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PSYC 3099 Case of the Abnormal Psychology Professor (Essay Sample)


Topic is: "Case of the Abnormal Psychology Professor"
A professor in psychology at a university in a large metropolitan area tells his abnormal psychology class that he is a psychotherapist in private practice and that his area of expertise is working with individuals with a history of trauma or abuse. He tells the students that they can come to him for psychotherapy.
1.What problems might ensue from the professor's offer of therapy?
How might the students in the class be affected or harmed, including those students who accept the offer and those who do not?
Which APA General Principles and Ethical Standards apply to these problems?
2. What actions should be taken to rectify this situation?
What should the psychologist do?
What should the students do? 
Which APA General Principles and Ethical Standards would apply?
*Please cite from and imply APA code of ethics in the essay.
Grading Rubric-
Evaluation Scale
5 = excellent performance – a model of good practice
4 = mostly good performance – can be improved
3 = partly good performance – need for improvement
2 = performance mostly in need of improvement
1 = inappropriate, or performance completely in need of improvement
_____ Format: double-spaced; 12-point font; page numbering; one-inch margins; proper title page
_____ Introduction clearly presents the ethical dilemma and issues discussed in body of essay
_____ Essay conclusion comprehensively and concisely summarizes ideas presented in body of 
_____ Essay addresses all assigned questions on the ethical dilemma and possible solutions
_____ Essay shows thoughtful analysis that reflects the complexity of the issues (e.g., recognizes all 
stakeholders and possible effects of proposed solutions)
_____ Ethical analysis and proposed solutions are presented in terms of application of ethical codes,
principles, and concepts
_____ Ethical codes, legal statutes, and other sources are properly cited (citation format)
_____ Relevance and application of cited sources are explained and well-integrated into the ethical 
analysis and proposed solutions
_____ Writing quality: essay is well-organized
_____ Writing quality: essay is clearly written
_____ Writing quality: essay is concisely written
_____ Writing quality: essay is free of punctuation and grammatical errors
_____ Writing quality: essay is free of spelling errors
_____ Writing quality: appropriate word usage (ideas expressed with well-chosen words that
accurately communicate the intended meaning)
_____ Writing quality: essay is written in a formal tone and professional, APA Style
_____ TOTAL


Your Name
PSYC 3099
Name of University
Date of Submission
1.0 Introduction
According to the case study, the abnormal psychology professor's action was in contravention of the American Psychological Association's code of ethics and conduct. Although the professor has multiple professional roles, in the current case, he was a trainer and not a psychotherapist. He violated the APA ethical standards and general code when he declared that he was a private psychotherapist and willing to provide services to his students. This essay will review how his action would have affected both the students who would have either accepted or rejected his offer. The paper will further evaluate how his action violated the American Psychological Association (APA) general principles and ethical standards, and what corrective actions should have to been taken to remedy the situation by both parties.
2.0 Case Study Analysis
The professor overstepped his mandate as an educator when he introduced himself to the class as a privately practicing psychotherapist. Although legally permitted to teach and practice, his action was unwarranted as it amounted to conflict of interest (APA Code, 2016). His affirmation that he specialized in trauma and abuse victims could have been misconstrued to imply that his students were possible victims of trauma and abuse. This assertion could have psychologically affected his students. The professor's action was in breach of the principle of beneficence and nonmaleficence which requires that psychologists' refrain from activities that would make them unduly benefit from their clients (APA Code, 2016). On the realization that he had breached the code, the professor should have taken corrective action to minimize possible harm on his professionalism and reputation. He should have invited a fellow psychology professor to come and evaluate the harm caused. The relationship between him and the students should have remained purely educational. His actions further contravened the code provision on fidelity and responsibility (APA, 2012). The student could no longer trust him given his exploitative actions. On realizing the professor's unprofessional conduct, the students ought to have sought for clarification from the department dean. The professor's actions further violated the third principle of integrity which requires that psychologists conduct themselves in absolute honesty and truthfulness in both teaching and practice of psychology (APA, 2012). His actions amounted to intentional misrepresentation. Moreover, he breached the fiduciary relationship with his students. The students should have sought further clarification from the professor with regard to the motive of his public declaration. On realization of the breach, the professor should have sought for the intervention of a fellow professor to try and resolve the conflict in a manner that is consisted with the ethics code (APA, 2016).
Respect for people's rights and dignity was violated. The professor's utterances denied students the r

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