|| Ethical Conflicts in Psychology
|| Donald N. Bersoff
|| American Psychological Association, ©1995
American Psychological Association
APA Order Department
P0. Box 2710
Hyattsville, MD 20784
Professional ethical standards are crucial in determining proper
standards of care, what constitutes good practice, and what positive
goals to pursue as a professional. They are also necessary to weigh the
behaviors of professionals engaged in any venture which winds up
enmeshed in the justice system. This 525-page volume, prepared by Dr.
Bersoff, psychologist and attorney, after years of experience as legal
consultant to the American Psychological Association, to the APA Ethics
Committee, and now as a law school teacher, offers a useful and handy
compendium of the ethical codes for psychologists and some of the best
thinking about ethical behaviors by psychologists.
The book has 10 chapters. The first three chapters deal with the
underlying framework for understanding ethical questions. The last seven
are built around contemporary ethical conflicts judged to be frequent
and often confusing to psychologists. These include multiple
relationships, confidentiality, assessment, therapy, and research
practices. The most unusual is the chapter on the Business of Psychology
which deals with ethical issues raised by the shift in perception that
mental health services are a commercial pursuit rather than a learned
Each chapter includes articles and excerpts from articles from a
variety of authors with editor's notes and commentary by Dr. Bersoff.
There are numerous vignettes illustrating ethical conflicts. These make
it possible to get a better sense of the ethical principles involved and
understand how they are applicable to real world situations. This is a
valuable book for all psychologists.
Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies, Northfield, Minnesota 55057.