Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology

Kenneth S. Pope

in The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195366884
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Ethical Issues in Clinical Psychology

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  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology



This chapter examines how ethical issues are approached differently by two prominent psychological associations, how they are encountered by psychologists, the formal complaints they give rise to, and how they can be approached systematically to avoid missteps. Included are basic assumptions about ethics; the unique approaches to developing a ethics code taken by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), and what each of these two codes provides; empirical data about what ethical problems psychologists encounter and what formal complaints they face; four major sets of ethical issues that are particularly complex and challenging (confidentiality, informed consent, competence, and boundaries); an area of major controversy (clinical psychology and national security); steps in ethical decision-making; and four possible lines of future research.

Keywords: Boundaries; competence; confidentiality; ethics; ethical decision-making; formal complaints; informed consent

Article.  18551 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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