Professionalism in the Practice of Psychology: Work, Love and Community A. Overview: Work, Love, (Play?), Community, Self 1. Work: Life activities that have a measurable outcome, steps to completion a) Time spent b) Resources used c) Efficiency d) Better or worse results 2. Love: Life activities characterized in terms of improved human relationships a) Compassion b) Connection c) Genuineness, empathy, unconditional positive regard d) Growth as a person 3. Community: Activities aimed at connection of individuals to a defined group a) Roles, rules, standards, guidelines b) 4. Play: Activities done for the sake of doing them, for the individual’s pleasure, enjoyment and getting lost in the activity a) Fun b) Flow c) Momentary loss of ego d) Sometimes loss of sense of restraint B. Self: The influences written on an individual by nature, work, love, play, community, that make her unique in the world C. As applied to the practice of psychology 1. Work a) Empirically-based treatments b) Refined theory-based treatment c) Outcome measures (often of love-related variables) d) Standards, Guidelines, Accepted Practice, Empirically-based treatments, Theory-based treatments, Values, Opinions and Tastes Standards: Principles and Code of Ethics for Psychologists Professionalism: Practice and ethical issues Overview: Besides the issues of conducting therapy and assessment, one of the learning opportunities at the Clinic is developing professional conduct and attitudes and work habits in preparation for internship and career. One succinct way of thinking about this issue is that student-clinicians are practicing psychology (not practicing to be psychologists). Supervisors will guide this practice and oversee it, but individual clinicians are responsible for their own professionalism in relation to the clients, the Clinic, Clinic staff and each other. Student-clinicians are also considered staff of the Clinic and as such are responsible for developing or maintaining good work habits and participating in making the Clinic a desirable place to work. As a department that is accredited by APA, we accept and are bound by the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Ethics. Student-clinicians will learn this document in multiple ways—in formal ethics seminars, in practicum classes, in supervision, and by experience with clients and peers. In thinking about professional issues, the Code of Ethics stands as guide and standard. Another useful way of looking at the Code of Ethics was provided by Pope, Tabichek, xx who surveyed xx practicing psychologists, asking them to rate 87 possible therapist behaviors as “ethical/unethical”, “good practice/poor practice” and whether or not they engaged in the behavior. Professionalism requires ethical behavior; it implies also maintaining good practice, although the standard and range of acceptable behavior will will be different than for ethics. As to, “Do you engage in this behavior?”, if the actions in question are ethical and acceptably good practice, the fact that one does not choose to engage in the behavior does not condemn it in others. Acceptance of varied ways of conducting therapy and assessment, within the bounds of ethical behavior and acceptable practice, is part of professionalism. This is especially true in settings where multiple disciplines interact and where there are psychologists with different theoretical orientations. In matters of ethics and professionalism, there is often room for interpretation and resolution of conflicting demands. Fortunately, psychologists have each other to talk with—this they are expected to do and ethical consultations are frequent. ETHICAL STANDARDS 1. RESOLVING ETHICAL ISSUES 1.04 Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations When psychologists believe that there may have been an ethical violation by another psychologist, they attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual, if an informal resolution appears appropriate and the intervention does not violate any confidentiality rights that may be involved. (See also Standards 1.02, Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations, or Other Governing Legal Authority, and 1.03, Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands.) 1.05 Reporting Ethical Violations If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution under Standard 1.04, Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations, or is not resolved properly in that fashion, psychologists take further action appropriate to the situation. Such action might include referral to state or national committees on professional ethics, to state licensing boards, or to the appropriate institutional authorities. This standard does not apply when an intervention would violate confidentiality rights or when psychologists have been retained to review the work of another psychologist whose professional conduct is in question. (See also Standard 1.02, Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations, or Other Governing Legal Authority.) 1.06 Cooperating With Ethics Committees Psychologists cooperate in ethics investigations, proceedings, and resulting requirements of the APA or any affiliated state psychological association to which they belong. In doing so, they address any confidentiality issues. Failure to cooperate is itself an ethics violation. However, making a request for deferment of adjudication of an ethics complaint pending the outcome of litigation does not alone constitute noncooperation. 1.07 Improper Complaints Psychologists do not file or encourage the filing of ethics complaints that are made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation. 1.08 Unfair Discrimination Against Complainants and Respondents Psychologists do not deny persons employment, advancement, admissions to academic or other programs, tenure, or promotion, based solely upon their having made or their being the subject of an ethics complaint. This does not preclude taking action based upon the outcome of such proceedings or considering other appropriate information.