Ethical Dilemma? The WSPA Ethics Committee can help

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Spring 2017: Volume 73, Number 1

Concerns? Questions? Consult with the WSPA Ethics Committee

  • After several sessions with your new client, you realize that his new girlfriend is the daughter of your tennis partner. Will you continue to see the client?
  • A client has moved to another state but will be returning in six months, and they want to continue therapy with you by phone or videoconferencing. Will you agree to this?
  • You’ve just finished a wonderful lunch with a colleague, and when you get back to your car you realize that your briefcase (containing your professional laptop computer) is missing. What do you need to do?

Washington State Psychological Association’s Ethics and Professional Standards Committee serves as a member resource to psychologists across the region. Its dual mission is to plan and implement educational opportunities regarding professional ethics, and to serve as a consultation resource to members of the organization.

Ethics Committee members are WSPA psychologists who have volunteered to serve in this capacity. Members include Laura Asbell, Ph.D., Stephanie Kuffel, Ph.D., Bob Maurer, Ph.D., Lis McCrea Jones, PsyD, Carol Moore, Ph.D., and Pamela Ridgway, Ph.D. These professionals are committed to providing thoughtful perspectives, suggestions, and resources based on the continually shifting culture and broader ethical issues of the psychological community at large. Two main focal points for the Ethics Committee are 1) serving as an educational resource, and 2) providing confidential peer consultations for WSPA members.

In its educational role, the Ethics Committee prioritizes open access to information through WSPA’s website, including the Washington Psychologist. The members of the Ethics Committee strive to provide up-to-date and accurate information for our members regarding the ethical considerations surrounding technology, professional resources, and specialized fields of knowledge.

The intent of consultation is to share informed perspectives and promote reflection regarding ethical dilemmas or difficult clinical situations. The Ethics Committee is not a disciplinary board. We do not provide legal advice nor tell members what to do in specific situations. Our goal is to provide a confidential environment in which you can think through a difficult situation in light of ethical principles, and consider potential clinical, legal, and risk management aspects of the situation. Furthermore, collegial consultation among psychologists serves a vital role in establishing and maintaining standards of practice for our profession. In order to obtain multiple viewpoints WSPA members are encouraged to contact more than one consultant regarding an ethical dilemma. Members of the Consultation Call Line are Stephanie Kuffel, Carol Moore, and Pamela Ridgway.

The services offered by the Ethics Committee are available to all WSPA members and we encourage you to contact one of the Call Line members on the Ethics Committee if you would like a consultation. If you are a member that has benefitted from these services in the past, we thank you for your continued support of WSPA and the resources it provides to Washington’s Psychological community.

Contact information for the consultation service is listed below.

Stephanie Kuffel, Ph.D. | (509) 456-7888 |  swkiffel@qwestoffice.net

Carol Moore, Ph.D. | (509) 534-2602 | cimoore@msn.com

Pamela Ridgway, Ph.D. | (509) 353-9885 x2 | pridgway@rfpsych.com

Find more information about the Ethics Committee on the WSPA website at: http://www.wapsych.org/?Ethics_Comm