13 October 2013

Differences between Spanish, American and English psychologists code of ethics

Following the code of ethics must be something primordial for a psychologist. Going with the rules and having a guideline of what to do or not and how to do your job is something really important that must be taken into account. Even though the code of ethics may seem the same for every country, we can see lots of differences between them. Now we are going to focus on the American, English and Spanish codes, showing their differences and similarities and their good and bad things.
Firstly, I would like to start by comparing the English with the Spanish code of ethics. After analyzing both codes we come to the conclusion that both of them share the same basic ideas. They protect the client’s health and well being over the psychologist. Even though they are structured in different ways the principal values are shared.
One of the values is respect which talks about how the client must be aware of all the things the psychologist does and giving their consent about all the matters. It takes into account subjects like: how the clients information is completely confidential, the fact that psychologist must respect everything about the patient (do not have any prejudice), how they must consult other colleges when they don’t know how to behave with a client; keeping their client safe and showing that they can quit from the psychologists services when they wish.
Moreover, they also share the value of competence, in other words, familiarity with the code; working on the areas you have studied and know how to handle and not in the ones that are beyond your control; ask for help when health related problems may appear, etc.
The value of responsibility is also mentioned, with shared rules that must be followed by the Spanish and the English, for example, avoid harming clients; stopping the service if the client isn’t improving or going to improve in the future; follow the psychologists guidelines for working with animals; rules and regulations to take into account when experimenting with clients; etc.
Finally, the other value that they share is integrity, which teaches the psychologist how to be fair and not sending misleading information to the clients or future clients; also not mixing personal relationships with work as it can cause problems when analyzing the patient and in your personal life.
As we can see most every aspect in both codes is the same. They share more or less the same ideas expressed in different ways, but having the same basic concepts. The difference between these two codes is how they are structured and the amount of information given. The English code of ethics is structured with the four ethical principles (respect, responsibility, competence and integrity), explaining what to do in order to follow those ethical values correctly and to be a respectful psychologist. On the other hand, the Spanish code of ethics is divided by subjects (how to relate to your colleagues, investigation, intervention, etc.) and sub divided into articles which tell the ethical ways in which to behave. Even though it is organized in this way, we can clearly see how the Spanish code talks about the same things that the English one, mentioning respect, responsibility, competence and integrity.
Another difference that must be taken into account is how the English code is much more explanatory than the Spanish one. The Spanish code, makes a point and does not explain it further, it is supposed to be understood. The English one makes a point and explains it further letting the reader be able to understand fully every little aspect about it, and so giving more information than the Spanish code even though they touch the same points.

When comparing the American code of ethics with the Spanish and English one, we are able to see that there are more differences than similarities. Even though the American code of ethics has a very similar structure than the Spanish one (divided in subjects and subdivided in articles), and goes through the same points as both the Spanish and the English. They are seen in a different perspective and some rules are completely different from one code to another.
 In other words, the American code of ethics, goes through many points that neither the Spanish or the English code has done (what to do if the client dies, sexual information, payments, etc.), but not only that, some rules are the same but focused in a different way, for example, the American code of ethics gives solutions to the psychologist if he/she is starting a personal relationship with one of their clients (something that must not be done). On the other hand, the English code only says that you cannot have a relationship with one of your patients and even when the person stops being your client, it is not recommended to have a relationship with him/her. So as we can see, even though they talk about the same problems, they focus them in a different way. Comparing the content with the Spanish code, we can see that the American one is much more extensive and descriptive while the Spanish one goes directly to the point.
The American code of ethics also has some different rules. The Spanish code offers legal help if a problem occurs, in contrast neither the English code nor the American code offer this service to their psychologists (or at least it isn’t mentioned in the code).
 I would like to say, in my opinion, which code of ethics is more helpful. The Spanish is a precise code, which goes directly to the point without further explanations. The American code of ethics is a really extensive code that makes every point clear backing it with other parts of the code to make everything completely understandable. The English code has a very original structure showing the basic ethical rules that must be followed and explaining how to complete them. I think that the most clear and precise code is the English one as it explains everything in an easy way facilitating the understanding of the code.  This does not mean that it is the most helpful one, as even though it is a very good code, the American one is the one that covers all the topics a psychologist would need in order to perform well their carrier. It is also clearly organized which makes it easier to find what you are looking for and it gives you precise information about what it. Because of all this things I think that the American one would be the most helpful and the one that I would like to use most.
 In conclusion, the ethical codes are very well thought and structured, all of them have their good and bad points but overall, they are all really helpful and well done.

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to compare the different codes of ethics. I guess you dont go to sleep withought learning something more!

    Thank you for this article