This unit will examine contemporary professional ethical and legal issues pertaining to clinical and community psychology training and practice, both internationally and in Australia. The emphasis will be on conducting oneself professionally and ethically, developing ethical sensitivity and 'moral imagination', and learning to resolve ethical dilemmas using available resources. Professional practice issues relevant to a broad range of psychological interventions, the 2007 APS Code of Professional Conduct, 2013 National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce, and examples of ethical dilemmas will be presented. Cultural values and expectations in the area of mental health care will be explored, particularly as these apply to multicultural, migrant and indigenous communities.
Because reflective practice is essential to professionalism and ethical conduct, self-reflection (on one's attitudes, motivations, values, feelings and experiences) and reflection on one's interactions with others, will constitute a significant learning focus. Rather than emphasising abstract principles, case studies of actual ethical scenarios will be employed to contextualise ethical deliberation and illustrate ethical dilemmas.
|1.||Critically reflect on one's own experiences, motives and values and how these may impact on one's moral assumptions and ethical reasoning in professional practice;|
|2.||Scrutinise the concept of professionalism and professional conduct in the context of psychology training and practice;|
|3.||Analyse and apply knowledge of the law governing the practice of psychology in Australia and the operation of the Psychology Board of Australia and of the APS Code of Ethics and Current Guidelines;|
|4.||Adapt ethical problem solving strategies, integrating key ethical and legal issues germane to the context, to address and resolve ethical dilemmas in a variety of professional settings;|
|5.||Articulate the effects of cultural differences (including ethnic, gender, language and sexual orientation) on psychological work, particularly in cross- and multi-cultural practice.|
|Portfolio||Ethical autobiography and self-reflection exercise (Indicative word length: 2000 words)||30%|
|Test||Ethical code knowledge test (Duration 90 minutes)||70%|
Ethical Practice in Psychology
Allen, A. & Love, A.W. (2010).
Chichester, UK, Wiley-Blackwell
Code of ethics,
Australian Psychological Society 2007,
Ethical guidelines, 8th edn,
Australian Psychological Society 2008,
Where to next?
As part of a course
This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.
Study a single unit
This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.
VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.