Ethical Roles In Clinical Psychology

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As a psychologist, one takes on first and foremost the role of a counselor to his or her client. However, out of this single role, a vast array of other roles and responsibilities sprout out as the relationship between a psychologist and their client is by nature complicated. Unlike a straightforward business relationship or doctor-patient relationships that focus on more objective physical ailments, psychologists delve into the internal and emotional landscapes of their clients that often result in a highly intimate and complex relationship. The nature of the relationship between psychologist and client is especially complicated as the relationship often begins with a strong power imbalance since clients generally come into the relationship…show more content…
Roles that exist within someone’s own personal life can fall into the category of familial roles. A clinical psychologist can also be someone’s parent and more often than not, someone’s child. Although it is often said that professionalism requires that you separate personal from professional, this dichotomy is often not easily achieved and ethical conflicts can often arise. However, acknowledging that the realm of personal roles, by necessity, encompasses a high degree of individual differences and may not be easily generalized, we will not focus too much on the possible conflicts arising from…show more content…
As a researcher, one’s engages in an intellectual pursuit through trials and experiments. However, conflicts often arise when the researcher also plays the role of a therapist to their client-subject. This is due to the different priorities of each role that are sometimes incompatible. A good demonstration of this ethical conflict can be seen in a case study of a particular research project whose principal investigator (PI) took on the role of both clinician and researcher (Lanza & Satz, 1995). The research project was aimed to determine the efficacy of a particular treatment method. The conflict arose between the two roles when as a researcher a control group needed to be in place to “strengthen(s) the confidence in the study ratings” (Lanza & Satz, 1995). This is morally justifiable by applying the principles of beneficence where a strong and reliable study could potentially benefit many more clients and enrich the psychological community and also abiding by the principle of distributive justice that aims to ensure that benefits and burdens are allocated fairly (Davis, 1989). However, one can also argue from the perspective of a therapist that based on the same principle of beneficence, you should do what is most beneficial for your client and offer them the treatment as well. Also, one can argue from the principle of autonomy that

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