohibited and outlawed. For instance, it is against the law and ethical principles for a clinician to have sex with clients (Cooper, 2012).
Boundary crossings, on the other hand, refer to the deviation from the norm in matters regarding therapy. The therapist and the client move away from the distances maintained in a standard therapeutic practice. Most of the time, boundary crossing is harmless and non-exploitative and aims at improving the therapy.
Boundary violations differ from boundary crossings as they usually have an evil intention towards the patient. They end up not benefiting the patient since they expose him to harm or risk. Boundary violations lead therapists out of their expected professional conduct by incorporating forms of exploitation in their service delivery (Gutheil & Brodsky, 2008).
Boundaries are there to ensure that both the therapist and the patient benefit positively.
Cultural Limitations Associated with Assessment and Treatment
Cultural limitations prevent a smooth…