“I have no idea what to do!” Standing tall as novice sport psychology consultants during ethical dilemmas

Dolores Christensen, Springfield College, USA
Rachel Walker, Springfield College, USA
Erica Beachy, Springfield College, USA
Adisa Haznadar, Springfield College, USA

Theme: Professional issues and ethics (AASP-related)

Program ID: WKSP-12

Presentation: October 2, 2013 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Room: Elmwood


Although students in sport psychology (SP) graduate programs comprise both the backbone and the future of the field, the student voice is sorely missing from a variety of domains across the SP literature (Holt & Strean, 2001; Tonn & Harmison, 2004). This is especially true for the growing literature specifically discussing ethical practices in SP (Haberl & Peterson, 2006). While the process of ethical decision-making is the same for students and more experienced professionals, the student may feel more self-doubt when faced with an ethical dilemma. At the conclusion of this workshop participants will: 1) have a better understanding of the ethical decision-making process that graduate students may undergo in their consulting work, 2) be able to identify the unique core tenants of ethics in SP, 3) understand where to access the APA and AASP ethical codes and how to utilize them, and 4) be able to better apply ethical reasoning to various decision-making scenarios in SP. Utilizing the commentary of SP professionals (Aoyagi & Portenga, 2011; Aoyagi & Shapiro, 2010; Watson, Zizi, & Etzel, 2006), a foundation of ethical research and theory in SP will first be established. Presenters will then provide examples of ethical dilemmas they have encountered during their developing SP careers including the consultant’s use of social media, sexual attraction between the consultant and client, and the consultant’s duty to report imminent harm. Presenters will role play the ethical situation in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” format where audience members will “decide” how the consultant should react in the given dilemma. The American Psychological Association Ethical Code (2002) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology Ethical Code (1994) will be utilized to guide the discussion. Finally, participants will be provided with handouts containing the case vignettes as well as addition resources for information on ethical decision-making.

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