Ethics in psychological assessment


Ethicsin psychological assessment



Whendealing with a client who reveals his past dealings in drugsmuggling, the therapist may be faced with significant ethicaldilemmas. In this case, the therapist is faced with conflictinginterests the purpose of assisting the drug addicted client andreporting the smuggling incident to relevant authorities. In thisscenario, I would not report the client to authorities since by doingso I would adversely affect the relationship with the client. Intherapy treatment, trust and confidentiality are important aspectsthat lead to easier patient recovery(Gregory, 2010).

Psychologicaltherapists are under ethical duty to desist from exposing importantinformation from the patients. I would allow the patient to gothrough the drug assessment tests and treatment without reporting theincident. Although, by keeping silent I would be breaking law, thegains of facilitating easier psychological treatment would be moreand easier when the client remains undercover. In particular,reporting the client for drug smuggling would exacerbate thesituation leading to more distress on the part of the patient. Inpsychological therapy, trust, confidentiality and good relationshipwith client are important aspects that hasten recovery process. Inthis case, by violating civil laws I would create a friendlyatmosphere with the client who would be useful in facilitating thedrug treatment process(Cohen, Swerdlik and Sturman, 2013).

Inaddition, by not reporting the drug smuggling incident, this wouldmake the client more relaxed and be able to share more informationduring the assessment. Furthermore, the patient would feel securehence reinforce communication this in turn would enhance reliabilityand validity of the tests carried(Gregory, 2010).Later when the client has fully recovered the smuggling incidentwould be reported. However, the client would only be used as aninformer and not the suspect. In this way, maintain the clientconfidentiality would promote professionalism in the psychologicalassessment and easier treatment to the patient(American Psychological Association, 2010).


AmericanPsychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles ofpsychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from

Cohen,R. J., Swerdlik, M. E. &amp Sturman, E. D. (2013). PsychologicalTesting and Assessment: An Introduction to Tests and Measurement [8thEd.]. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gregory,R. J. (2010). Psychological testing: history, principles, andapplications. (7th ed., pp. 1-29 inclusive). Boston, MA: Allyn &ampBacon

Related Posts

© All Right Reserved