Psychology ethics discussion questions – Diverse clients

Ethics and Professional Issues
Chapter 6. Diverse Clients
Discussion Practice Questions
Monash University
How can psychologists work to reduce the negative experiences that many lesbian,
gay or bisexual individuals experience in the community?
Psychologists must be mindful of the unique and difficult experiences that many lesbian, gay
or bisexual individuals experience, and also do not assume that all clients who fall under this
category will experience these or see their secual orientation as relevant to the psychological
service they are seeking. However, because of the negative social experience many of these
individuals experience in the community, they are at a higher risk for a range of
psychological disorders and psychologists should be aware of this. Psychologists also need
to be aware of the wide range of specific issues that these individuals may need assistance
with in a psychological context, and ensure that they maintain the appropriate skills and
competence to assist these clients.
If you were a psychologist working with a client from a group that you were not
familiar with, what are five ways in which you could increase your knowledge about
When working with diverse clients, it is important to maintain a level of competence in which
psychologists bring and maintain appropriate skills and learning to their areas of professional
practice. There are 5 ways in which this knowledge can be increased.
1. Undertake further research or training to develop skills
2. Referrals to another professional if not competent to deal with the client and/or issue
3. Ensure that personal views are not influencing practice
4. Seek supervision
5. Maintain a current knowledge of the diverse groups you work with
How could you adjust your informed consent procedure to meet the needs of more
diverse clients?
To meet the needs of more diverse clients, you must ensure you are using a communication
medium in which you are fluent in and the client is comfortable using, whilst refraining from
any language that may be considered derogatory or judgemental, and biased comments.
You must be proficient in the client’s preferred language, in not only the verbal skills but also
the nuances of the language. If you cannot speak the language, an interpreter may be used
but only after receiving informed consent by the client. The client’s cultural views on
interactions in terms of questioning and body language must also be considered.
Are there any other groups in the community that need specific guidelines developed
to improve the quality of psychological services provided to them?
Children, elderly people, refugees and asylum seekers, university students, terminally ill
Boyle, C., & Gamble, Nicholas. (2014). Ethical practice in applied psychology.

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