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The Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology

I need to examine the legal aspects of professional psychology. As a part of your examination I need to address the following items:
1) Explain the importance of maintaining confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship
2) Explain the role of competence in professional psychology

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The importance of maintaining confidentiality in a therapeutic relationship.
The role of competence in psychology.

The Importance of Confidentiality:

Confidentiality might be defined as the reasonable expectation that your sessions, where your most personal and embarrassing problems are revealed, will not become public knowledge. Patients must be assured that their transgressions will not become tomorrow's news. If this expectation were violated, then fewer people would seek treatment. Society would be harmed thereby, and therapy would be forever tainted.
To this end, records must be secure and destroyed after a certain period of time. When used in research, the ideas a patient can be used, but never identified with a specific person. This is only the case when the information is generic or otherwise not unique to a specific person. This became the subject of a Supreme Court case, famously known as Jaffee v. Redmond (1996).
The defendant here was a policewoman who shot a man she was convinced was in the process of stabbing another. She was incorrect in her assessment, and the case went to court. During the trial, the prosecution discovered that the policewoman had sought counseling after the incident. Looking for evidence of guilt, the court commanded her to turn over the records. She refused. She lost that case. The court stated that justice in this unfortunate killing is far more important than her privacy with a counselor. She appealed, and the case went to the Supreme court.
The Supreme Court reversed the lower court ruling by saying:

Effective psychotherapy depends upon an atmosphere of confidence and trust, and therefore the mere possibility of disclosure of confidential communications may impede development of the relationship necessary for successful treatment. The privilege also serves the public interest, since the mental health of the Nation's citizenry, no less than its physical health, is a public good of transcendent importance. In contrast, the likely evidentiary benefit that would result from the denial of the privilege is modest.

This ruling solidified the importance of privacy in a therapeutic ...

Solution Summary

The legal aspects of professional psychology are determined. The role of competence in professional psychology are given.