Identify and articulate the similarities and differences between the therapeutic and forensic roles for both assessment and treatment.

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For many years, the ethical dilemma of playing both a therapeutic role and a forensic role has been debated in the literature. Some authorities argue that there is always a conflict of interest in such dual relationships, while other authorities argue that the two roles can be reconciled and impartiality can be maintained.


Utilize the ethical decision-making process you learned about in M1 Assignment 3 to create a 7- to 8-page argumentative paper supporting your stand. First, compare and contrast the roles, articulate the potential ethical conflicts, and discuss how those conflicts might be managed. Then, in a reasoned fashion, develop an argument for whether the two roles—therapeutic and forensic—should ethically coincide.

The course paper is essentially an argumentative essay. Refer to the following for guidelines about writing argumentative essays:

· Refer for tips about writing argumentative essays

Ensure that you follow these instructions:

· Identify and articulate the similarities and differences between the therapeutic and forensic roles for both assessment and treatment.

· Articulate the potential ethical conflicts and discuss how those conflicts might be managed.

· Using multiple sources, defend your thesis on how and why therapeutic and forensic roles should or should not be reconciled.

· Be sure to address the issues of dual relationships as they apply to assessment as well as treatment.

· Ensure that you argue for a particular side of the issue (not arguing both sides) and that your argument is well-supported by scholarly literature, professional ethical guidelines, and the law.

· Include solid reasoning and a compelling thesis.

· Remember, a strong argument always supports its ideas and proves the other side wrong. Make sure to both support your views with credible arguments and sources and refute the other side.

Use proper grammar and spelling. Additionally, the paper should be written and formatted in APA style.

This is the paper you can use off of

Psychologist exploits different models in decision making to ensure that the preferred alternative provides the best viable solution. In the case of Bush et al. (2006), the scholars formulated a model that strives envisaging the future even before a decision. According to the eight-step guideline in the class text, the benefits of the utilization of the schema outweighs the shortcomings; hence the reason for its preference (Bush, Connell, & Denney, 2006). In the first step, the model the identification of the source of a problem that mandates decision-making takes place. The task entails the exploration of the legal, moral and ethical implications of action. The identification of the distinction aids in the identification of the problems in its context then the clarification follows. An example of this is the prioritization of the legal aspect in a matter of legality.

In the second step, the guide demands the consideration of the importance of the setting and the context. The decision maker has to evaluate an issue based on the context of the application because of the variation in the demands of different profession. The realization that the issue for prioritization in one context differs from another should guide the judgment of an action. For instance, professionals in the same team may demand different resources but advance a similar goal. The third step is the identification and the utilization of the ethical resources. The step involves the discernment of the complexity in situation but exploiting a general rule in solution. The case of ensuring care as the ultimate goal can guide the process. Therefore, the decision maker will infer to the general tenant in specific instances. The objective is ensuring a balance in the result to ensure recognition of patient’s autonomy.

The fourth step of the process of decision-making demands the identification of the personal beliefs and the values. The professional dealing with a patient must consider the variation in bias then prefer the ideas that advance common good. The recognition of the implication of the bias on the outcome of treatment is mandatory. The fifth step involves the development of the workable solution to the concern for redress. The exploration of the options in the decision precedes the process. After the analysis of the possible implications the professionals engaged with the task follows with a decision that bets strikes the interest of the parties affected by an issue. The sixth steps demand the consideration of the possible implication of the different solutions. The task requires weighing down the benefits and the shortcomings then selecting the decision that provides the most benefits.

The selection and the implementation of the resolution follow in the seventh step. The decision makers engage stakeholders affected by the decision in the step. According to Bush et al (2006) model, the timing must progress as per the expectation of the member involved. The last step of the eight-step models is the assessments of the outcome and adjustments in areas where there is need for change. The decision relies on the response that the decision makers receive from the parties involved directly in the undertaking. The expected beneficiaries air their view on the perception of the decision.

Strengths and weaknesses

After the examination of the eight-step mode proposed by Bush et al., it is conclusive that inference to the guide has its fair share of benefits and shortcoming. The positive of the model is that it encourages a holistic visualization of a problem before necessitating the formulation of a solution. The first steps categorize the issue then fosters the consultation of other professionals before a decision. The recognition of the variation in the requirements of a different individual in the same team is a plus. The model’s emphasis on timing is equally a commendable thing.

The recognition of the role of stakeholders in influencing objectivity in the process is a strength of the model. The emphasis on timing is laudable. The model encourages inference to the values that guide an individual in a decision. The approach is not confined to psychology alone. The leaders in a corporation can exploit the idea in deciding critical matters affecting organization performance. The experience of a psychologist in using the framework can lead to objectivity in decision-making on complex matter of the leaders exploits the model appropriately.


The weakness of the eight-step model is that it requires professionalism in exploitation; thus, a person with a limited understanding of the psychological steps might not succeed using the framework. The recognition of the cultural view of the subject to a decision influencing the process can equally create confusion. In most cases, the effectiveness of the model depends on the level of understanding of the decision maker and the relations the person has with the expected subjects of a decision.

The generalization of the step in the third step might cause complexity. The categorization of an issue into moral, legal and ethical concern is a complex process not as narrated in the model. The practicality of the decision relies on the comprehension of the views of those engaging in the decision. The model mandates inference to the set guidelines even for an ethical decision that does not require exploitation of the eight steps.


Bush, S. S., Connell, M. A., & Denney, R. L. (2006). Ethical practice in forensic psychology: A systematic model for decision making. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Identify and articulate the similarities and differences between the therapeutic and forensic roles for both assessment and treatment.

Discussion indicates understanding of the therapeutic and forensic roles through specific details within each role. However, relations are not drawn between the two, or arguments, although accurate, are common.

Discussion addressed assessment and treatment issues in dual relationships.72

Articulate the potential ethical conflicts and discuss ways on how those conflicts might be managed.

The most pertinent potential ethical conflicts related to the dual relationship of therapeutic and forensic roles were identified and ways to address them were discussed.72

Present a cogent argument for whether forensic and therapeutic roles should coincide.

Thesis statement clearly takes a stance on whether therapeutic and forensic roles can ethically coincide.72

Present well-reasoned arguments supported by scholarly resources.

Arguments are clear and reasonable. They are supported by scholarly literature, professional ethical guidelines, and/or the law. All arguments directly support the thesis.

Specific examples and explanations are used to support the arguments.

Scholarly literature, professional ethical guidelines, or the law is accurately summarized and appropriately used.


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