Ten strategies for psychology trainees and practicing psychologists interested in avoiding ethical and legal perils

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American Psychological Association


Litigation against psychologists has increased in recent years, resulting in high malpractice premiums, negative publicity, and defensive approaches to professional practice. While many practicing psychologists have become keenly aware of the need to be up-to-date on legal and ethical issues in professional practice, it is unclear if this attention has filtered down to the training of graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral trainees. While trainees are generally fairly well versed in the Ethics Code (APA, 1992) they tend to have little practical understanding of strategies to minimize both ethical and legal troubles. The purpose of this article is to outline 10 practical strategies to minimize the chances of ethical and legal problems for both psychology trainees and practicing psychologists. While this is not an exhaustive list, it highlights some of the major issues trainees and psychologists should be aware of and offers direction for minimizing potential problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)