email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing StoriesA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Map of the MindA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyACT With LoveActive Treatment of DepressionAffect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of SelfAlready FreeBad TherapyBecoming an Effective PsychotherapistBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBetrayed as BoysBeyond Evidence-Based PsychotherapyBeyond MadnessBeyond PostmodernismBinge No MoreBiofeedback for the BrainBipolar DisorderBody PsychotherapyBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrain-Based Therapy with AdultsBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCase Studies in DepressionCaught in the NetChild and Adolescent Treatment for Social Work PracticeChoosing an Online TherapistChronic DepressionClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCognitive Therapy for Challenging ProblemsCompassionConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCoping with BPDCouch FictionCounseling in GenderlandCounseling with Choice TheoryCouple SkillsCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating HysteriaCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDeafness In MindDecoding the Ethics CodeDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeep Brain StimulationDemystifying TherapyDepression 101Depression in ContextDialogues on DifferenceDissociative ChildrenDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTE-TherapyEarly WarningEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveErrant SelvesEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingExistential PsychotherapyExpectationExploring the Self through PhotographyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFear of IntimacyFlourishingFolie a DeuxForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFrom Morality to Mental HealthFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGod & TherapyHalf Empty, Half FullHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHeinz KohutHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHigh RiskHistory of PsychotherapyHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How Clients Make Therapy WorkHow People ChangeHow Psychotherapists DevelopHow to Fail As a TherapistHow to Go to TherapyHypnosis for Inner Conflict ResolutionHypnosis for Smoking CessationI Never Promised You a Rose GardenIf Only I Had KnownIn Others' EyesIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInside the SessionInside TherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt's Not as Bad as It SeemsItís Your HourLearning ACTLearning from Our MistakesLearning Supportive PsychotherapyLetters to a Young TherapistLife CoachingLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMadness and DemocracyMaking the Big LeapMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMind GamesMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMoments of EngagementMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessMultifamily Groups in the Treatment of Severe Psychiatric DisordersNarrative PracticeOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOur Last Great IllusionOutsider ArtOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsOverexposedPathways to SpiritualityPersonality and PsychotherapyPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical Issues in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPillar of SaltPlan BPlato, Not Prozac!Polarities of ExperiencesPower GamesPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPrinciples and Practice of Sex TherapyProcess-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersPsychotherapy Is Worth ItPsychotherapy Isn't What You ThinkPsychotherapy with Adolescent Girls and Young WomenPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy without the SelfPsychotherapy, American Culture, and Social PolicyRapid Cognitive TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRebuilding Shattered LivesReclaiming Our ChildrenRecovery OptionsRelationalityRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologySecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSelf-Disclosure in Psychotherapy and RecoverySerious ShoppingSex, Therapy, and KidsSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySigns of SafetySoul Murder RevisitedStaring at the SunStraight to JesusStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyTales of UnknowingTalk is Not EnoughTalking Cures and Placebo EffectsTelling SecretsThe Behavioral Medicine Treatment PlannerThe Body in PsychotherapyThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Clinical Child Documentation SourcebookThe Clinical Documentation SourcebookThe Complete Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Couch and the TreeThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Cure of SoulsThe Death of PsychotherapyThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Ethical Treatment of DepressionThe Ethics of PsychoanalysisThe Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Healing JourneyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Heroic ClientThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mindful TherapistThe Mirror Crack'dThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New Rational TherapyThe Older Adult Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe Other Side of DesireThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Pornographer's GriefThe Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem of EvilThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Psychotherapy of HopeThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to PsychopharmacologyThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe Trauma of Everyday LifeThe Trouble with IllnessThe UnsayableThe Way of the JournalTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapy with ChildrenTherapy's DelusionsTheraScribe 3.0 for WindowsTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThinking for CliniciansThinking for CliniciansThoughts Without a ThinkerThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreating Attachment DisordersTreatment for Chronic DepressionTreatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety DisordersUnderstanding Child MolestersUnspeakable Truths and Happy EndingsWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom?What Works for Whom? Second EditionWhen the Body SpeaksWhispers from the EastWise TherapyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWorking MindsWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaWriting About PatientsYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga Therapy
Karen Strohm Kitchener's Foundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in Psychology is intended as an introduction to professional ethics for practicing psychologists. Kitchener, who is a professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver and a longtime member and former chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association (APA), brings together philosophical approaches to ethics and a profound knowledge of psychological practice, especially in psychotherapeutic and academic settings. Her book has grown out of her more than 15 years of engagement with ethical issues in psychology, and is an accordingly comprehensive and thorough approach to these issues. Kitchener's principal aim in this book is "to provide a foundation for thinking well about ethical issues" (xi), a foundation that will enable her readers to independently identify and find solutions to ethical issues in their personal practice.
What distinguishes this book from many others that are currently available in the field is Kitchener's understanding that the development of professional ethical competence requires more than an extensive introduction to the APA ethics code and ample case material, even though these are still very prominent in her presentation and the extensive appendix. Elaborating further on a position which she has been developing since the 1980s, Kitchener argues once again for the importance of a philosophical foundation of ethical reasoning in professional practice. In her account she relies heavily on the so-called "principle-based approach" to bioethics. However, she does not confine herself to blindly repeating the "Georgetown mantra" (as the routine invocation of the principles of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice is sometimes mockingly referred to in bioethics circles). Instead she tries to show how these principles link up not only to broader issues in ethical theory, but also and in particular to the different elements in the APA ethics code and to the personal decisions psychologists face in their practice. As a part of this she proposes a "9 step" model for practical ethical decision making, in which both foundational principles and the APA code play an important role.
In her more specific discussion of psychological practice, she selects a number of general areas of concern for a more thorough discussion. She dedicates one chapter each to informed consent, confidentiality, multiple role relationships, sexualized relationships, competence and social responsibility. The majority of these feature prominently in any kind of discussion of ethical issues in psychology; however, what is less common - and laudable - is Kitchener's emphasis on social responsibility, a "general principles" from the APA code that is often given only scant attention. Kitchener gives a detailed account of the relevance of each of these ethical issues in different kinds of settings. In doing so, she connects them to the philosophical principles that she has previously proposed as a philosophical foundation for ethical decision making, thereby giving the reader an opportunity to see her general approach in action.
Foundations of Ethical Practice is a text that perhaps most closely resembles Ethics in Psychology (Koocher, Keith-Spiegel, 1998), in style as well as in its focus on the APA guidelines, even though it is somewhat less comprehensive in scope. Despite containing a considerable number of cases, it does not come across as specifically designed for use in the classroom, as e.g. Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions (Corey, Corey, Callanan, 1998), Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling (Pope, Vasquez, 1998) or The Virtuous Therapist (Cohen, Spieler-Cohen, 1998). Above all, Kitchener seems interested in showing her readers how ethical reasoning can arrive at well-founded solutions, instead of reaching them primarily by engaging them in reflection on controversial issues.
Kitchener's approach is definitely thought-provoking and well founded. In addition to her integration of ethical theory and professional ethics, her emphasis on social and gender issues throughout the book (and not just in a separate section dedicated to "special populations") shows an awareness of the pervasiveness and ethical relevance of these issues that is still lacking in the profession at large. The reader should however be aware of the rather specific scope of the book:
First of all, Kitchener considers only some areas of psychology. She is mostly silent on those fields of psychological practice that are not related to clinical-therapeutic, forensic or academic settings (as e.g. occupational and school psychologists). No book on ethics in psychology should necessarily be expected to cater to all possible recipients in psychology, but the comprehensive sounding title is at least misleading - "practice in psychology" may be reasonably expected to include more than psychotherapy.
In a similar vein, even though the near exclusive focus on the APA makes sense in a book for psychologists, perhaps some more pluralism, over and above merely mentioning ethics codes of other mental health organizations in passing, might have been helpful for the reader, especially when looking for information on the ethical dimensions of therapeutic practice (which is after all the main focus of the book). Even with respect to the focus on the APA, there is one slightly curious omission: In the Appendix B the "Rules and Procedures" of the APA Ethics Committee are reprinted in full length (an impressive 33 pages), while nowhere in the main text are the point and the workings of the Ethics Committee explained in any detail.
One should also be aware that Kitchener's selection of critical issues is definitely that - a selection. Dual relationships, sexual and non-sexual, comprise roughly a third of her discussion of specific issues, while a number of ethical problems feature only marginally, e.g. the questions of client dependency in therapy, of ending therapy, and of different approaches to therapy. However, given that Kitchener's principal aim is "to provide a foundation for thinking well about ethical issues" and not to teach her reader ethical practice in every detail, this may after all not be considered a problem.
In any case, taking into account the overall scope and intent of the book, these are truly minor points. On the whole, Foundations of Ethical Practice, Research and Teaching in Psychology is a valuable and distinctive addition to the literature on ethics in psychology and achieves what it sets out to do.
© 2001 Heike Schmidt-Felzmann. First serial rights
Heike Schmidt-Felzmann holds graduate degrees in philosophy and psychology from the University of Hamburg, Germany. She is currently a doctoral candidate in philosophy and works on ethics in psychotherapy.