Ethics involves a set of rules that professional bodies, societies or firms accept for guidance to enhance productivity. Generally, they give guidelines which need to be adhered to when dealing with individuals in a particular setting. Ethical dilemmas do occur in situations where a psychologist has conflicting interests that may negatively influence his/her judgment when delivering service to a client. For instance, an ethical dilemma can occur resulting in questioning of the psychologist’s competence.
This experience is mostly common when a psychologist involves a third-party in service delivery. For instance, use of an interpreter to assist with clients with limited knowledge in English language. The interpreters often make mistakes and may compromise the treatment, ruining the relationship between the client and the professional. Another conflict regarding competence is the inability of APA Ethics Code to deliver therapy consistent with an individual’s cultural background. The psychologist may give wrong diagnosis when tackling people from diverse culture and backgrounds. This limitation, posed by the Code, has led to deterioration of the profession in the recent past.
Psychologist trained under APA Ethics Code will not compromise service delivery to the client due to incompetence caused by delegation of duties. As stipulated in code, it is vital for the psychologists to hire competent interpreters who will exhibit high levels of professionalism. When it comes to dealing with people from diverse culture, the ethical decisions made by psychologists must be sensitive to these differences. This calls for psychologists practicing under APA Ethics Code to expand their knowledge beyond the Western culture (Adler, 2002). A professional who is conversant with the patient’s cultural background can administer proper treatment.
The ethical decision making steps are necessary to avoid issues concerning competence. A critical requirement is a thorough knowledge and understanding of the code of ethics. The professional will then analyze the situation displaying his/her incompetence. He/she then develops preliminary plans, which is refined to develop the cause of action. In this case, the best cause of action would involve continuous training of professionals and interpreters. Finally, the plan is implemented and monitored if it has brought the desired results.
This action plan is necessary because most psychologists under APA Ethics Code are still adamant to appreciating cultural background of persons under treatment. It is intriguing to note that some psychologists may not be aware of their cultural biasness (Ridley, 2005). Therefore, continuous training of these professionals is necessary so that they deliver services effectively to people with diverse cultural backgrounds. The interpreters also possess proper qualifications but need constant training to keep abreast with the diverse world.
Personal life experiences can influence a professional’s competence. For instance, if the client is huge, and is difficult to communicate with, the professional may develop fear. He may feel intimidated by the looks. This may give rise to many speculations in the professionals’ mind. He/she may think that the client is a fugitive and is looking for safety. This thought may be triggered by some past experience leading to incompetence in giving required therapy. The interpreter may develop the same feelings due to anxiety evident on the employer’s face or normal reactions.
Personal ethical perspective can sometimes affect ethical decision-making plans. In this case, it is assumed that all professionals and interpreters are fully aware of their roles. The only improvement required for them is to undergo regular training to keep abreast with the current diverse society. They need to keep in mind the client’s cultural background so as to deliver effective therapy.
My moral and ethical framework has surely developed since the beginning of the course. I have appreciated the importance of keeping a profession ethically healthy. For ethical dilemmas, early identification is necessary before they escalate to causing harm. Before the training I could not have figured this out. The enlightenment has encouraged me to investigate more ethical dilemma cases and brainstorm how best to solve them.