Ethical Decision Making


Ethical Decision-Making: The Process of Making Ethical Decisions in Psychology

Heather Van Den Arend

University of Phoenix

Ethical Decision-Making: The Process of Making Ethical Decisions in Psychology

A psychologist must face many ethical decisions in the course of providing therapy to a wide range of patients. Some of these ethical decisions may be easy, and some of them may be a lot more difficult. It is up to the psychologist to make the most ethical decision for all people that may be affected by the situation. This paper will evaluate a possible ethical dilemma that could face a psychologist in the midst of providing therapy to patients. This paper will then go through the first 14 steps of the ethical decision process in order to come up with a decision. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the importance of ethical decision making in professional psychology.
Ethical Dilemma
The ethical dilemma that will be discussed in this paper involves a therapist who is providing therapy to a young boy. The boy comes from a home with a single father. The father often joins some of the therapy sessions. The boy had a lot of trouble being able to talk to the therapist and trust her when the therapy first started. Now, the therapist has gained the boy’s trust and he has opened up to her about many things that bother him. His grades have gone up and he even decided to join the soccer team at school; he was very anxious and shy before and would not have been able to play a team sport.
      The boy has been in therapy with this therapist for the past two years and over that time the therapist and the boy’s father have developed a mutual attraction for each other. The therapist knows that this is wrong, but she really wants to explore a relationship with this man. She doesn’t know if she should try it out first and see how things go or if she should refer them to another therapist.
      Identify the Situation...