Chapter 4. The Ethical Culture of Psychotherapy

  1. Sharon K. Anderson Ph.D. professor licensed psychologist1 and
  2. Mitchell M. Handelsman Ph.D. APA Congressional Science Fellow president licensed psychologist Professor2

Published Online: 28 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324303.ch4

Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach

Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach

How to Cite

Anderson, S. K. and Handelsman, M. M. (2009) The Ethical Culture of Psychotherapy, in Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324303.ch4

Author Information

  1. 1

    Colorado State University, USA

  2. 2

    University of Colorado Denver, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JUN 2010
  2. Published Print: 3 JUL 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405177672

Online ISBN: 9781444324303



  • ethical culture of psychotherapy;
  • guiding forces and ethical foundations for psychotherapists;
  • ethical foundations - a therapist can do that would violate the Foundation;
  • psychotherapy is a unique relationship - potent and fragile at the same time;
  • competence - What It Is and What It Isn't – competence, not simply absence of harm;
  • diligence component - keeping clients' needs as top priority list;
  • multicultural competence - notion of competence, competence with people from cultural backgrounds;
  • psychotherapy, defined by appropriate professional behaviors;
  • behaviors indicating green flags;
  • excessive enthusiasm for exclusive enterprises


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Ethical Foundations

  • Journal Entry: Foundations

  • Psychotherapy Is a Unique Relationship

  • Competence: What It Is and What It Isn't

  • Multicultural Competence

  • Journal Entry: My Current Location on the Road to Multicultural Competence

  • Journal Entry: Professional Behaviors

  • Precursors to Good and Bad Therapist Behaviors: Green and Red Flags

  • What Are Green Flags and Red Flags?

  • Green Flag: Guarded Guarantees

  • Red Flag: Logistical Laxity

  • Journal Entry: Ethics Autobiography, Part 2

  • Ethical Choice Process

  • Conclusion