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Professional Code of Ethics Analysis

Professional Code of Ethics Analysis

Every profession has codes of ethics that play a critical role in shaping the behaviours of professionals. The ABA Applied Behavior Analysis is a profession that is within the psychiatric field. As such, it is guided by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. In this discourse, this code of ethics is analyzed to show its relevance in the psychiatric profession and its impact in shaping the decision-making process of an ABA professional.

Profession and Professional Code of Ethics

Applied Behavior Analysis is an approach used to understand and change individuals’ behaviours. Varkey (2021) has clarified that this approach should not be taken as the therapy itself since different counselling techniques are mainly used to help individuals with behavioural issues and people with autism to help them acquire new behaviours and skills. As such, professionals who use this approach are counsellors. Counselling involves helping people with emotional, mental, and behavioural issues. This profession falls partly within the medical domain since it also involves treating people (Varkey, 2021). Even so, this profession’s specific code of ethics guides all psychiatrists and counsellors. The legend of ethics for this profession is called the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

The APA Ethical Principles of Psychology and Code of Conduct are codes that guide psychiatric professionals alone. These professionals use them in their research, their academics, and their profession (Bloch, Kenn, & Lim, 2022). In other words, these codes of ethics contain rules and principles that these professionals follow when conducting research and undertaking their studies. These codes also guide psychiatric professionals in their profession, giving them direction on how to relate with patients, how to act when in a dilemma, and what to do when offering treatment. The codes also show the professionals what is legal (Varkey, 2021). The principle of ethics has an introduction section that explains the intention of the principle of ethics, the procedural considerations, the psychiatric organization, and the scope of applying the code of ethics. The ethical standards spelled in this code of ethics are written from a general perspective to be used in varying contexts. In other words, it is a general rule that the codes and conducts required in this document can be used differently based on the context.

A Summary of the Main Points of the Code and Their Application To My Career

The APA Code of Conduct and Ethics touches on many areas in this field, including career and the profession. Therefore, the following three points summarized are from the Therapy section, Section Ten, which addresses the codes of ethics that guide a psychiatrist in the psychiatric field. The first point that the code of ethics makes clear is that the patient should have informed consent regarding the choice of therapy they can undertake. As such, the patient is free to take or refuse treatment (American Psychological Association, 2017). The second part of this code clarifies that the patient also has the right to choose the type of therapy they want. Also, within this same code, the patient has the right to be told that a trainee is taking them through a therapy session in case this will take place. The supervisor is given the role of providing such news to the patient. The second code is that a psychiatrist should not engage in any sexual affair or romantic relationship with their patient (American Psychological Association, 2017). Next, the third code states that the therapist should be able to terminate the therapy when they know that the patient no longer needs it (American Psychological Association, 2017). Treatments should not be terminated prematurely or without proper reason.

These codes are essential for my career in the future because they offer a guide on how I should handle certain situations as a professional. Firstly, through these codes, I have learned that I should not force a patient to undertake therapy or move them to be a part of a given type of therapy (Zahra, 2021). I will apply informed consent as much as possible when dealing with clients. These codes are also crucial for my career because avoiding romantic relations with my patients is essential. As a result, I should ensure that I behave professionally and only allow a professional relationship (Zahra, 2021). Based on this code, I should generally behave professionally in every way possible. Also, through these codes, I now know that professionally, I should not terminate an ongoing therapy prematurely unless there is a severe reason to do so. Additionally, as a therapist, I can only terminate therapy when I feel the client is well and does not need it.

Benefits of the Code of Ethics with Two Specific Examples

The first benefit of codes of ethics is that they define a profession by creating a unique culture for that specific profession. Bloch, Kenn, and Lim (2022) have reiterated this observation by stating that codes of ethics for psychiatrists are unique for these professionals. However, the most important thing is that they help define psychiatrists as professionals. Therefore, psychiatrists can be known for their behavior as guided by the code of ethics. This role that the codes of ethics play in the profession also brings out another benefit: creating a culture. Every profession has a unique culture (Bloch et al., 2022). These cultures develop from the rules, ethics, and requirements placed upon the professionals in that field. Therefore, these ethical requirements are essential because they help create a particular culture within the psychiatric profession that is necessary for their work, how they relate as professionals, and how they relate with their clients. The other important aspect of codes of ethics is that they help professionals in this field make decisions when faced with situations that may compromise their work or behavior.

The first example to best explain the reasons given above is a scenario where the professional is conversing with peers about work. One may have a conversation with a colleague or friend about work and the therapy they are giving, and it is within such a context that the codes of ethics are applied. In this situation, the code of ethics will help the professional know that they should not give any information about their clients to anyone since they should practice confidentiality (Zahra, 2021). The second example where the importance of codes of ethics comes in is when a psychiatrist gets romantic advances from their clients. There are situations where a client might make romantic advances toward their therapists. At this point, the codes of ethics are needed to guide the professional to know that such a relationship cannot be tolerated in the psychiatric profession.

How the APA Code of Conduct and Ethics Guides Logical Decision-Making with Two Specific Examples

The APA Code of Conduct and Ethics helps in decision-making because it guides the professional and gives them a logical approach to take when caught up in a given dilemma. For instance, a psychiatrist might encounter a scenario where the client under therapy vows to go out and commit a crime. In another example, suppose the client disagrees with another individual and discloses that he will kill their rival to the psychiatrist. In such a case, the psychiatrist is in a dilemma since they must ensure confidentiality in their therapy and everything they discuss with their patients (Bloch et al., 2022). However, the APA Code of Conduct and Ethics will come in handy in such a scenario to help the professional make a logical decision by following the proposal in the ethics regarding such a situation. In this case, the APA ethics demands that the professional reveal such information if the client becomes a danger to others or themselves. This information should also be revealed only to law enforcement officials. Another example of logical decision-making can be when the psychiatrist is faced with a situation where one of their patients is a person they have been in a romantic relationship (Bloch et al., 2022). In such a case, the codes will guide the professional to encourage the patient to seek treatment from another therapist or give a referral to the patient. This is a logical decision since, ethically, professionals are not encouraged to treat people with whom they are in or have been in a romantic relationship.

A Demonstration of How the Code of Ethics Can Be Applied to a Specific Ethical Issue

There are instances where conflict can arise between the professional and the organization they are working for. For instance, if an organization demands that the professional use a form of treatment or therapy that is known to be harmful or endanger the patients’ lives, such a situation is a conflict that requires the code of ethics for it to be resolved. The code of ethics states that in such a situation, the psychiatrist should vividly clarify the conflict, showing its nature (Bloch et al., 2022). Psychiatrists should show that they are committed to the codes of ethics and stand by them, even if it goes against the organization’s demands.


The discourse reveals that the ABA professional must adhere to the APA Ethical Principles of Psychology and Code of Conduct because they are the ethical codes that guide their profession. What is evident also from the discussion is that these principles are important because they help create a culture for psychologists as professionals. These ethics describe what these individuals should do as academicians and physicians in this field. Even though they do not cover every unique situation, they offer guidelines on how these experts can deal with issues that arise within the profession.


American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrieved From

Bloch, S., Kenn, F., & Lim, I. (2022). Codes of ethics for psychiatrists: past, present and prospect. Psychological medicine, 52(7), 1201–1207.

Varkey, B. (2020). Principles of Clinical Ethics and Their Application to Practice. Medical Principles and Practice, 30(1), 17–28.

Zahra M. (2021). The Importance and Necessity of Professional Ethics in the Organization and the Role of Managers. Psychology and Behavioral Science International Journal, 18(1): 555979. DOI:10.19080/PBSIJ.2021.18.555979.


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Professional Code of Ethics Analysis
You will be writing a paper that identifies, summarizes, and applies a published code of ethics for your profession. The paper will include 2-3 pages of content, a title page and a reference page, for a paper that is 4- to 5 pages in total length.

Using the internet and Library, locate an industry organization’s code of ethics. For example, the American Marketing Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association all have extensive codes of ethics. An excellent source is the Ethics Code Collection. Once you have located and examined the code, summarize its main points. Provide an example of an ethical decision or issue that may arise in your profession. Explain how the code of ethics could be used to provide guidance regarding the decision or issue. Conclude your paper with an explanation regarding the importance and benefits of codes of ethics.

Professional Code of Ethics Analysis

Professional Code of Ethics Analysis

Content Requirements:

The paper should consist of an introduction, a body (points below), and a conclusion.
Identify your profession and provide a professional code of ethics for your profession.
Summarize at least three main points of the code, and how they apply to your career.
Explain the benefits of a code of ethics with two specific examples
Discusses how the chosen code of ethics can guide logical decision-making and provides two specific examples.
Demonstrate how the code of ethics can be applied to a specific ethical issue that could arise in your profession.
Demonstrate consistency of your clearly established viewpoint throughout the paper with a clear logical flow as you apply ethical reasoning.
Make sure your writing is original and insightful.
Two in-text citations and references were used as support for ideas presented (one must be the code of ethics).
Grammatical/Format Requirements

The paper must be 4–5 pages in length, double spaced, in correct APA format using Times New Roman or Arial font size 12. (This includes the title and reference page)

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