Lithuanian Psycological Association – Code of Psychological Ethics

A psychologist works with people, gets involved in their inner world, abilities and deficiencies, therefore, (as a medical practitioner) he/she has to observe strictly corresponding principles of professional ethics.

The way of life led by a psychologist must not hinder execution of his/her professional duties, cause damage to the prestige of psychology or psychologists. Psychologists are to observe the rules of society life and understand that their violation may have negative impact upon their professional competence and their colleagues’ prestige. A psychologist must avoid losing his/her high professional competence, understand that it is necessary to learn and to continually refresh possessed knowledge, to grasp and to adapt everything that is new and progressive in his/her professional line, and to seek his/her colleagues, advice if needed.

Professional interaction means any formal situation in which a psychologist performs his/her professional activities when interacting with S (S in this text means any person with whom Psychologists enters into professional interaction; S represents a subject, a client, a patient, etc.)

1. When working, a Psychologist is to establish and maintain professional relations with S:

  • a) he/she shall use psychological techniques and instruments only when he has already entered into professional interaction with S;
  • b) he/she shall advise S only when directly interacting with S, not during public lectures, through mass media, etc.;
  • c) he/she shall not abuse his psychological knowledge in a private company;
  • d) he/she shall avoid informing S about his/her private life, except the cases when this represents a definite purpose advantageous to S;
  • e) he/she shall not abuse S’s confidence and/or possible dependence to satisfy his/her personal interests or to benefit from it;
  • f) if it turns out that Psychologist’s relations cannot retain their professional character, he/she shall direct S to another competent professional.

2. Psychologist informs S about psychologists’ work:

  • a) having started professional interaction, Psychologist shall seek that S understands its purpose, character, methods and predicted duration, except the cases when such information disturbs work;
  • b) he/she shall inform S about Psychologistls obligation to keep professional secrets;
  • c) he/she shall not encourage S’s expectations to receive some other help, except the help that can be offered to S by him/her.

3. Psychologist must regard S as a personality:

  • a) in the course of investigation, Psychologist shall try to create the situation in which S can feel that the interaction answers his/her interests; the basic principle is to make S intereact of his/her free will;
  • b) in his/her professional activities, Psychologist shall be objective, i.e. psychologist shall not stoop to racial, language, religious or some other similar prejudice in his/her interaction with S;
  • c) Psychologist shall not force his/her ethnic, value or similar norms or views on S.

4. Psychologist shall do his/her best to make professional interaction harmless to S and to save S from needless sufferings:

  • a) Psychologist shall not create the situation dangerous to S,s psychic equilibrium unless adequate balance-restoring measures have been secured;
  • b) Psychologist shall not use his/her professional knowledge or knowledge relating to S in order to harm S or make S suffer needlessly.

5. Psychologist shall keep professional secret:

  • a) Psychologist shall keep professional secret, especially the information relating to S’s personal life or illness;
  • b) Psychologist may release such secret information to persons or institutions requiring it provided S or Sls representative gives a corresponding consent. Psychologist attendine to an institution (plant, school, hospital, etc. ) usually grants information, if he/she thinks it necessary, to persons who participate in exercising of certain influence upon S, sad persons are likewise expected to keep professional secrets;
  • c) Psychologist shall be responsible for safekeeping of investigation results, etc. and secure them against strangers. Materials relating to S belongs to the institution with which Psychologist works. The institution is to empower Psychologist or some other qualified person able to keep secrets to safekeep the materials;
  • d) Psychologist shall avoid indirect release of information contained in a clinical case or other material relating to a definite person. If Psychologist is not sure that the nformation given by him/her is sufficiently disguised, he/she shall present only isolated facts and difficult to identify fragments, or acquaint S with the material and get his/her corresponding consent;
  • e) Psychologist shall have a righ to make an audio/video recording of a counseling or therapic sessioni or make an expert observation, provided S has given a corresponding consent.

6. Psychologist shall take into consideration shortcomings of techniques used by him/her and his/her own deficiencies:

  • a) in his/her practical work, Psychologist shall use techniques registered and approved by the Lithuanian Psychological Association;
  • b) Psychologist shall identify technique deficiencies and his/her own shortcomings relating to issues to be settled by his/her; he/she shall try to control the deficiencies within his/her competence;
  • e) Psychologist shall not use the techniques that have not been fully developed yet, or that do not answer basic methodological requirements; but in case Psychologist does use them, he/she shall not overlook their experimental character and avoid making conclusione that are not guaranteed by said techniques;
  • d) Psychologist shall not use the techniques that are not applicarle to considered prob ‘lem; Psychologist shall always think out the possible interaction between the problem and the techniques known to him/her and choose the most adequate technques;
  • e) Psychologist shall refuse starting a professional interaction or using psychological techniques unless necessari investigation or counseling conditions have been created;
  • f) Psychologist shall not apply the techniques unless he/she has mastered them theoretically and practically;
  • g) Psychologist shall not enter into professional interaction or use psicologica techniques if his/her own emotional factors may hinder professional or ethic interaction with S. Psychologist shall not enter into professional interaction if:
  • he/she is closely related to S by kin;
  • he/she strongly dislikes S or is strongly attracted to S;
  • unsettled emotional conflicts of Psychologist may exercise influence upon S.

7. Psychologist shall be far-seeing and responsible for his/her words:

  • a) when giving certain information to other persons, Psychologist shall envisage its possible consequences to S, and therefore he/she shall be shrewed and responsible;
  • b) Psychologist shall not interpret data obtained by him/her using the concepts representing the theory inadeguate to techniques applied by him/her;
  • c) having gathered psicologica investigation material, Psychologist, if needed, may present it to other persons who are, in his opinioni sufficiently qualified to seek their opinioni
  • d) Psychologist shall avoid letting his/her personal factors, e.g. good standing, special expectations, etc. prejudice him/her against S;
  • e) Psychologist shall not give investigation data description either to S himself/herself or to his/her family, also to persons whose profession or official position has nothing to do with the settlement of Sls problemi
  • f) Psychologist shall not give S professional advice based on other investigatore’ data, not on his/her own; in case it is necessari, e.g. when giving instructions or written answers to inquiries, Psycholo ist shall be reserved;
  • g) Psychologist shall imform people about psychology, its techniques, professional psicologica activities in the way securing its correct understanding without harming psychology as a science.

8. Psychologist shall seek that psicologica materials and equipment be registered, distributed and kept so that they are available to professional psychologist:

  • a) when presentino investigation techniques created by him/her, Psychologist shall attach to it its precise and clear description;
  • b) Psychologist shall make material possessed by him/her accessible to his/her colleagues unless professionali ethic circumstances or copyright objects to it;
  • c) Psychologist shall take care that auxiliary psicologica investigation material is accessible only to competent professionale;
  • d) when promoting psicologica techniques and equipment publicly, Psychologist shall be careful not to give information that may reduce effectiveness of such aids in professional activities of psychologists.
  • The chief obligation of Psychologist is to guarantee that materials relating to psicologica investigations on the grounds of which conclusione about S’s mental development, his/her mental health are to be made, are not accessible to laypersons.

9. Psychologist shall respect his/her colleagues:

  • a) in case a polemic arises, criticism shall be to the point and rest on facts;
  • b) publication of matter-of-fact opinions in publications intended for professionale is desirable.

10. Psychologist’s responsibility:

  • a) Psychologist is responsible for the results of his work with S, the results achieved and conclusione made in the course of his/her investigations;
  • b) in case doubts or differences relating to Psychologist’s professional activities arise in his/her workplace (or in other institutions), Psychologist’s activities are to be evaluated by the Board of Experts in Professional Ethics and Qualification;
  • c) advertising activities relating to psicological services shall by founded on the requirements for professional ethics.