In psychology, it is an ethical obligation for all professionals to practice within their competence in order to provide relevant help to their clients since incompetence causes harm to them. This eventually forces them to lose confidence in the professionals who provide counseling services. Competence in psychology is achieved through training, which enables counselors to acquire relevant skills and knowledge.
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This implies that they are only supposed to practice within their boundaries of competence based on their education and training. However, not all of them practice within their boundaries of competence. This makes it necessary for professionals who supervise them to take some corrective actions, but most of them find it difficult to confront their colleagues who practice outside their boundaries of competence. It is important for professionals to find ways of assisting their colleagues who practice outside their boundaries of competence. This paper will outline some suggestions that professionals can use to handle their colleagues.
The first suggestion is that professional counselors should educate their colleagues on the legal ramifications that individuals who practice outside their boundaries of competence might face. It is important for them to understand that tough disciplinary measures can be taken against them by their professional associations and licensing boards. This is because those who practice outside their boundaries of competence are treated as negligent people who can cause harm to their clients.
It is important for professionals to understand the importance of practicing within their boundaries of competence because this delivers quality services to their clients and increases credibility. It is, therefore, important for professionals to educate their colleagues on the risks associated with incompetent practice.
The second suggestion that the professionals should apply in order to assist their colleagues is to find out why they practice outside their boundaries of competence. There are many reasons that might lead professionals to engage in such activities. Some of them may be justifiable, while others maybe not. After finding out the reasons behind the behavior, the professionals should sit down with their colleagues and give them proper advice on what to do. They might even advise them to go back to school and get additional training in order to widen their boundaries of competence.
The third suggestion that professionals should adopt in order to assist their colleagues who practice outside their boundaries of competence is to inform them about the importance of offering quality services to their clients. Counselors are expected to be of help to their clients instead of causing them harm. Practice outside the boundaries of competence is harmful since it does not give the clients the help they are supposed to get. As a result, they might make the wrong decisions that affect them negatively.
The professionals can also decide to organize workshops and seminars where the clients are involved. This is important because they can get information on what to expect from professional counselors. Likewise, the counselors are able to gain a deep understanding of their clients and the importance of providing them with services that fall within their boundaries of competence.
The fourth suggestion is that the professionals should value their role of ensuring that their colleagues do not offer services without the necessary competence. They should, therefore, not be afraid of highlighting mistakes done by their colleagues. Confronting them may not be the solution but talking to them in a calm and understandable manner is the right way to assist them.