THE EFFECT OF ETHICAL POSITION AND EDUCATION ON ETHICAL BELIEFS OF PSYCHOLOGISTS - PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN SERBIA
Keywords:ethical position, education, ethical beliefs, psychologists, psychotherapists
The main objective of this study was to examine ethical beliefs of psychologists who work as psychotherapists in Serbia as well as the effects of ethical position and professional ethics education on ethical beliefs. The survey was conducted on a sample of 204 psychologists (74.5% female). Two instruments were used: the Ethical Beliefs Questionnaire and the Ethics Position Questionnaire. Results revealed that a fifth of the respondents consider that reporting a colleague who violated professional ethics to the Court of Honour is unethical. When it comes to multiple sexual relations, almost all of the participants believe that they are unethical. The findings also showed that psychologists who have not attended courses on professional ethics have less strict beliefs regarding engaging in sexual relations with clients and unethical methods in clinical assessment. Also, respondents who have attended courses consider the breach of confidentiality in order to protect others as more ethical than their less educated counterparts. Additionally, it was found that psychologists with the absolutist ethical position have stricter ethical beliefs with regards to incompetent treatment, boundary crossings and violations with clients, sexual relations with them, as well as unethical methods in clinical assessment in comparison to psychologists with other ethical positions. At the same time, absolutist psychologists also evaluate the breach of confidentiality in order to protect others as more ethical compared to psychologists who embody different ethical positions. Implications for further research and psychotherapeutic practice are discussed.
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