Ethical Decision Making
The key element to psychology and counseling is to remain ethical in all practices. The clinician should understand the population and know the unique requirements for the models he or she will deal with on a daily basis. Psychology is most certainly not a “one size fits all” system. In order to be successful in psychology and remain ethical in practices one must address the unique nature of all situations and use approaches and techniques that are not only subject specific but reliable. Guidelines for ethical practices in psychology are directly related to the client’s position. Each client; whether a lesbian woman or a gay man, a rebellious teenager or a respected businessman has unique needs that are sensitive to their position and beliefs. Just the same, a client that has strong religious beliefs is to be considered in a unite light. As with other clients a religious client needs to be supported in such a way that is unique to his or her experiences and all the same ethical considerations are necessary to insure the most proficient and ethical result.
According to the APA code of ethics accounting for religion in a counseling environment needs to be taken into consideration from two venues. First of all the code of ethics states:
Where differences of age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status significantly affect psychologists' work concerning particular individuals or groups, psychologists obtain the training, experience, consultation, or supervision necessary to ensure the competence of their services, or they make appropriate referrals (APA Ethics Code, 1992).
The code also states that a psychologist has the responsibility of being aware of their personal belief systems and how they might affect the counseling sessions that they conduct (APA Ethics Code, 1992). When religious beliefs are a major part of one’s life it can be difficult to...