The Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, published by the American Psychological Association are the standard guidelines for all Psychologists. Forensic Psychologists are also informed by Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologist. Psychologists practicing forensic psychology can use these two documents to help clarify ethical questions. This paper will focus on role conflicts specifically in the area of Sex Offender Management and the ethical conflicts that may arise as a result and how to best handle this situation when faced with it. When an individual chooses to practice psychology within the legal system, they must be aware that this can at any point in their career lead to ethical conflicts. Just the possibility alone of ethical dilemmas, are or should be a concern for forensic psychologists.
In reading the article: Expert Opinion Revisiting the “Irreconcilable conflict between Therapeutic and Forensic Roles Implications for sex offender specialists” Christmas Covell, Ph.D & Jennifer Wheeler, Ph.D; I found that I was in complete agreement with the authors. I believe that it is extremely important for a forensic psychologist or forensic psychiatrist to determine their role in the beginning. When the professional determines and agrees to their role upfront, life in this filed may possibly be a little easier. It is never in my opinion a good idea to conduct both therapy and assessments on the same person. Especially when working with the sex offender population.
When you attempt to have a dual role in providing both therapy and assessment more harm is done than good. According to Greenburg and Schuman (1997) ”dual roles have the potential to intentionally or ...
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...rensic and the therapeutic evaluators to ask themselves “Do I (or will I foreseeably) have another role with the individual being evaluated that might impair my clinical judgement and/or therapeutic alliance? Do I (or will I forseealby) have another role with the individual being evaluated, which might impair my objectivity and/or my credibility”?
At the end of the day the most important fact to remember is that both parties share a common goal. That goal is to prevent sex offenders from reoffending and prevent most importantly in my opinion future victims.
The Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals: A Complete Guide to Responsible Practice,
Expert Opinion Revisiting the “Irreconcilable conflict between Therapeutic and Forensic Roles Implications for sex offender specialists” Christmas Covell, Ph.D & Jennifer Wheeler, Ph.D;
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