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Issues such as privacy, attaining and preserving the capacity to treat the multitude of mental illnesses that continue to evolve, and conflicts of interest are just a few challenges that exist in modern-day clinical psychology.
The perception, tolerance and comprehension of current ethical standards are vital within contemporary psychology. Ethics have become much more than just principled or moral social interactions or disciplines; ethics relies on principles like equality, integrity, and objectivity.
Ethics are crucial in all psychological fields, regardless of procedures, research methods, or philosophical forte and the American Psychological Association Code of Ethics has formatted a dogma that includes six all-purpose principles for ethical management within psychological study and treatment. These principles are: competence, integrity, professional scientific responsibility, value of individual dignity and liberties, concern for the welfare of others, and social responsibility. Ethics is vital to psychology because it ensures that patients and psychologists are protected and afforded respect and appreciation. The code of ethics applies to all psychologists and is meant to offer security and protection to both the mental health professional and his client.
Additionally, psychologists must adhere to the legal laws of their state and federal agencies; however, what is legal is not always ethical, thus there must be a balance between the two. Ethics is important in all facets of human life and interaction, but, ethics is especially important to psychologists in order to better serve and protect everyone involved. Psychology is at an imperative stage and is in the course of developing and modifying to meet the ever-changing needs of science, practice, education and the augment in America’s multicultural nature. While the science of psychology is changing and methods are becoming more valid and compelling, additional adaptation and modification of current ethical definitions are needed to meet the evolving need of human kind.
The future of psychology will shape efficacy and effectiveness of ethical boundaries as they relate to clinical psychology treatment methods, academic research, politico-economic issues, ethics, healthcare and the philosophical stances of the various theories and perspectives within the realm of the mental health field. By forming an established set of ethical standards in clinical psychology, a system of accountability and regulation is established allowing the science of clinical psychology to magnify success, both in methods of treatment and the overall understanding of human behaviors and social interactions. Ultimately, clinical psychologists must be inherently conscious of individual philosophical standpoints in respect to human mental health and behavior. This awareness must be employed into the everyday practice and position of all clinical psychologists in order to advocate a more complete, candid, beneficial, and universally responsible definition of ethical clinical psychology.
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References:American Psychological Association (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Washington D.C: American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/ethics/code2002.html. (2001). Being ethical: More than obeying the law and avoiding harm. Journal of Personality Assessment, 77 (2), pp. 195-203.Bray, J. H. (2009). A summit on the future of psychology practice. Monitor on Psychology. Vol. 4. Retrieved http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/05/pc.aspx Brehm, S. (2008). Looking Ahead: The Future of Psychology and APA. American Psychologist, 63(5), 337-344. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.5.337.
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