Ethical Standards and Codes
Dana Brunner, Tawana James, Kristin Simmons, and Fenita Williams University of Phoenix
Ethical Standards and Codes
As far back as the Middle Ages there has been professional associations in place to regulate as well as discipline the members and constrain behaviors. In 1892 the American Psychological Association (APA), was founded in the United States. The APA is the agency responsible for regulating the behaviors of psychologist. The ethical standards and codes was developed and finally published in1953 were put into place to protect employees, clients and the organization. In this research study, Learning Team C will attempt to define ethical standards and codes, evaluate the impact APA’s standards and codes have on professional practice in the field of psychology, and examine the importance of professional ethical standards and codes in the field of psychology.
Definition of Standards and Codes
Beginning with notions of demon possession, exorcism, and the evils of witchcraft, the understanding of mental illness has been evolving. Along with understanding the nature of mental illness the treatment for mental illness has evolved as well. With this evolving a code of conduct was required to solidify the rights, and responsibilities, of both clients as well as clinicians. Partially because of the publicized atrocities of Nazi doctors questions were raised as to ethics and a committee was formed in 1947 to codify the ethics involved in the treatment of mental illness. This first code was widely circulated soon after the committee began its work, though it was considered to be a continual work in progress. Though there was a continual code in place from 1953 onward it was not until 1992 that the code was considered enforceable. Comparisons between the first of the principles published and in the 2002 APA Ethical Code one would find that little has changed. In fact the core values of doing good for humanity, doing no harm, a professional level of competence, equal respect for all, and the belief in the importance of personal fulfillment and happiness are the same as those first committees. The Impact of Societal Norms
The Impact of the APA Ethical Standards and Codes
The American Psychological Association Ethical Standards and Codes has had a significant impact on the professional practice of psychology. APA Ethical Standards and Codes are principles that help psychologists, psychiatrist and other mental health professionals arrive at an ethical course of action. The impact of the APA Standards and Codes has had such an impact on psychologist and other mental health professionals that it has also affected their personal lives. For example Pipes, Holstein and, Aquirre (2005) stated that members of the APA association could be expelled from the association if convicted of a felony. The conviction does not have to be work related and the individual can still be expelled. Having strict guidelines can and does affect one’s professional and personal life as well. The APA Ethical Standards and codes have improved the practice by requiring psychologist to abide by the rules set forth in the APA Ethical Standards and Codes (Pipes, Holstein & Aquirre, 2005). More training and knowledge is required of psychologist because they can no longer practice based on experience alone. One who practices as a psychologist should have a combination of experience and knowledge as well as abiding by the Ethical Standards and Codes. Such behavior that psychologist can now be held accountable for are, abuse of their clients and, having relationships with their clients. Before the Ethical Standards and Codes were published complaints brought to forefront were dealt with based on the committees own personal opinions and agreements (Pope, & Vasquez, 2007). The Importance of Professional Ethical Standards and Codes in the Field of Psychology...