Ethical beliefs of mental-health professionals and undergraduates regarding therapist practices
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 737–748, June 2001
How to Cite
Pomerantz, A. M. and Grice, J. W. (2001), Ethical beliefs of mental-health professionals and undergraduates regarding therapist practices. J. Clin. Psychol., 57: 737–748. doi: 10.1002/jclp.1046
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2001
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2001
Psychotherapists should be aware of any discrepancies of opinion between themselves and those outside the mental-health profession regarding the ethicality of therapist actions. In this study, the beliefs of mental-health professionals and nonprofessionals (represented by undergraduate students) regarding the ethicality of therapist behaviors were compared. Factor analysis of 82 specific therapist behaviors yielded three factors: nonsexual dual relationships, assertive or discomforting therapist actions, and sexual dual relationships. A comparison of factor composite scores indicated that undergraduates, in relation to professionals, rated nonsexual dual relationships as more ethical and assertive or discomforting actions as less ethical. Although these effects may diminish with age, these results nonetheless suggest that mental-health professionals may hold ethical beliefs that are inconsistent with those who seek their services. Implications of these findings are discussed. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 57: 737–748, 2001.