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Participation Response

Must be new and original work and not duplicated to other students.


Must give responses for participation to each discussion…responses must be at least 150 words.


   One of the potential ethical issues raised in this scenario could first be an issue of competence. It should be noted that Dr.X is specialized in criminal cases not custody evaluations. Under the code 2.01 (Scope of Competence) of the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology Dr. X must consider a factors to include: specialized nature of the service, relevant training/experience she has and the time she has available.  Other issues in this scenario are: Multiple Relationships, Conflict of Interest and Exploitative Relationships. A multiple relationship is defined by “a psychologist is in a professional role with a person and (1) at the same time is in another role with the same person, (2) at the same time is in a relationship with a person closely associated with or related to the person with whom the psychologist has the professional relationship, or (3) promises to enter into another relationship in the future with the person or a person closely associated with or related to the person (Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, 2011).

            The multiple relationship occurred by the fact the potential “client” is her husband’s boss. There is also the issue of conflict of interests and the potential to have exploitative relationship.  Under code 3.06 (Conflict of Interest) of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Dr. X must refrain taking on roles when (1) impair their objectivity, competence or effectiveness in performing their functions as psychologists or (2) expose the person or organization with whom the professional relationship exists to harm or exploitation.

            The resolution to this problem is a simple one; this scholar would first resolve the issue in an informal manner. She would first speak to her husband telling him she does not have the expertise to do the evaluation; she may offer him a point of contact to someone who does have the credentials to perform the evaluation properly.  Most people do not have to abide by the ethical codes of other people’s profession; however, people do understand the need to be competent in the work or service that is being provided. Many times the simplest situation is the best answer.



American Psychological Association. (1992). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American psychologist, 47, 1597-1411.

American Psychological Association. (2013). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology. The American Psychologist, 68(1), 7.


Bush, S. S., Connell, M. A., & Denney, R. L. (2006). Ethical practice in forensic psychology: A systematic model for decision making.


In this scenario, there are several ethical issues to consider. The first, according to the Specialty Guidelines, is 2.01 concerning the scope of competence(http://www.apa.org)  Forensic mental health professionals must consider various factors of training, experience and the specialized nature of the service in order to provide it to a potential client. The doctor’s specialty was criminal cases and not custody evaluations; therefore, it is not in the scope of her competence.  The 4.02 guideline on multiple relationships state that a forensic practitioner shall not engage in a professional role with an individual while operating in a different role with the same individual, as this would pose a conflict.  They also cannot be involved in a personal relationship with a conflicting party or with a person closely associated or related to the individual with whom the practitioner has the professional relationship with. Guideline 1.03 (avoiding conflicts of interest), states that practitioners should refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, legal, financial or other relationships or interests could impair their competence, effectiveness, or impartiality. The practitioner must not enter into an exploitive relationship where a promise has been made to enter in a relationship with an individual in the future who is closely related or associated with that  person.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

As a retired practitioner, I would explain to my husband’s boss that it would unethical for me to enter provide any professional services to her, but I could refer her to a few colleagues who are still practicing in that area of expertise.  I would also not want to get involved in such a personal, family dynamic because in the event that the services performed does not get the desired result; this could put my husband’s job in jeopardy, create a hostile work environment for him, as well as open me to a possible lawsuit.  Overall, a practitioner must not cause any harm or behave in any unethical manner whether they are currently practicing or retired.  I thought of guideline 2.02 (gaining and maintaining competence), but since the doctor is retired, there’s no need to make efforts to maintain competency outside of what new developments that may interest her personally.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         &
nbsp;                                                                                                                          http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/forensic-psychology.pdf                                                                                                                                                         

American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx 



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