Ethical Standards-Record Keeping and Fees

EthicalStandards-Record Keeping and Fees

EthicalStandards-Record Keeping and Fees

Record keeping is a crucial component when it comes to enhancement ofhow psychologists execute their services. Personal or institutionalrecord keeping is of critical significance for various reasons.Psychologists have been entrusted with the mandate of providing someof the most sensitive services to clients. The nature of workrendered negates the need to have a proper method for keepingrecords. The purpose of doing so arises out of the need to have apoint of reference in solving present and future cases that theyencounter. Further, it is a legal requirement that psychologists havea record of cases they have handled before (Bradford &amp Stevens,2013). Accurate record keeping avoids the likelihood ofmisinterpretation of information that could affect service delivery(White &amp Wooten, 1983). Record keeping is essential indifferentiating a meticulous psychologist from one who is carelessand has little regard for the nature of services that they offer.Because of the sensitive issue of record keeping, the AmericanPsychologist Association established a standard that identifies theneed to ensure that records are kept in a professional manner tofacilitate service delivery to the clients. The Association hasfurther developed the guidelines on Fees and Financial Arrangementsthat stipulate how psychologists would receive compensation forservices they offer. The standard explains how psychologists and theclient should reach an agreement on the amount of compensation. Thestandards reiterate the need for psychologists to see to it that feescharged to the clients are consistent with the established laws andthat payments withheld by recipients of the services must be claimedthrough established legal procedures. As psychologists, it isessential to ensure that the ethical standards of practice arewithheld at any given moment as a sign of professionalism. They mustbe aware of what is expected of them based on the jurisdiction(Bemister &amp Dobson, 2011). The ethical standards on recordkeeping and fees is a benchmark that guides how services should beconducted by psychologists negating the need for each of them toconduct themselves under the established framework.

Effects of Standard on Ethical and Personal Decision-making

Section 6.01 of the ethical standard on record keeping and feesempowers a psychologist to create, maintain, disseminate, store anddispose off data that relates to their work. Psychologists aremandated with the duty of providing counseling services help toclients, some of whom present with more or less similar issues. Theability to make effective decisions depends on the information thepsychologist has regarding a particular case at hand. The informationon how best to handle the information can only be retrieved if it wasproperly kept. Through the same, it would be possible for thepsychologist to have knowledge on the decisions to make in thecircumstances to ensure the success of the services they offer.

Similarly, under section 6.02, psychologists are reminded of theirduty to maintain, disseminate and dispose of confidential records oftheir work in an appropriate manner. Knowledge of such methods iscritical regarding ethical and personal decision-making. Notably,psychologists should make it their responsibility that the recordskept are safe to promote confidentiality since unauthorized personswould not access the records. Any ethical or personal decision madeby the psychologist would be by the identified standards. Thesensitivity of information shared with the clients negates the needto have a standard that upholds confidentiality.

Psychologists have the ethical responsibility to promote good healthfor their clients, not only during counseling sessions but in caseswhen they are to receive medical treatment (Pope, &amp Vasquez,2016). Section 6.03 forbids psychologists of withholding records thatcould be critical in the treatment of their clients because they havenot been paid for their services. It is unethical for psychologiststo exercise selfishness especially when the life of their client isat stake. The standard helps psychologist understand the need touphold the notion of respect for life and make decisions thataccommodate the same irrespective of whether or not they have beenpaid for services discharged. The standard assists in making personaldecisions especially if the psychologist feels shortchanged fornon-payment. They learn to look beyond the compensation to upholdinglife, especially in emergency situations.

Psychologists have a right to get compensation for the services theydischarge especially if an agreement was reached between them and theclient (American Counseling Association, 2014). Section 6.04outlines the guidelines regarding Fees and Financial Arrangements asrelates to the payment of services offered to the clients. Theguidelines affect the ethical and personal decisions made by thepsychologists especially when it comes to seeking payment for theirservices. For example, it would be unethical for the psychologist totake advantage of the client and misrepresent the fees for servicesoffered. The standard establishes a guideline to be followed insetting the amount to be paid by the client and what can be done ifthe services are not compensated. Further, the psychologist can makea personal decision regarding how they can get compensationespecially if the client fails to keep their end of the bargain. Thestandard affects the ethical and personal decisions made by thepsychologist. Psychologists must ensure that they conduct themselvesin a professional manner irrespective of the circumstances. Thesection on fees and financial arrangements empowers the ethical andpersonal decision-making capability of the psychologist.

In different scenarios, clients offer to provide goods or othernonmonetary items as remuneration for the services rendered bypsychologists. Section 6.05 of ethical standards on record keepingand fees acknowledges the acceptance of such goods provided it isneither exploitative nor clinically contraindicated. The presence ofthe guideline enables the psychologist to make a decision regardingwhether they should accept the offer or not. The effect of the sameis that a psychologist will have a clear conscience in deciding onwhether it is right to accept the offer given by the clients.Further, it would be possible to make a personal decision regardingwhether they can accept the means of payment. The guidelines onstandards of ethics are helpful in supporting the psychologist makean ethical or personal decision if faced with a similar scenario.

Finally, psychologists could wish to conduct research in an arearelated to their field of study. Under such circumstances, decisionsmade by the psychologist regarding each step of sourcing for fundingshould be ethical especially if they are required to provide recordsthat could help in securing the funds. Section 6.06 outlines the needfor psychologists to be accurate in providing records about theirwork to help secure the funds. The standard helps the psychologistembrace the concept of honesty in making ethical and personaldecisions regarding the idea of seeking funds to facilitate theirresearch work. The decision to engage in research should be guided byintrinsic motivation to solve a particular case and not externalfactors (LeJeune &amp Luoma, 2015).

Analysisof the Relationship between Personal Values and the Ethics Codewithin Ethical Decision-making

Personal values correlate with codes of ethics within the frameworkof decision-making. Codes of ethics highlight the need for one toconduct themselves in a manner beyond reproach. Similarly,psychologists, in the course of discharging their duties have valuesthat they hold. They dictate the nature of decisions that one makesunder different circumstances. The relationship that exists betweenthe personal values and ethics code arises out of the notion thatthey are in concurrence with each other (Levitt-Rosenthal, 2013).They identify the principles that guide how one makes a particulardecision. Similarly, the codes of ethics state how one should make adecision on a given issue based on the prevailing circumstances.Ethical decisions made by a particular psychology follow theidentified codes of ethics. The codes outline what should be done ina particular scenario. Moreover, in reaching a particular decision,the psychologist has to incorporate the values that they hold whichwould serve as a framework to address a particular issue at hand.Codes of ethics go hand in hand with the personal values. Both ofthem concur with the need for one to conduct themselves in aprofessional way (American Counseling Association, 2014). Aspsychologists go about conducting their services, they must ensurethat they adhere to the ethics code. Through the same, it would bepossible for them to make continually ethical decisions that have abasis. Ethical decision making should be the goal of anypsychologist. They ought to combine the personal values and theexisting ethics code to help in the execution of tasks that they havebeen assigned to on a daily basis.

TheRelationship between my Personal beliefs, values beliefs, andpossible biases or morals.

People make judgments on a daily basis. Decisions reached byindividuals significantly depend on the personal values, beliefs, andmorals that they hold. Personal beliefs are those ideas thatindividuals hold to be true (Bénabou &amp Tirole, 2011). Thebasis of personal beliefs emanates from different factors includingmatters of faith, chance or principles on various issues. Moreover,the beliefs could come from other sources such as experiences one hashad and what other individuals say. Before an idea becomes a personalbelief, it has to be accepted as the truth followed by its adoptionof the individual’s belief system. The personal belief is adoptedafter an assessment and evaluation of evidence that the particularidea is true as is stated. Persons who hold the particular personalbelief are ready to defend the same since it is part of their system.Personal values, on the other hand, are the long-lasting beliefsregarding what is significant to an individual. It is worth notingthat the values form standards through which a particular individualorders their lives and uses the same to make choices on variousissues. Furthermore, values form a framework through which theparticular person makes decisions under different circumstances. Thebelief would develop into a value whether the individual commits toit and grows acknowledging its significance in their lives. It isessential to understand that the values must be articulated by theperson for them to be able to use the same in making decisions on adaily basis (Bénabou &amp Tirole, 2011). Morals, on the otherhand, are the standards of beliefs that concern what is eitheracceptable or not. Morals can be viewed as a bias that distinguisheswhat is right and wrong, and forms the basis of the decisions to bemade by a particular individual.

Personal beliefs, value beliefs, and morals have a close relationshipwith the role they play in facilitating the ability of a givenindividual to make decisions on a particular issue. The need to makedecisions emanates from the fact that various issues affectindividuals. Some of the issues relate to the personal values,beliefs, and morals that a particular individual holds. Because ofthe same, in arriving at a given decision, the individual has toincorporate the beliefs, values, and morals that they hold tothemselves. Decisions made by the particular individual under thecircumstances must be in line with the personal beliefs and valuesthey have (Bénabou &amp Tirole, 2011). However, it is essentialto acknowledge the fact that the personal beliefs and values held byindividuals may differ from others based on the perspective othersview the same. The reasoning for the same emanates from the fact thatthe personal values and beliefs held by individuals draw fromdifferent sources. Because of the same, it would not be possible forpeople to have similar ways of making decisions. Similarly, themorals held by individuals would vary because of the differences inthe source of beliefs or values. Despite the variations that couldexist in the manner in which individuals make decisions concerningtheir beliefs and values, there is a common connection between thethree concepts. However, of critical significance is the need toaccept that morals overrule the idea of personal values and beliefssince people could believe in ideas that are morally wrong.


Overall, the identified standards on record keeping and fees areessential in ensuring that psychologists execute their mandate by theaccepted rules. Psychologists have a responsibility to uphold ethicalcodes of conduct as a way of ensuring that they faithfully dischargeservices to the clients. The standards of record keeping and feespromotes effectiveness in service delivery since the psychologistshave a reference point for the decisions they make regarding aparticular issue at hand.


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Bénabou, R., &amp Tirole, J. (2011). Identity, morals, and taboos:Beliefs as assets. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 126(2),805–855.

Bradford, L., &amp Stevens, B. (2013). What’s in the File? Openingthe Drawer on Clinical Record Keeping in Psychology. AustralianPsychologist, 48(3), 178–187.

Levitt-Rosenthal, N. (2013). Ethics, values, and decision making.Frontiers of Health Services Management, 30, 27–32.Retrieved from

Pope, K. S., &amp Vasquez, M. J. (2016). Ethics in psychotherapyand counseling: A practical guide. John Wiley &amp Sons.

White, L. P., &amp Wooten, K. C. (1983). Ethical Dilemmas in VariousStages of Organizational Development. Academy of ManagementReview, 8(4), 690–697.