The psychologist’s code of conduct was adopted to regulate the performance of practitioners’ duties in the field of mental health counselling. There are clear standards that define the rights of a psychologist. This codes act to protect both the psychologist and patients (Hendricks et al. 2011).
The codes of ethics stipulate that the main reason or need for standards in the psychology industry is to ensure that psychologists and their patients meet their needs. These codes are fundamentally based on the foundation or principles of integrity, tolerance, and legality of the psychologist’s actions. A practitioner should fully consider the customs both implicitly and explicitly implied in the society and consider such norms as the primary leading points in making the decision of whether to conform or deviate from the set standards (Hendricks et al. 2011).
A psychologist must ensure that in the delivery of his/her duties, he/she tries as much as possible to avoid any thing that may compromise either directly or indirectly the independence of their profession. The code stipulates that a psychologist may collaborate with other professionals in the performance of his/her duties if it is necessary. A psychologist’s main aim is to ensure the well-being and recovery of a patient or a client. In doing so, he/she may seek assistance of other practitioners that may aid in the achievement of this purpose. The profession is governed by the same statutes that apply to the other professions with regard to valuing human life, upholding human rights, professional responsibility, integrity in dealings with clients, professional competence, and sincerity and scientific reasons for all actions taken (Calley, 2009).
A psychologist must neither interfere with the freedoms, rights, and physical or psychological integrity of individuals or groups nor participate in any criminal activity. In line with this regulation, a psychologist must not have any part in the concealment of a crime or conspiracy to commit one regardless of his/her bias or moral orientation regarding the client (Ponton & Duba, 2009). A psychologist is mandated to give information about any crimes discovered in the performance of his/her duties and he/she must be impartial and non-judgmental at all times. He/she must indiscriminately serve patients of all races, religious beliefs, sexes, age groups, partisan orientations, nationality and social class in the performance of their duties; these must not in any way interfere with his/her ability to effectively meet the needs of the patients or influence the manner of questioning during interrogation (Hendricks et al. 2011).
A psychologist must not use his/her power as a mental health counselor to unduly take advantage of situations whether for personal gain or otherwise. In the same note, a psychologist in public practice should not use such privilege to acquire clientele for his/her private practice. Psychologists must not play any role in ensuring clients to come to them, but should allow due process and exercise of the patients’ ability to choose. Similarly, a practitioner must not engage in acts that are indicative of his/her desire to monopolize the industry. These two codes touch on the misuse of power by a psychologist (Calley, 2009).
One of the codes is indicative of psychologists in public practice and the other – in private practice. Psychologists in public practice are encouraged not to misuse their power by influencing the clients they get, while those in private practice may not make attempts at monopolizing the industry (Ponton & Duba, 2009).
These Codes of Conduct will be essential in acting and providing guidance to future mental health counselors. These codes reveal what the proper use of power is and how to conduct oneself both in private and public practice. These are essential tools in ensuring that the psychology industry upholds decorum, ethical conduct, and human rights in the performance of its duties (Calley, 2009).
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