Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology Analytical Essay by Spirittalk

Looks at the ways in which legal aspects of professional psychology involve the application of ethical standards.
# 150758 | 1,575 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Apr 08, 2012 in Law (General) , Psychology (General) , Ethics (General)

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This paper examines the legal issues relating to informed consent, one cornerstone of professional psychology, and to confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship. Next, the author investigates the influence of legislation on professional psychology and underscores the belief that the enormous amounts of contemporary legislation may be limiting the psychologist in his work. The paper relates the role of competence in professional psychology, which has become even more importance in terms of the law.

Table of Contents:
Legal Issues Related to Informed Consent
Evaluation of the Legal Issues Associated with Informed Consent
The Importance of Maintaining Confidentiality in the Therapeutic Relationship
The Influence of Legislation on Professional Psychology
The Role of Competence in Professional Psychology

From the Paper:

"A wide variety of legal and ethical issues relating to confidentiality and therapeutic relationships exist. The practice of psychology often intersects with other domains with regard to maintaining confidentiality; this can lead to conflicts. Breaching confidentiality to comply with police or courts, or breaching the confidentiality of a client who is considered a risk to him or herself or others are issues that test the resolve of contemporary psychologists. Within the therapeutic relationship, the expression confidentiality was designed to mean that everything the client conveyed to the therapist remained confidential. In other words, what was said in therapy remained between the client and the therapist. No identifying information was to be revealed concerning the client, and no exceptions to the rule were to be entertained. This policy served as one cornerstone of psychotherapy for the client and the domain.
"The word, confidentiality, derives from the Latin meaning to keep faith with or to maintain 'fidelity' with another person."Fidelity is defined as "implying the unfailing fulfillment of one's duties and obligations and strict adherence to one's vows or promises." Contemporary research supports the importance of sharing and maintaining confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship by way of a number of experiments. The intersection of mind and body relies upon fidelity on a number of different levels. In one experiment, T-cell counts increased when individuals were asked to share their darkest secrets with an inanimate object ."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Confidentiality in therapeutic relationships: the need to develop comprehensive guidelines for mental health professionals. (2006). Retrieved from
  • Cornock, M. (2011). Confidentiality: the legal issues. Nursing Children & Young People, 23(7), 18-19.
  • Dauphin, B. (n.d.). Letter on Competency for Psychologists. Retrieved from
  • Federal legislation recognizing psychology. (1984) DeLeon, Patrick H.; VandenBos, Gary R.; Kraut, Alan G. American Psychologist, Vol 39(9), Sep, 933-946. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.39.9.933
  • Griffith, R., & Tengnah, C. (2011). Legal issues surrounding consent and capacity: the key to autonomy. British Journal Of Community Nursing, 16(12), 611-614.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology (2012, April 08) Retrieved August 10, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology" 08 April 2012. Web. 10 August. 2022. <>