Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law

Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law

Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law

Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law

Synopsis

A collaboration between legal scholars and practicing psychologists, Psychology and Professional Practice attempts to define the role of the psychologist who takes a position alongside traditional human service professionals such as physicians, dentists, lawyers, and educators. This volume focuses on the legal and ethical responsibilities of clinical, counseling, school, and community psychologists, as well as other members of the mental health profession. License requirements, malpractice and defamation suits, the privilege of confidential communications, conflicting concepts of mental capacity, and other complex and controversial issues are considered from the perspective of both the lawyer and the psychologist.

Excerpt

Throughout the country there has emerged a strong emphasis upon a phenomenon that has profound implications for practitioners in fields encompassed by mental health and behavioral sciences. This emphasis, of course, is upon accountability by service providers in general. Patient and public rights continue to represent major focal points of interest among consumers at all levels of American society. The issue of accountability is directly related to a major objective of this book, namely, an explication of the varied roles and qualifications of psychologists as emerging independent service providers. As the reader proceeds, it will become apparent that health services are but one of the varied services provided by psychologist specialists.

In all considerations of the provision of services to the public, one must confront an ineluctable interface with the law. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the provision of professional services, in which there is a high standard of expected performance. The failure to meet such standards by the professional practitioner will raise the specter of negligence with attendant damages as a possible legal remedy. As is the case in the provision of services to the public at all levels, there are ethical and moral considerations that must be addressed. This book will also speak to such issues. Another major emphasis will be the impact of legal considerations upon the provision of psychological services.

Our psychologist colleagues have been joined by two distinguished legal colleagues in this endeavor. The jurist member of our contributors will address his expertise to a variety of critical issues encountered by psychologists pursuing their varied roles. He will also devote a chapter to his general assessment of psychology as it assumes its place among the more traditional service-providing professions such as medicine, dentistry, law, and education.

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