Ethics for European Psychologists

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 1 May 2009




Lamb‐White, J. (2009), "Ethics for European Psychologists", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 199-200.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Ethics is probably the major modern minefield in which healthcare professionals have to steer through in order to operate in terms of professional/client relationships. The discipline of psychology is no different to other disciplines when it comes to diagnosis and the healing process. The biggest difference is that of course they do not deal in broken bones or surgery, so sometimes it is difficult to see, touch and define success. The subject of ethics therefore has perhaps more importance to disciplines such as psychology.

This impressive book looks at the many facets and issues of the EFPA (European Federation of Psychologists Associations) European Meta Code of Ethics facing not only organisations that are members of the EFPA but also individual practitioners.

Whilst majoring on the four ethical principles, Respect, Competence, Responsibility and Integrity, the authors explain and explore areas surrounding the practice of the principles. This includes the solving of problems and dealing with the fallout, repercussions and learning needs should things go wrong. Essential for the development of ethics.

The book provides a history of the push for the Europeanisation of the Meta‐code for Ethics, covering the gaining of credence and compliance at national organisational level, and comparisons with the APA (American Psychological Association) and others.

With so many changes in society, the authors naturally look to what the future might bring in terms of development of the profession and associated ethical issues. Areas most notable are the development of common ethical code, regulation versus education, the impact of the Internet, and global security issues.

The joint authors are well‐regarded leaders in their own spheres of psychology in Europe and further afield. They write in a generous and informative manner.

The presentation and layout of the book is very clear. The use of examples to explore, explain and provide clarity on points for discussion in the chapters, is an excellent way to assist readers' understanding of the topics.

Overall, a very useful book offering some good insights into the subject matter that will be of use to students, practitioners and developers in the field of ethics.

Contents include:

  • Professional ethics and psychology;

  • Ethical discourses and ethical dimensions;

  • Introduction to the ethical principles – content of the code;

  • The principle of respect;

  • The principle of competence;

  • The principle of responsibility;

  • The principle of integrity;

  • Ethical problem solving;

  • When things go wrong – mediation, arbitration, corrective action and disciplinary sanction;

  • Ethical challenges for the future.

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