Professional Ethics for School Psychology – Part I

A Problem Based Learning (PBL) Approach to
Professional Ethics for School Psychology – Part I
Starring, as the specialist in school psychology,
Mini Esquella, M.A.
3 hour CE – ON LINE
Prepared for and donated to the Texas Psychological Association
By Emily Sutter, Ph.D., University of Houston-Clear Lake, Copyright © 2004
In the following vignette please assume that you have the role of Mini Esquella. Each dilemma contains questions
designed to stimulate ethical reasoning. Following each dilemma is a multiple choice exam question. There is one
best answer to each exam question. Complete the answer sheet and fax (along with the fee) for scoring to (512) 2551642. If you prefer to mail a check, mail to PO Box 1930, Cedar Park, TX 78630.
If your score is above 70% you will receive a certificate for 3 hours continuing education. If you do not score above
70% you may again pay the fee and re-take the test. Resources provided with the vignette are meant to be
suggestive, not exhaustive. Resource citations are only guaranteed for the above date. Primary resources include:
*Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, Act & Rules (
*American Psychological Association Code of Ethics (
*National Association of School Psychologists Professional Ethics (
*Texas laws ( Then click on Texas statutes in the left column under Research. Or order the
book Texas Mental Health Law from TPA.
The following vignette is a work of fiction designed to promote knowledge acquisition and knowledge application, develop problem
solving/critical thinking skills, promote life long self-directed learning and professional behavior, illuminate the ethical role issues of the
specialist in school psychology, and illustrate the legal issues of professional practice. The characters and events in this vignette are fictional and
any resemblance between real persons and events is coincidental.
Chapter 1
The Perils of Employment
A. You will shortly have your master’s degree in hand and want to enter the work force as soon as
possible after graduating in order to reduce your student loan debt and get that new SUV you have
coveted for so long. For years you have wanted to work in the education field, perhaps as a counselor.
But more recently you heard about a new entity, the school psychologist. Your alma mater is very small
and does not have a school psychology program so you have simply taken all the relevant education and
psychology courses you could, hoping to get employed by your local school district. The district is
located in a small rural area of south Texas and has trouble attracting qualified personnel. As the May
graduation approaches, you wonder what you can legitimately put on your resume for use in your job
APA Ethics 5.01 – Avoidance of false statements
NASP Ethics II (A) (2 & 3) – accurate representation; use of affiliations
TSBEP Rule 465.6 - Listings, etc.
EXAM QUESTION 1. Which of the following would be ethical to put on your resume?
a. master’s degree from a non-accredited institution
b. certification purchased on eBay.
c. the degree you hope to obtain
d. prestigious references you’ve not yet contacted
e. none of the above
B. Graduation finally arrives. While waiting to get your first job with the school district in the fall, you
plan to earn extra cash by doing some psychological testing for a local psychologist, Dr. Indy Practice,
during the summer. What legal/ethical problems might arise with your accepting such summer
employment? If your degree had been a doctorate, would your answers be different? Under what
circumstances could you accept such employment? Could you provide private psychological services for
students who are also enrolled in the district where you hope to work?
NASP Ethics V (A) (2) – prohibitions for dually employed
Psyc. Licensing Act, Sec. 501.251 - License requirements
TSBEP Rule 465.3 – Providers of psyc. Services
TSBEP Rule 465.4 - Employment of individuals not licensed, etc.
EXAM QUESTION 2. Doing psychological testing under the supervision of a private practicing
licensed psychologist can be done by
a. LSSPs
b. LPAs
c. other licensed mental health practitioners (LPCs, LMFTs, etc.)
d. any student the supervisor considers competent
e. all of the above
C. Several weeks later you receive a letter from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
They indicate a complaint has been filed against you for practicing without a license, and against Dr.
Practice for allowing you to provide psychological services. They note that you are offering
psychological services but are not a licensee of their board, or any other mental health board. They
therefore order you to cease and desist from offering what appear to be psychological services and ask
you to respond to them. What do you do now? What steps do you take in dealing with a Board
complaint? Why is Dr. Practice in trouble? Where do you check to answer these questions?
APA 9.07 – Assessment by Unqualified Persons
TSBEP 465.4 – Employment of Individuals Not Licensed, etc.
TSBEP 465.35 - Resolution of Allegation, etc.
TSBEP 469.5 – Complaint Disposition
TSBEP Chapter 470 - Administrative Procedure
EXAM QUESTION 3. How do you respond to a Board complaint?
a. Sue whoever filed the complaint.
b. Ask the President of your professional association to write you a letter of support.
c. Respond completely in the time required.
d. Express your outrage that the Board would dare to question your actions.
e. Cry and throw yourself on the mercy of the Board.
D. You cease and desist from your work with Dr. Practice mighty fast. The Psychologists’ Licensing
Board is requiring you to take some Continuing Education (CE) on licensing requirements and wait 6
months before applying for licensure. In a sobered mood, you decide to make good use of this time by
obtaining the necessary internship required for licensure as a Texas LSSP. Fortunately, you have all the
coursework required for the LSSP. You apply directly to the personnel department of the local school
district for an LSSP internship. The district is delighted to find someone with diagnostic skills and wants
to hire you directly as a Diagnostician. Can they do this? Who assumes the liability if they do? What
will the Licensing Board require for this to be considered a valid LSSP internship? How will you sign
your reports? What supervision arrangements should you discuss before accepting this job?
APA 3.07 – Third-Party Requests for Services
NASP IV (D) (4) – reports co-signed & intern identified
NASP III (F) - trainees and interns
TSBEP 463.9 – LSSP
TSBEP 465.2 – Supervision
TSBEP 465.6 – Listing, etc.
TSBEP 465.38 - Psyc. Services in the Schools (sections 4 & 5 – Supervision)
EXAM QUESTION 4. Who can provide school psychological services in Texas public schools?
a. any individual enrolled in a university’s school psychology internship
b. any licensed psychologist
c. any post-doctoral psychology graduate
d. any individual hired by the public school to provide such services
e. all of the above
EXAM QUESTION 5. What is the best way for a supervisor to document supervision?
a. have standing supervision times
b. write the supervision appointment times in your calendar
c. co-sign reports and client records
d. inform parents of supervision arrangements during informed consent
e. always be on-site with the supervisee
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Licensure requirements, preparation, and restrictions
Handling Board complaints
Supervision arrangements and competence
Chapter 2
A. You make the necessary legal arrangements and accept the job as a Diagnostician/LSSP Intern with
the local school district. You are delighted to generate a salary and begin your professional career. Your
supervisor is Ms. Laissez Faire, a woman who obtained her LSSP under the “grandparent” clause in
1996. Ms. Faire has been translating some of the standard assessment instruments into Spanish. She is
quite proud of these accomplishments and hopes to publish the translations. She asks you to use these
instruments whenever you must test a youngster whose primary language is Spanish. What ethical
issues are raised here? How should you handle this request?
APA 2.01 – competence
APA 9.03 – Informed Consent in Assessments
APA 9.05 - Test Construction
NASP IV (C) (2 & 4) - standardized, research-based instruments
TSBEP 465.9 - Competency
TSBEP 465.16 – Evaluation, etc.
EXAM QUESTION 6. Your supervisor has asked you to test a youngster using the supervisor’s Spanish
translation of a standard test instrument. Which of the following concerns would NOT be covered by an
ethics code?
a. whether the supervisor is competent to develop such a test
b. whether the parents have consented to the use of such an experimental procedure
c. whether you have the competencies to administer, score, and interpret the test
d. whether the test has been validated for the purposes for which it is intended
e. whether the school district has approved use of the translated test
B. The district is also strapped for funds and routinely photocopies blank test protocols for use with
students. What problem does this raise?
NASP IV (F) (6) - uphold copyright laws
TSBEP 465.37 - Compliance with all Applicable Laws
EXAM QUESTION 7. Which of the following procedures would violate copyright laws if you ran out
of test protocols?
a. purchase and use new protocols
b. borrow and use the protocols you need
c. photocopy and use a blank test protocol
d. photocopy and use a blank protocol and then attach a purchased protocol to the copy when you
can afford the purchase
e. photocopy and use a blank test protocol if the publisher gives you permission
C. Because the district has been so short staffed, Ms. Faire has been accepting “psychological
evaluations” conducted by personnel at the local MHMR agency on district children who need
comprehensive evaluations. Any ethical/legal problems here?
Sometimes the “psychological evaluations” are done by psychiatrists in the community. What part do
these reports play in classifying youngsters as emotionally disturbed? Who makes the determination of
emotional disturbance to qualify students for special education? Do TEA and TSBEP have different
standards here? If there appears to be conflict between two (or more) sets of rules/laws, how is this to be
APA 1.02 & 1.03 – conflicts, etc.
APA 3.09 - Cooperation with Other Professionals
NASP III (E) - professional relations
TSBEP 465.9 – Competency
TSBEP 465.38 (3) – Providers of School Psychology Services
TSBEP 465.38 (6) - Conflict Between Laws and Board Rules
EXAM QUESTION 8. If psychological evaluations are conducted by other than LSSPs for a child’s
educational program placement, what is the primary ethical issue the LSSP must address before accepting
any of the report?
a. whether the evaluator is a licensed mental health practitioner
b. whether the evaluator is licensed by the psychology board
c. whether the evaluator works for an exempt agency if he/she is not licensed
d. whether the evaluator is competent to conduct a valid evaluation
e. whether the evaluator has been approved by the school district
EXAM QUESTION 9. If there appears to be conflict between various directives, what standard
a. TSBEP rules
b. the law
c. TEA regulations
d. district policy
e. professional association guidelines
D. No sooner do you begin your new job than the principal of the high school brings you a list of the
students he wants tested and classified under special education. Your supervisor tells you that the special
education director is your boss, not the principal. How do you handle this professional relationship issue?
APA 1.03 – conflicts, etc.
APA 3.09 - Cooperation with Other Professionals
APA 3.11 - services delivered through organizations
NASP III (A) (4) - resolve conflicting interests
NASP III (E) (3) - explaining role and working relationships
NASP IV (A) (2 & 3) - advocate children’s rights
NASP IV (B) (3 & 4) - clarifying role
TSBEP 465.1 (1) - Definition of “Client”
TSBEP 465.10 - Basis for professional judgments
TSBEP 465.11 (d) - clarifying role to each party
EXAM QUESTION 10. If you are ordered to qualify a youngster for special education, your primary
ethical responsibility in determining the child’s eligibility is to follow
a. the principal’s wishes.
b. the special education director’s wishes.
c. the parents’ wishes.
d. the client’s wishes.
e. the evidence collected.
E. The principal impresses upon you the financial constraints under which the district operates. He asks
if you could train some of the teachers to give selected tests that you use in order to stretch resources. Can
you comply?
APA 9.07 – Assessment by Unqualified Persons
NASP IV (C) (5) - unqualified persons
TSBEP 465.4 - Employment of individuals not licensed, etc.
TSBEP 465.14 - Misuse of Licensees’ Services
EXAM QUESTION 11. Can you ethically train teachers to give selected tests that you use as an LSSP?
a. Yes, if the teachers give the tests under your supervision.
b. No, if the teachers do not have background in tests and measurements.
c. Yes, if the publisher allows such administration.
d. No, if standardized conditions would be violated.
e. It depends on all of the above conditions.
Experimental procedures
Avoiding harm
Grandparent clause
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Conflict between rules and laws
Professional relationships
Multiple relationships
Personal problems and conflicts
Competence/consultation and referrals
Chapter 3
Lots of Trouble
A. Your internship requires that you undertake some counseling cases. Because your internship has been
combined with a job as a Diagnostician, you have little time to work in the non-assessment aspects of the
internship. Your supervisor wants you to undertake counseling cases in the high school where you do
assessments, in order to save travel time. The high school principal particularly wants you to counsel the
youngsters you have tested, and vice versa, since you already have rapport with them. What do
professional guidelines say about such arrangements?
APA 3.05 - Multiple Relationships
APA 3.06 – Conflict of Interests
APA 3.10 – Informed Consent
APA 4.02 - Discussing Limits of Confidentiality
APA 10.01 – Informed Consent to Therapy
NASP III (A) (4) – resolve conflicting interests
TSBEP 465.13 – dual relationships
EXAM QUESTION 12. Ethically, why might it be unwise to both test and counsel the same client?
a. You have confidential information about the child.
b. The knowledge you gain in one role may affect your objectivity in the other role.
c. The child may resent your involvement in his/her educational program.
d. The parents may become overly dependent on you.
e. The child will not receive the diversity of personnel available to offer services.
B. You have your first appointment with a new counseling client at 2:00 PM today. Her name is Lottie
Trouble, age 15, a freshman. Last year Ms. Trouble was classified as Emotionally Disturbed (ED) and
her Individual Educational Plan (IEP) called for counseling based on a related services evaluation.
Lottie asks how long counseling will take. She does not want to add to her already filled schedule of
places to be and things to do and she does not want her peers to know she must go to counseling. You
vaguely recall that you are supposed to have some sort of informed consent for her to be in sessions with
you and you don’t see one in her records. What is involved in getting appropriate informed consent in a
school setting? Is additional consent for psychological services needed beyond that obtained through
special education consent? And what happens to consent if after counseling begins you want to change
what you are doing with a particular student?
NASP III (A) (3) - informed consent
NASP III (A) (11) - discuss limits of confidentiality
NASP III (B) (2-4) – obtaining student consent for services; changes in services
NASP III (C) - obtaining parent consent
TSBEP 465.1 (4) - definition of “informed consent”
TSBEP 465.11 – Informed Consent, etc.
EXAM QUESTION 13. Which of the following statements is TRUE?
a. It is not necessary to attempt to obtain a child’s consent for services if the parents have consented
b. The consent to counseling, obtained from the parents during the ARD meeting, is sufficient to
meet TSBEP requirements.
c. Consent need only be given orally to comply with the law.
d. Consent requires a discussion of the purpose, nature, and duration of the services to be provided,
the goals and techniques to be used, possible side effects, alternate choices, limits to
confidentiality and access to records.
e. Changes in services do not require additional consent.
C. Lottie tells you that she has been “into” drugs off and on for a few years. She tells you that she is
currently obtaining drugs from a fellow student, whom she names. She admits she is also having sexual
relations with this young man of 18. She does not want her parents to know any of this. What are your
ethical, legal, and practical obligations with respect to this information?
APA 4.04 – Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
APA 4.05 – Disclosures
NASP III (A) (9-11) – protecting confidentiality
NASP III (C) (2) – reporting to parents
NASP IV (A) (1 & 2) – primary client is the child
NASP IV (B) (4) – clarifying services in advance where loyalties are conflicted
TSBEP 465.12 - confidentiality
TX Family Code 32.004 – Consent to counseling by child
TX Family Code , Chapter 261 Child Abuse or Neglect
TX Penal Code, 21.11 (b) (1) – statutory rape
EXAM QUESTION 14. If a child admits during counseling that she abuses drugs but does not want her
parents to know about the drug abuse, what should you do ethically?
a. Withhold the information from the parents because you have that right under the TX Family
Code, Chapter 32.
b. Tell the parents, because you have that right under the TX Family Code, Chapter 32.
c. Follow whatever confidentiality agreement you made with the child and parents during informed
d. Report the information to Children’s Protective Services
e. Report the information to the principal.
EXAM QUESTION 15. If you believe a child’s sexual or drug behavior constitutes imminent harm to
the child, to whom can you report this under the TX Health and Safety Code, Chapter 611.004?
a. the principal
b. the parents
c. the police
d. any of the above
e. none of the above
D. You wonder what to put in your records on Lottie. Your supervisor says you can keep whatever notes
and records you feel are helpful and she shows you the file area, which is at one end of the reception
office. The school’s files are exploding and there is no room in the drawers to keep any files of your
clients. Your supervisor says she keeps most of her files in the trunk of her car for convenience. The
secretary says she is getting ready to throw out the counseling files of students who have not been seen in
six months. You are appalled. What should be kept in the records, how should they be stored, and how
long should they be kept? Can you keep “process notes” separately? Are you liable if the school destroys
records in violation of TSBEP rules or FERPA/IDEA? Is the school bound by any of the privacy rule
requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Assurance Act (HIPAA)?
APA 4.01 – Maintaining Confidentiality
NASP III (A) (9-11) – confidentiality
NASP III (C) (6) – records
TSBEP 465.1 (12) – definition of “records”
TSBEP 465.22 – records
TSBEP 465.38 (7) Compliance with Applicable Education Laws
TX Health & Safety Code, Chapter 181 – records privacy under HIPAA
EXAM QUESTION 16. Which of the following statements with regards to records is FALSE?
a. School psychologists in a private practice setting must keep a child client’s records 10 years past
the child’s age of majority.
b. School psychologists in a public school setting must keep children’s records in accordance with
FERPA law.
c. Records should contain client identification information, dates and types of service, progress or
results of services, informed consents, assessments, release forms, reports from other sources.
d. Process notes on children can be kept separately and they are exempt from court order.
e. Records must be stored in a manner that protects confidentiality, yet permits review.
Dual relationships
Reporting mandates
Chapter 4
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Informed Consent
Standards for Records
HIPAA privacy rules
A. Mr. Trouble, Lottie’s father, wants to know what his daughter has said and demands a copy of her
record, including the psychological test report and the test protocols themselves. How do you handle Mr.
Trouble’s demand? Do you share his comments with his daughter? Anyone else? Is this an appropriate
matter to put in Lottie’s chart? As part of your notes you have lots of information, most of which you
believe is relevant to Lottie’s academic achievement. You also have some material that you believe may
be harmful to Lottie’s mental health if released to Mr. Trouble. How do you proceed?
APA 3.11 – services delivered through organizations
APA 4.04 – Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
APA 4.05 – Disclosures
APA 9.04 - Release of Test Data
APA 10.02 - Therapy involving families
NASP III (A) (9-11) – confidentiality
NASP III (C) (6) – parents rights to records
TSBEP 465.12 (i) – confidentiality of information not germane
TSBEP 465.22 (c) – access to records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
TX Health & Safety Code 611.0045 - Right to Mental Health Record
EXAM QUESTION 17. What protection does the law give a practitioner who does not want to release
portions of a record to a parent for fear of harm to the child client?
a. None, the TX Family Code allows parents to have their children’s records.
b. None, FERPA gives parents the rights to their children’s educational records.
c. Some, the TX Health and Safety Code allows practitioners to withhold portions of records under
certain conditions.
d. None, the TX Health and Safety Code allows clients to have unconditional access to their
e. Full, TSBEP rules allow a practitioner to withhold a record if the client has not paid the bill.
B. Mrs. Trouble, Lottie’s mother, calls you several days later. She says she is fed up with her marriage
and is going to divorce her husband. She wants you to send Lottie’s record to her attorney. What are the
legal requirements here? Mrs. Trouble has told her attorney that she wants custody of the Lottie. Her
attorney, in turn, told her that she should use the psychological information you have on Lottie to show
that she (Mrs.Trouble) is the better-fit parent to raise Lottie. She says that this will save her money since
you have seen both her and Lottie. Her lawyer plans to subpoena you to testify as an expert on behalf of
Mrs. Trouble in the custody case. Can you accept this new assignment? Are there professional guidelines
concerning testifying in custody cases that you could read and consider (and if so, where would you find
APA 3.05 (b) – resolving potentially harmful multiple relationships
APA 4.05 – Disclosures
APA 10.02 (b) – resolving potentially conflicting roles
NASP III (A) (7) – avoid dual relationships
NASP III (A) (9) – release of confidential information
NASP III (E) (3) – explaining role to other professionals
NASP IV (A) (1) – primary client is the child
TSBEP 465.1 (1) – Definition of “Client”
TSBEP 465.1 (3) – Definition of “Forensic Services”
TSBEP 465.13 (b) – Dual Relationships
TSBEP 465.16 (c) (5) – base opinion on examination
TSBEP 465.18 – Forensic Services
TX Health & Safety Code 611.006 - disclosure of confidential information
EXAM QUESTION 18. Can you testify as an expert witness in a custody case when you’ve been seeing
the child in counseling?
a. Yes, so long as you’ve done a comprehensive evaluation of the child.
b. No, assuming both these roles puts you in a potentially unethical dual relationship.
c. Yes, if both parents consent to your doing this.
d. No, the attorneys for the parents would never put you in such a position.
e. Yes, you know the child’s interests better than anyone.
C. Several sessions later, Lottie reports that she is unable to sleep and, in fact, has not slept in the last five
days. Lottie also tells you that her mother and father have been having terrible fights and that last night
her mother chased her father with a knife. Lottie thought sure her father would be stabbed. She reports
her father has become agitated and is increasingly aggressive with her. She says her mother has reported
his aggressive behavior toward her (Lottie) to Children’s Protective Services. You heave a sigh of relief
since you think that relieves you of your responsibility to report. However, you have a vague memory that
you have to do something even if she did talk to CPS. Do you? What are your reporting requirements
here? Do you report the parents’ domestic violence? What are your professional responsibilities with
regard to Lottie’s reported sleeplessness?
APA 4.05 – Disclosures
NASP IV (A) (2) – child’s welfare is primary concern
TSBEP 465.10 – Basis for professional judgments
TSBEP 465.12 (d) – compliance with applicable confidentiality laws
TX Family Code 261.101 – Persons required to report abuse
TX Family Code, Chapter 71 – Family violence
TX Health & Safety Code 611.004 (a) (2) – disclosure in case of danger
EXAM QUESTION 19. If an LSSP believes the child’s father is abusing his/her child client, the LSSP
a. report to CPS within 24 hours.
b. report to CPS within 48 hours.
c. tell the child’s mother to call CPS.
d. report to CPS if the mother hasn’t already done so.
e. report the domestic violence to the police.
EXAM QUESTION 20. If a child client reports serious insomnia, the LSSP has a primary responsibility
a. counsel the child about better sleep practices.
b. do a risk assessment for possible harm that may come to the child.
c. report the insomnia to the parents.
d. recommend a physical exam for the child.
e. recommend sleeping tablets appropriate for children.
D. In the teachers’ lounge you are approached by Lottie’s teacher and by another teacher who is Mrs.
Trouble’s cousin. They want to know how the sessions with Lottie are coming along and if the child has
told you about her drug usage or the family squabbles yet? What do you reply? The principal also
demands to be kept abreast of information you get from Lottie. He’s convinced she is part of a gang that
has been vandalizing the school after hours. What obligations do you have to report to the principal, or to
report any criminal activity revealed to you in counseling?
APA 3.11 – services delivered through organizations
NASP III (A) (10) – professional “need to know”
NASP IV (B) (3) – establish clear roles within the system
TSBEP 465.11 – clarifying role
TSBEP 465.12 (d) – comply with applicable confidentiality laws
TSBEP 465.12 (e) – disclosure without consent
TX Health & Safety Code, Chapter 611 – Confidentiality of Mental Health Records
EXAM QUESTION 21. If during a counseling session a child confesses to vandalism, may you share
that information with others?
a. No, all information obtained in counseling is confidential.
b. Yes, if you determine the principal, teacher, or relative has a need to know.
c. Yes, as LSSPs are expected to maintain cooperative relationships with other professionals.
d. No, criminal behavior is not one of the exceptions to confidentiality allowed under the TX
Health and Safety Code.
e. Yes, if the behavior is considered dangerous to the client or others.
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Confidentiality/ Keeping “secrets”
Withholding portions of records
Conflicting roles/Dual relationships
“Duty” to warn/mandatory reporting
Security of records and test data
Reporting domestic violence
Consent to release records
Forensic rules
Release of test data
Chapter 5
Leaning on “The Expert”
A. No sooner do you get off the phone with CPS on Lottie’s behalf than you get a letter from a records
firm. They tell you that Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe Insurance Company’s attorney has subpoenaed
Lottie’s records because the family was involved in an automobile accident and that a lawsuit has been
filed. The records company gives you 10 days to respond. They will send someone to your office to copy
the material. What do you do?
APA 4.04 – Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
APA 4.05 – Disclosures
NASP III (A) (9) - releasing confidential information
NASP III (D) (5) - adherence to laws
TSBEP 465.22 (c) (3) – release of information
TX Health & Safety Code, 611.004 - disclosures
EXAM QUESTION 22. In responding to a subpoena you must be sure to
a. turn over all records to the attorney who issued the subpoena.
b. refuse to respond because mental health information is protected.
c. withhold information that might be prejudicial to the outcome of the court case.
d. release information only with parents’ consent or a court order.
e. refer the matter to the district’s superintendent.
B. As you wrestle with this matter, Lottie’s teacher comes to see you. You assume she wants to talk
about Lottie’s behavior, but instead she asks your advice about increasing anxiety she (the teacher) has
been experiencing in the classroom. She doesn’t want to mention this to the principal, but she would like
to talk with you since you know about emotional behavior and may be able to help her feel better. What
do you tell her?
APA 3.11 – services delivered through organizations
TSBEP 465.8 – Services provided within defined relationship
TSBEP 465.13 (a) (4) – refrain from conflicting professional relationships
EXAM QUESTION 23. When a friend or colleague asks an LSSP for counseling, the most ethical
response is to say
a. sure, let’s schedule a time.
b. no, that would be terribly unethical.
c. let me recommend some reputable counselors for you to consider seeing.
d. fine, but I wouldn’t feel right charging you a fee.
e. whatever you think would make her/him happy.
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Dual relationships/ Clarification of who is the client
Boundary issues
Professional relationships
Response to subpoenas
Chapter 6
A. The problems in the school are overwhelming. You have been seeking advice from your supervisor
without success. In fact, your supervisor misses most standing supervision appointments. You guess this
might be because she has now married her fiancé (the divorced father of a young man she sees in
counseling) and takes many “vacation days.” You are convinced she is not competent, and is certainly not
giving you the supervision required for your licensure. What do you do, and what are the advantages and
disadvantages of your contemplated actions?
APA 1.03 to 1.05 – conflicts; ethical violations
NASP III (A) (8) - resolving unethical practices
TSBEP 465.13 (b) – Dual Relationships
TSBEP 465.33 (d) – sexual impropriety
TSBEP 465.35 – allegations of rule violations
EXAM QUESTION 24. The first step in resolving a potentially unethical situation is to
a. report the problem to the superintendent.
b. report the problem to the licensing board.
c. talk with the ethics chair of your professional association.
d. talk directly with the person who is acting unethically.
e. stay out of the no-win situation.
B. Because your supervision is now so problematic, you wonder if it might not be possible for your
school to contract with an LSSP supervisor from another district. This supervision of you during the
remainder of your internship would require that the two of you communicate by email or phone as needed
or that you meet in the other district’s offices on occasion. What do you imagine your licensing board
would think of this idea?
APA 2.05 – Delegation of Work to Others
NASP III (F) (1) – supervisor responsible for all services of supervisee
TSBEP 465.2 (f) – supervisor must monitor all delegated service
EXAM QUESTION 25. Supervision exclusively off-site is
a. specifically forbidden by licensing board supervision rules.
b. specifically allowed by licensing board rules.
c. a matter for the school district to decide.
d. problematic because it’s difficult to monitor all delegated services.
e. acceptable if it’s more convenient to the participants.
C. You soon learn that your school district has hired a clinical psychologist, Dr. Indy Practice to be onsite every Wednesday in the district. Because Dr. Practice has done testing for the schools for many
years, he qualified for the LSSP by grandparenting, and has now been assigned as your supervisor. What
concerns might you have about this supervisory arrangement?
APA 2.01 – competence
APA 2.05 – Delegation of Work to Others
NASP II (A) (1) – competency
NASP III (F) (1) – supervisor responsible for all services of supervisee
TSBEP 465. 2 (c) & (f) – supervisor competence & monitoring of supervisee
EXAM QUESTION 26. Individuals who become licensed under “grandparenting” provisions
a. meet the same academic, experience, and exam criteria as a regular licensee.
b. meet the same academic and experience criteria as a regular licensee but don’t have to take the
licensing exams.
c. meet the academic and experience criteria specified for those qualifying under the
“grandparenting” provisions of the licensing act.
d. are guaranteed to have the same range of professional competencies as those licensed under
regular licensing provisions.
e. have special benefits normally granted to senior citizens.
D. Your sessions with Lottie have been struggling along, but she seems increasingly depressed. Dr.
Practice listens patiently as you discuss your issues concerning Lottie. He believes you need to do a reevaluation on Lottie and asks you to use the Rorschach and the WISC-IV. You tell him that you haven’t
been trained on the Rorschach and that the district doesn’t use many of the newer tests, like the WISC-IV,
because it can’t afford to buy the expensive test kits. He tells you to go ahead and administer the
Rorschach and he’ll score it. Since there’s nothing that can be done about getting the newer tests because
the money just isn’t available to buy them, he tells you to use older versions of the tests. What problems
might this situation generate?
APA 2.01 – competence
APA 9.07 – Assessment by Unqualified Persons
APA 9.08 – obsolete tests
NASP II (A) (1) – competency
NASP IV (c) (2 & 7) – use current assessment strategies
TSBEP 465.2 (e) and 465.16 (b) (2) – competence
TSBEP 465.16 (b) (5) – obsolete tests
EXAM QUESTION 27. If an LSSP is asked to administer a test that is obsolete or with which he/she is
unfamiliar, the best ethical response is to
a. report the problem to the licensing board.
b. report the problem to the professional association ethics chair.
c. ask for training or use a familiar alternate instrument that is current.
d. follow the supervisor’s instructions.
e. use the obsolete instrument if there is no funding for current versions.
Assessment standards
Impaired professional
Chapter 7
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Dual relationships
Handling ethics violations
Forensic Finale
A. You are relieved that Dr. Practice has experience with the assessment of ED by virtue of his
conducting psychological evaluations for the schools for so many years. He tells you that he has always
enjoyed working for the schools, not only because of the children and the pleasant working relationships,
but because it meant he didn’t have to keep records. Once he turned his reports over to the school, he
could destroy the test protocols and they didn’t take up his private office space. He says he expects to
continue accepting some of the district’s students as his private patients. Why do you see red flags
APA 6.01 & 6.02 – record keeping
APA 9.11 – Maintaining Test Security
NASP IV (D) (5) – comply with regulations pertaining to records
NASP V (A) (1) – separation of roles
NASP V (A) (2) – decline remuneration from clients served by school
TSBEP 465.1 (3) – Definition of “Forensic Services”
TSBEP 465.13 – dual relationships
TSBEP 465.18 – Forensic Services
TSBEP 465.22 (d) – retention of records
TSBEP 465.38 (7) – Compliance with Applicable Education Laws
EXAM QUESTION 28. Licensed psychologists who are in private practice and also contract with
public schools
a. are expected to meet licensing board rules for content and retention of records.
b. may offer private services to district children without regard to whether such services are offered
by the school.
c. need not explain their test results to parents because the school does that.
d. should have no concern for dual relationships or conflict of interest because their licenses allow
for practice in both settings.
e. are required by law to be an LSSP.
B. As expected, you are ordered by the court to testify in the Trouble custody proceedings. You try to
stay as close to the facts in the case as possible, but both lawyers keep pushing you for your “expert”
opinion and you don’t want to look like the “artful dodger” in your responses. Finally, the divorce is
granted and the court awards joint custody to the Troubles, despite Mr. Trouble’s petition to be sole
conservator. He comes to see you after the trial and surprises you by bringing a bouquet of flowers. He
says he looks forward to working with you as he learns to adapt to a new life and to becoming a better
parent to Lottie. You find yourself attracted to his newly sympathetic attitude. What sources can you tap
to ensure you are not falling into a harmful dual relationship?
Are all dual relationships unethical? What criteria determine if the dual relationship is unethical?
APA 2.06 (b) - appropriate measures for personal problems
TSBEP 465.13 – dual relationships
EXAM QUESTION 29. If an LSSP has a sexual relationship with the father of a client, the relationship
is considered
a. unethical.
b. ethical if it doesn’t harm the client or impair the objectivity of the professional.
c. unethical unless it has the client’s consent.
d. ethical if the relationship occurs outside the office or in an exempt agency.
e. a personal matter between consenting adults and not a concern of professional ethics.
C. The school year is almost over. It has been a momentous first year. Somehow during this year you
have managed to pass the national school psychology exam. Now, with the completion of your
internship, you apply for the LSSP and prepare to tackle the take-home jurisprudence exam. Your
experiences over the past couple of years have made you well aware of the ethical and legal dilemmas
encountered by an LSSP and where to check for authoritative answers to these concerns. You pass the
jurisprudence exam on the first try and are awarded your LSSP in early July. Because you will be in the
Houston area in July and August, you wonder if you can do some summer independent contract testing
for a Houston school district. Can you? You also wonder what the standards are for supervision during
your first post-LSSP year. What are those requirements? How is your status presented to clients? How
is supervision documented?
APA 10.01 (c) - informed consent regarding trainees
NASP III (C) (1) – parent consent to use trainee
TSBEP 465.2 (d) – supervision documented in writing
TSBEP 465.6 (a) – Listings
TSBEP 465.11 – Informed consent, etc.
TSBEP 465.38 (4) (iii) – post-LSSP supervision
EXAM QUESTION 30. Which of the following is NOT an ethical requirement of supervision during
the first post-LSSP year?
a. Parents must give informed consent to services provided by a supervisee.
b. Direct supervision must be provided 1 hour/week.
c. Supervision must be documented in writing.
d. Supervisors must monitor all areas delegated to the supervisee.
e. Both supervisor and supervisee must be competent to perform services delegated.
Ethical/Legal Areas Addressed
Retention of records in private practice
Dual relationships in private practice
Criteria for unethical dual relationship
Post-LSSP supervision
A Problem Based Learning (PBL) Approach to
Professional Ethics for School Psychology – Part I
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