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Psychologists and Christian Beliefs

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A psychologist who is a Christian is conducting research. The conclusions of the research seem to run contrary to the psychologist's Christian beliefs. What is the most ethical action for this psychologist and why?

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* What is the most ethical action for this psychologist and why?

Three approaches to consider are suggested for dealing with counseling or conducting research in accordance with the American Psychological Association's (2002) Code of ethics. According to Presley (1992), the Christian counselor may decide to avoid the issues by taking the conversation in a new direction. He or she could refuse the client's invitation to talk about the issue, or the issue could be postponed. In addition, based on another approach, the counselor must work within his or her area of competence. For example, the code of the American Association of Christian counselor (ACCA, 2004) is a comprehensive, detailed, and integrative synthesis of biblical, clinical, systemic, ethical, and legal information. Beyond defining boundaries of unethical practice, the code incorporates principles of biblical (Old and New Testament) and historic orthodox Christian theology. Christian counselors are encouraged to maintain client confidentiality to the fullest extent allowed by law, professional ethics, and church or organizational rules.

Thus, as Presley (1992) notes, to go beyond boundaries recommended by the APA (or American Counseling Association (ACA, 2005), the Christian counselor could bring harm to the client. On this basis, due to the subculture of the evangelical Christian, the Christian counselor may not be competent to evaluate the client's life because or she adheres to a different value system. Thus, he may suggest he lacks competence in a conducting research in a specific area. Along these same lines, Christian counselors are reminded that they must maintain the highest standards of competence with integrity (ACCA). If the counselor is conducting research that goes beyond his or her beliefs, he or she may want to reach out to other ...

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This solution discusses ethical research conducted from a Christian perspective.

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