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Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology: Treatment and Evaluation

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Professional ethics provide the scaffolding for the provision of professional services. Ethics guide how individuals are trained as well as how they treat and interact with others. Ethical guidelines, then, affect numerous activities in which professionals are engaged. This holds true for providers from all professional groups who practice in the many forensic treatment settings available.

As a forensic psychology practitioner, you need a firm understanding of the professional ethics that guide your practice. Having such an understanding as it relates to your professional identity will prepare you to provide high quality, ethically sound, and ethically informed professional services to the populations with which you choose to work. An understanding of professional ethics also reduces liability risks and provides you with a foundation for addressing challenges in a professional manner.

Review the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Pay particular attention to specific principles and guidelines that pertain to the treatment of forensic populations.

Review the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists from the APA's Division 41 website. Note the guidelines specific to the treatment of forensic populations.

Conduct an Internet search and locate additional ethical codes related to forensic professionals (e.g., those who provide sex offender treatment or juvenile offender treatment.

Please provide a description of at least two ethical dilemmas encountered by mental health professionals who practice in forensic treatment settings. Explain how each dilemma might complicate treatment in specific forensic settings. Finally, describe how you would resolve each dilemma using ethical principles and guidelines from the APA's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists, and/or other appropriate codes of ethics.

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Dear Student,

Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. In this particular task, you are asking for help in putting together a discussion on a topic in ethics in forensic psychology practice. I suggest making it simple using this outline:

1. Resources of Ethical Information - 100 words
2. Ethical issues & complication for treatment - 200 words
3. Resolution - 100 words

This outline should yield around 400 words that should cover what you need. Just let me know via the feedback section if you need further clarification. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best with your studies!

AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Ethical Dilemmas in Practice

Source of Ethical Code Standards

In the practice of forensic psychology, the main source of ethical guidelines that practitioners look to is that which is enforced by the American Psychological Association (APA) upon their members and affiliated organizations. The Division of Forensic Psychology has adopted the Code of Ethics of the larger APA into the aptly titled "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology" (APA, 2011). It is enforced by APA's Division 41, American Psychology-Law Society, which advocates for the contribution, participation, utilization, and recognition of the principles of psychology to law and legal institutions as well as for the framing of the concepts of law into forensic psychology practice. The difference is that APA's Code of Ethics is expected practice - all members of the APA and facilitated organizations must practice every ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance, and advice on the topic of dealing with ethical issues/dilemmas, usually faced in forensic psychology practice in terms of treatment and evaluation. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Ethical Issues When Working with Nontreatment Staff

Forensic psychology rests on a combination of legal and psychological principles. Some job settings serviced by forensic psychology professionals are multi-disciplinary in nature. As a result, forensic psychology professionals may work with others who have no background in forensic psychology. For example, a forensic psychology professional working in the family court system may work with case workers, victim advocates, attorneys, and other nontreatment professionals. In some forensic settings, a forensic psychology professional may be asked to engage in matters or make decisions that are contrary to forensic psychology professional ethics. Navigating such situations may be difficult, particularly when the directive comes from a nontreatment supervisor. Thus communicating clearly your position as a forensic psychology professional is important to the integrity of your role. Furthermore, asserting your role may influence your professional practice or have legal implications for the people you are treating.

Consider how you might work with nontreatment staff in forensic settings.

Select at least two potential ethical issues/challenges that you might encounter in working with nontreatment staff in forensic settings.

Think about why each ethical issue you selected might be a challenge and consider how you might address each. Provide a description of each of the ethical issues and/or challenges you selected. Then explain why each is a challenge and how you might address it.

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