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Legal Aspects of Psychologist - Essay Example

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LEGAL ASPECTS OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Introduction In almost all parts of the world, professional psychology is fast gaining popularity due to changing lifestyles and mentalities of people. Assessing psychology of adults and children requires special type of expertise…
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Legal Aspects of Psychologist

Often the practitioners are also accused regarding validity of the assessments and diagnosis (Hersen, 2011, p 563). This paper deals with the legal aspects associated with professional psychology service like the informed consent, informed refusal, confidentiality terms, legal issues associated with assessment, testing and diagnosis. Added to these, State intervention in legal issues, intellectual and emotional competence, and future prospects of professional psychology are also being discussed. Informed Consent The term informed consent refers to the practice of drafting the outline of interactions between a professional psychiatrist and the clients in the form of a legal contract. Before the commencement of treatment, it is mandatory for the practitioners to provide the clients a detailed outline of treatment that is to be followed. Thus, the contract of informed consent includes detailed plans of treatment procedure, tentative timeframe, expected outcomes, future interactions, and level of accessing information. Procurement of information related to insurance, workplace compensation, etc without the consent of client might end up with practitioners involved into legal issues. Also, financial cost of treatment requires to be stated beforehand. Regarding release of information in some special cases, prior consent of the clients are necessary (Truscott et. al., 2004, pp 72- 74). The procedure makes the client contented that his security and privacy is not compromised, and at the same time it also keeps the practitioner out of legal hassles. The contract of informed consent serves as a legal document if under any circumstance the practitioner is accused of irresponsibility or violation. Informed Refusal The way the clients have rights to consent to the treatment procedures of professional psychology services, they also have the rights to deny conveying any certain information. Furthermore, the law also allows clients to refuse any interaction, inter-personal interview and even method of treatment. The terms of refusal requires to be cleared before beginning of the treatment. It is helpful for personal interests of the client as well as the professional life of the practitioner. Record keeping is also an integral part of professional psychologist treatment services. If the client wishes, he might not consent for preserving his personal details as records. This facility is supported by numerous legal provisions (Bucky, Callan, and Stricker, 2009, pp 111- 113). Assessment, Testing and Diagnosis in Professional Psychology: Legal Issues Assessment, testing and diagnosis related to professional psychological services also involve certain legal issues. Some laws are framed to protect the interest of clients or patients regarding location and distribution of information. The legal issues ensure that the tests performed do not pose any threat to privacy of clients. Thus, the federal and state courts have legal provisions for dealing with admissibility of psychological treatments and information. The laws also ensure that every test and diagnosis process gives out valid results and that scientific modes are adopted for the same. As the course of psychological treatment is based on these tests, assessments, counseling and diagnosis, it is important that the professional psyc ... Read More
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