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Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the human behavior. Moreover, the subject also focuses on the effects of human behavior in society. Other scholars view psychology as a branch of medicine that offers counseling services (Davis, Giordano & Licht, 2009).
Professionals in the field are usually referred to as psychologists. From the definitions provided above, psychology is a profession that specializes in curing social problems through counseling. Just like in any other profession, psychologists are guided by stringent codes of conduct and legislations. Some rules governing psychologists are discussed in this article.
Informed consent and refusal
Psychologically challenged individuals suffer from mental illnesses. Mental problems are brought about by unfortunate events, which may have social and cultural effects. For instance, an individual would be affected by the actions of a serial killer, particularly if an individual is used to living in a peaceful environment. Madness is a social problem brought about by a number of causes, including the loss of the loved one.
A psychiatrist has his own ways of soliciting information from the patient. In fact, some of patients would be willing to admit their crimes before doctor. However, the doctor is required by law not to share the medical information of his patients with anyone (Weiten, 2012). The patient would be willing to talk to the doctor freely without holding back anything that can be useful in the process of diagnosis.
The doctor on the other hand swears to use the information derived from patients in the process of treatment only after which both may cut links and never set eyes on each other. A doctor can never use medical reports or confessions from the patient to testify in a court of law. Additionally, should the patient refuse to talk, the doctor does not have any mandate to force the patient to give out information.
The only action that a doctor can undertake is to employ his or her prowess in the practice in order to find ways of making his or her patient talk. Should the patient refuse to talk, the doctor should leave him alone and look for other ways of carrying out the diagnosis.
Assessment, testing, and diagnosis in professional psychology
The process of assessing a patient in professional psychology is conducted verbally through observation of behavior change. The doctor listens to how his or her patient responds to issues and how he or she builds points. From this conversation, the mental status of the patient would be established easily.
The diagnosis that a psychiatrist formulates thereafter follows very invigorating laws to ensure that in deed the patients’ mental state is very shaky (Kloos, & Duffy, 2012).
Pope and Vasquez (2011) assert that the mentally challenged individuals are likely to do abnormal things. An extremely paranoiac person will always think that somebody is about to kill him or her. He or she tries to hide from the members of the public. Such patients are more likely to spend a whole day locked in a room. This is an example of a person who needs psychological help.
Psychological help would be critical since such an individual can easily hurt other members of society. After determining that a patient is suffering from paranoia, a doctor formulates a suitable technique through which a patient would be treated. A test to confirm the progress of the patient would be undertaken later. This would be to confirm whether the patient responds to treatment well.
Confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship
A psychiatrist should never share the information collected from the pateint] with any other person. Information gathered from a patient is aimed at helping the patient recover and is to be kept by the doctor only. Before entering the field to practice, a psychiatrist swears an oath that binds him or her to uphold the confidentiality of clients.
The type of information that the psychiatrist obtains in most cases comes from sick individuals meaning that even the legal system recognizes the mentally challenged as people with disabilities. The court of law cannot therefore use such information to incriminate an individual by using it as evidence or testimonial.
The doctor may record the sessions but this would be used purely for professional purposes meaning that the information collected is meant to help the doctor in monitoring the developments of the patient.
The influence of legislation on professional psychology
Those apprehended for committing heinous crimes are normally taken through psychological testing. This helps in determining their mental status since the legal system understands that there are certain actions that can only be undertaken by people of unstable minds. Such individuals might not be accountable to their behaviors due to one reason or the other.
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The judiciary never uses the testimonials of patients recorded in clinical sessions as evidence in courts of law. The only legislation that professional psychology adheres to is the one aiming at regulating the practice. A doctor who is found molesting a patient or taking advantage of the mental status of the patient is culpable of the offence, depending on the nature of the exploitation.
In summary, legal legislation in a country rarely affects the operations of psychologists. In fact, it tends to have a positive influence since it always promotes the practice. It also facilitates professionalism. Psychological lessons are offered to various categories of students in many countries. This is because of its importance in resolving mental issues in the society.
The role of competence in professional psychology
Psychology is a service industry. In this industry, reputation of the service provider is normally of immense importance in establishing the future of the practice.
In the development of reputation, competence comes in handy. A doctor who handles his patients professionally and delivers positive results in time builds a reputation for himself, which is a tool of trade. Reputation alone is enough to either kill or elevate the status of the business (Coon, & Mitterer, 2011).
Just as stated in the definition of the practice, psychology is a discipline undertaken in institutions of higher learning. A competent psychologist therefore must be one the who attains the high grades in the curriculum requirements and later gathers enough experience in the field, which would enable him or her to handle myriad cases of varying uniqueness.
Such psychologists must be competent behavior analysts who can easily differentiate between an abnormal behavior and a normal one. Moreover, he or she must try to establish an early diagnosis from the case. This helps in saving time and would help in achieving timely treatment for patients.
In other words, the government appreciates the activities of psychologists because of their great contributions in ensuring that the health of the population is stable. The government simply comes in to improve the levels of professionalism Moreover, the government comes in to offer practitioners with a level playing ground and to safeguard the interests of patients.
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2011). Psychology: A journey. Belmont: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Davis, S. F., Giordano, P. J., & Licht, C. A. (2009). Your career in psychology Putting your graduate degree to work. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kloos, B., & Duffy, K. G. (2012). Community psychology: Linking individuals and communities. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Pope, K. S., & Vasquez, M. J. T. (2011). Ethics in psychotherapy and counseling (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley
Weiten, W. (2012). Psychology: Themes and variations. Belmont, Calif Cengage/Wadsworth.