Psychology is a booming profession. However, to practice as a psychologist it is not enough to study a career in psychology. And it is that we work with people, who will be more or less affected by our action.
Therefore, the exercise of the profession of psychologist it is subject to a large number of ethical and professional considerations which must be taken into account.
The psychologist’s decalogue
Below you can see a decalogue of the psychologist of the main ethical and professional requirements to be assessed.
1. Be guided by the principles of charity, not evil and justice.
The task of the psychologist, whatever his field of action, goes through seek the maximum benefit for your patients or clients. We have the obligation to act in search of the well-being of others, helping them as much as we can, and this being the main driving force of our professional activity.
The principle of non-maleficence works under the assumption that we should refrain from doing acts that harm others. However, sometimes to achieve the maximum possible well-being, it is necessary to apply techniques and procedures that will cause the client to suffer emotionally. In the end and in the head in many cases, aspects are worked on which in themselves are painful for the subject, and coping with it usually involves some suffering.
In these cases, professional action should be aimed at ensuring that this suffering is not unnecessary or that it will result in benefits for the client that exceed the level of the suffering.
Finally, we need to put aside our prejudices and treat everyone who comes into our consultation the same. If we are not able for some reason, it is advisable to refer it to another professional.
2. Remember: we are people who deal with people
We are dealing with humans and not with objects, programs or products. This point may seem obvious, but it is nevertheless something that sometimes seems overlooked.
It is important that those who come to us feel cared for, understood and not criticized, and whether it is essential to act objectively the possible suffering of the person should not be underestimated nor what is important to her.
Being objective and knowing how to maintain your professional position does not necessarily mean being aseptic. This makes patients unacceptable and complicates the therapeutic relationship and adherence to treatments and interventions. As Carl Jung said, “I am proficient in all techniques, but when I touch a human soul, it is just another human soul.”
3. Never judge your patient
The client or the patient who comes to the consultation will open a door on his life from which we can visualize more or less deep parts of his existence, his fears and his experiences.
The patient trusts a part of his life, his thoughts and his beliefs. These must always be respected, Although in some cases they may face theirs head-on. In the event that the psychologist is not qualified for this, he must refer the client to another professional.
4. Respect the confidentiality of patients or clients
The information provided to us by patients must be, except in the event of a court decision or in the event of serious danger to the life of the subject or others, totally confidential. We are entrusted with information that in many cases is not shared with anyone else in order to help improve the condition of the subject.
If it is intended to use the information collected in any way (for example for research or training of professionals) or even to communicate it to third parties outside the team serving the individual, the patient must give prior consent.
5. Respects the autonomy of the patient or client
He should never try to impose his own opinion on a subject. Although we believe that certain actions, techniques or interventions may be the most effective, they should not try to force themselves. The subject going to the consultation has their own value system, their own agenda and ultimately their own life, and we don’t have the right to make them do something they don’t want. It may convince the person or help him or her to make a decision, but at the end of the day whoever has to do it has to be him or her.
6. Recognize your limits: we don’t know everything
We are not omnipotent: we must be honest and recognize our own limitations, recognize our mistakes and even our lack of competence in solving specific cases. If something overwhelms us, we can refer to another professional which can best help the individual who comes to us, as our goal should be to help him at all times and not to strengthen our ego.
In addition, we must not forget that experience and having a large body of knowledge can sometimes make us feel confident. However, this trust should not make us fall into the error of assuming or assuming that we know everything.
While clients can explain very important aspects of their life, and we can get a rough idea of how and how they are and act in their real life, the circumstances and elements that surround their daily lives are largely unknown to us. .
7. Act objectively
Our values, our tastes, our beliefs or even our personal problems should never influence or bias our work.
We must remain objective and know what is our role as professionals. We help people make decisions about their life, put themselves in their shoes and take their point of view into account.
8. Remember what you are working for. The important thing is the user.
It should be noted that the people who come to the consultation they are looking for some kind of professional help. What must always prevail is, as we have already said, their well-being. We must work to achieve this goal.
Good psychologists won’t be those whose primary motivation for exercising are things like economics, strengthening their egos through power over others, or solving their own personal shortcomings.
9. Let’s be competent: we must be trained and constantly updated
Having a basic training is necessary to be able to exercise, but it is nevertheless not enough if we want our performance to be effective and efficient. psychology it is a discipline in which progress is made continuously.
As with education and medicine, psychologists must be aware of the different advances, studies and techniques generated. This is essential to provide the best possible service to clients, enable the use of the most effective techniques and adapt the methodologies used to the needs and circumstances of each subject to be dealt with.
Additionally, we have to keep in mind that we have to be proficient when exercising. We cannot do what we want. We are not dealing with human guinea pigs: what we propose must have an empirical basis and proven effectiveness, In addition to aiming for a specific goal. People need to be informed of what is going to be done and the expected results of the intervention.
10. Respect and want your profession
As a psychologist, you represent a professional sector that works hard to help your peers improve different areas of life.
Your job it has had a big impact on the lives of those you deal with. Respect your role and consider its importance. In addition, this avoids as much as possible undermining the profession or the contribution of other professionals.