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Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling:
A Practical Guide (5th edition)--John Wiley & Sons

Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, ebooks, Apple iBooks, & Google Books

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP
Melba J. T. Vasquez, Ph.D., ABPP

Below are endorsements; the book's table of contents including appendices; about the authors; & link to publisher's page for ordering the book or for requesting an evaluation copy.

Endorsements from cover and inside liner:

"A stunningly good book....  If there is only one book you buy on ethics, this is the one."

—David H. Barlow Ph.D, ABPP; Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Boston University


"[The 5th edition] is a must read book  for both beginning and seasoned clinicians . I learned a lot reading this book. Kudos to Pope and Vasquez."

 --Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo; Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention

"Continues to be the gold standard.... A must read in every counseling/therapy training program. It is that good and valuable."

--Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Teachers College, Columbia University

Pope and Vasquez continue to be the "conscience of psychology."  This 5th edition gives us guidance at a time when American psychology must find its moral compass."

--Bonnie R. Strickland, Ph.D., ABPP; Former President, American Psychological Association


"Once again, with this 5th Edition, Drs. Pope and Vasquez provide us with indubitable evidence that what is already the best book on ethics can be made even better."

--Martin Drapeau, Ph.D.; Editor in Chief, Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne


[The 5th edition] is a compassionate, must-have book….  emphasizes the importance of integrating of realistic self-knowledge with moral courage and sound ethical reasoning, - makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how to be ethical.

 --Carole Sinclair, PhD, Chair, Committee on Ethics, Canadian Psychological Association


"Two of psychology's national treasures, Drs. Ken Pope and Melba Vasquez, walk the walk of psychotherapy ethics.  Simply the best book in its genre."

—John Norcross, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychology & Distinguished University Fellow, University of Scranton


"The 5th edition… continues to offer the most fully realized blending of scholarship and street smarts available.

Eric Y. Drogin, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP (Forensic), Harvard Medical School; Former Chair, American Psychological Association Committee on Professional Practice & Standards


"[The 5th edition] is a must for every clinician's bookshelf!"

--Beverly Greene, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychology, St. John's University


"Voila!! Pope and Vasquez share their layers of insight and wisdom that only comes from years of therapeutic practice.  Their fifth edition continues to be the definitive source for understanding the increasingly complex nature of ethical decision making in psychotherapy.  This edition particularly addresses cutting edge issues in the ethical landscape that have become ever more challenging, including the subtle and delicate nuances across cultures, contexts, and individual differences. Moreover, the authors are to be commended for squarely promoting social justice perspective within ethics; it is too often overlooked or forgotten. Bravo!!"

--Puncky Heppner, PhD., Curators' Emeriti Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri


"In the evolution of thought about ethics, and the continuing expansion of technology, Pope and Vasquez do more than keep up with the times in this 5th edition of their landmark book – they stay ahead of the curve.  This up-to-date volume, packed with useful and thought-provoking case illustrations, belongs on the shelf of every practicing psychologist and educator."

-- Douglas C. Haldeman, Ph.D., John F. Kennedy University


"Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling has always been the volume I turn to when confronted with a complex risk management question. It has never let me down. As changes in technology and the changes in the health care system precipitated by the Affordable Care Act accelerate; mental health professionals will be confronting, with little guidance, unique problems with considerable ethical ambiguity. In this time of rapid change, this comprehensive but down to earth [5th edition] will become an even more essential resource."

--Eric Harris, JD, Ph.D., Risk Management Consultant, American Psychological Association Insurance Trust


This is the kind of book that stretches the reader to be their best selves, that gets us looking inside to better comprehend our paths to difficult decisions and wise choices. This is one that I'll be recommending to colleagues and friends.

--Laura S. Brown, Ph.D. ABPP Director, Fremont Community Therapy Project


"In the Fifth Edition of this essential text, Pope and Vasquez build on the strengths of previous versions and add many new ways of framing ethical issues in practice and research in psychology. They continue to underpin their ethical ideas with the belief that most psychologists are conscientious and caring individuals, committed to ethical behavior. Nevertheless a host of misunderstandings, fallacies, and cognitive traps foil good decision-making. A major purpose of the book is to explain and sort through such potential problems to improve ethical judgment."

--Patrick O'Neill, Ph.D., former President of the Canadian Psychological Association


"[The new 5th edition] is a wonderful resource that should be found on the bookshelf of every practicing clinician.  Pope and Vasquez' practical approach to ethics and the thorough coverage of current areas of risk and confusion make this a valuable must read.  I applaud them on their thorough coverage of the areas of interstate practice, mental health practice in the digital age, multiple relationships and related psychology "hot topics."  Bravo!"

--Jeffrey N. Younggren, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine


"This landmark 5th edition by Pope and Vasquez continues their fine tradition of outstanding scholarship, day-to-day practicality, and responsiveness to the ever changing health care environment of the 21st century.  Ethical Intelligence nicely captures the manner in which clinicians of today must grapple with psychotherapy's complex realities.  Brilliant, readily readable, and inspirational." 

--Pat DeLeon, former President, American Psychological Association.


"Leading ethics scholars, Pope and Vasquez, in the 5th edition of their book, Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling: A practical guide, instantly draw the reader in much like a mystery writer does.  They quickly engage our minds with ethical dilemmas that are powerful, intriguing and believable.  We wonder how the cases will turn out.  They never tell but they then take us through a world of ethics that causes us to explore the real meaning of ethics from the inside out.  The book will encourage readers to understand written ethical codes and understand what their own moral compass would dictate in such complex situations.  I have used previous editions of the book and will surely use this one as it is even better."

--Rosie Bingham, Ph.D., former President, APA Division 17 (Society of Counseling Pychology); recipient of the 2015 APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Institutional Practice


"A splendid book.... This is essential reading for all those in psychotherapy and related fields."

--Clifford Stromberg, Esq., Partner, Healthcare Law, Hogan & Hartson, Washington, DC


"This stirring and stimulating [5th edition] represents a must read invitation for professionals and students alike who aspire to respond in an ethically intelligent way to circumstances and situations for which often there are no easy solutions."

--William D. Parham, Ph.D., ABPP Professor, Counseling Program School of Education Loyola Marymount University Past-President, Society of Counseling Psychology Division 17 of the American Psychological Association


"The essence of this extensive, comprehensive and triumphant 5th successor to their earlier classics can be drawn from several chosen words in the text. First, this is a practical work, not a set of abstract theories; the material finds a ready place in application to actual clinical work. Second, it is about the real humanity of therapists instead of about the lofty Platonic ideal of the perfect practitioner or, conversely, about the venal and corrupt exploiter. Finally, their discussion of timely and updated topics is exemplified by discussions of teletherapies and the uncertainties that surround a practice so new. Rich in clinical details and extensively referenced, this is a handbook that will not only keep treaters out of trouble but will also deepen and enrich their appreciation of their own work."

--Thomas G. Gutheil, MD Professor of Psychiatry, Dept. of Psychiatry, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School


"This 5th edition is an outstanding guide to ethical intelligence. Authors Pope and Vasquez are masterful in demonstrating what it means to be a critical thinker and an active questioner, while simultaneously helping practitioners to stay current in a digital world and stay caring toward patients and themselves.  Their tour de force consideration of moral distress and moral courage leads us all farther down the road toward social justice. What a package!"

--Carol D. Goodheart, Ed.D. 2010 President, American Psychological Association


The psychological community is very fortunate to have access to this thoughtful, comprehensive, and up--to-date ethics resource written by two of our most respected and competent colleagues.  [The new 5th edition] belongs on all of our shelves.

--Dave Mills, Ph.D.


"This newly revised fifth edition of Pope and Vasquez' very comprehensive Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling goes far beyond a legalistic or 'memorize the ethics code' view of ethics. In fact, the title of this book could easily be Ethics for the Real World. It is a very practical, realistic, and thought provoking book that guides readers to develop the attitudes, perspectives, and skills needed to successfully address the many ethical challenges and dilemmas that we each are likely to be confronted by in the increasingly complex world of the practice of psychology."

--Jeffrey E. Barnett, Psy.D., ABPP, Professor of Psychology Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and the Social Sciences Loyola University Maryland


"Pope and Vasquez just keep getting better.  The fifth edition offers solid up-to-date information and data that all practitioners must master, couched in a most engaging format that disappoints only because each punchy, absorbing chapter has to end.  Readers are kept thinking not only about challenging decision-making but also about who they are or should aspire to be as self-reflective, competent practitioners."

--Patricia Keith-Spiegel, Ph.D., Former Chair, American Psychological Association Ethics Committee


"This book had become a must-read resource for psychotherapists and counselors across disciplines. The 5th edition has updated and expanded coverage by including extensive coverage of new digital technologies and practical approaches to addressing the related concerns privacy and practice across jurisdictions. They also include significant new material on critical thinking and avoiding fads or pseudoscientific practices.  New chapters on moral distress/courage and strengthening ethics in organizations will also prove quite valuable to clinicians as we find new roles in integrated health and accountable care contexts. Pope and Vasquez have made this highly valued resource more useful, timely, and necessary."

--Gerald P. Koocher, Ph.D., ABPP Dean, College of Science and Health, DePaul University; Former American Psychological Association President (2006)


"An excellent blend of case law, research evidence, down-to-earth principles and practical examples from two authors with outstanding expertise. Promotes valuable understanding through case illustrations, self-directed exercises, and thoughtful discussion of such issues as cultural diversity."

--Dick Suinn, Former President, American Psychological Association


"Fresh clear thinking about ethics in practice seen from the eyes of psychologists and counselors nearly doubles the enriching number of pages and areas covered in this 5th edition over the prior edition. Therapists will feel comfortable in relating to humane, non-technocratic writings."

--Jack G Wiggins, Ph.D., former President of American Psychological Association


"This superb reference belongs in every psychology training program's curriculum and on every psychologist's bookshelf."

--Lillian Comas-Diaz, Ph.D., 2006  President, APA Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice


"It should be part of every therapist's basic library."

--Allen Webb, Ph.D., ABPP, Former President, American Board of Professional Psychology


"I love this book! And so will therapists, supervisors and trainees. In fact, it really should be required reading for every mental professional and aspiring professional.... And it is a fun read to boot!"

--Stephen J. Ceci, Ph.D., H.L. Carr Professor of Psychology, Cornell University


"The quite unique accomplishment of [the new 5th edition] is that as essential concepts (e.g., diversity and multiculturalism) and practical matters (e.g., assessing suicidal risk) are comprehensively presented, important contemporary topics are introduced. These emerging and timely subjects of pseudoscience and academic legends, fallacies in reasoning, the power of words, moral distress and courage, and ethics in organizations are but a few that will not be found in any other single ethics source. The originality, breadth, and richness of this leading edge work make it an essential reading for mental health professionals."

--Linda F. Campbell, Ph.D., The University of Georgia


Table of Contents:


  1. Strengthening Ethical Intelligence
  2. Ethics in Real Life: Grad School Didn't Prepare Us For This
  3. The Human Therapist and the (Sometimes) Inhuman Relationship: Being Absent in the Present
  4. Avoiding Pseudoscience, Fads, & Academic Urban Legends
  5. Ethical Judgment Under Uncertainty and Pressure: Critical Thinking about Heuristics, Authorities, & Groups
  6.  27 Logical Fallacies in Ethical Reasoning
  7. Using and Misusing Words to Reveal and Conceal
  8. Ethics Placebos, Cons, & Creative Cheating: A User's Guide
  9. Trust, Power, and Caring
  10. Moral Distress and Moral Courage
  11.  The Ethics of Teletherapy, Internet Therapy, and Other Digital Work: Challenges of the New Technologies
  12.  Competence and the Human Therapist
  13.  Creating —and UsingStrategies for Self-Care
  14.  Creating a Professional Will
  15.  Codes and Complaints in Context: Historical, Empirical, and Actuarial Foundations
  16.  Responding to Ethics, Licensing, or Malpractice Complaints
  17.  Steps in Ethical Decision Making
  18.  Beginnings and Endings, Absence and Access
  19.  Informed Consent and Informed Refusal
  20.  Assessment, Testing, and Diagnosis
  21.  Sexual Attraction to Patients, Therapist Vulnerabilities, and Sexual Relationships With Patients
  22.  Nonsexual Multiple Relationships and Other Boundary Crossings: the Therapeutic, the Harmful, the Risky, and the Inevitable
  23.  Culture, Context, and Individual Differences
  24.  Confidentiality
  25.  Recognizing, Assessing, and Responding to Suicidal Risk
  26. Steps to Strengthen Ethics in Organizations: Research Findings, Ethics Placebos, and What Works
  27.  Supervision


Appendix A The Hoffman Report and the American Psychological Association: Meeting the Challenge of Change

Appendix B The Hoffman Report: Resetting APA's Moral Compass


About the Authors:

Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP

Melba Vasquez, Ph.D., ABPP, is a psychologist in full time independent practice in Austin, Texas, and was the 2011 President of the American Psychological Association (APA).

She served on the APA Ethics Committee, the APA Ethics Committee Task Force for Revision of 1992 Ethics Code, and the APA Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility.

She is a Fellow of APA Divisions 1, 17, 35, 42, 45, and 49, and holds the Diplomate from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).

She is a past president of Texas Psychological Association and of APA Divisions 35 (Society of Psychology of Women) and 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology).

Dr. Vasquez has been involved in the planning and implementation of several key conferences, include the 1997 Supply and Demand Conference, and 2002 Competencies Conference. She is a co-founder, with Rosie Bingham, Lisa Porche-Burke and Derald Wing Sue, of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit which is now an ongoing biannual conference. Other leadership activities include service as Council of Representatives from Division 42, Psychologists in Independent Practice (2004-2006), and previously from Divisions 17 (1994-1997), and 45 (1989-1992). She has served as Chair of the Ethnic Minority Caucus and of the Women's Caucus of Council.

She served as the first Chair of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest, Chair of the Board of Professional Affairs, member of Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice, and member of the Policy and Planning Board.

She has coauthored 2 books with Ken Pope -- Ethics in Psychotherapy & Counseling, 4th Edition (2010, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) & How To Survive & Thrive as a Therapist: Information, Ideas, & Resources for Psychologists (2006, American Psychological Association) -- and published over 60 journal articles and chapters in the areas of ethics, ethnic minority psychology, psychology of women, supervision and training, and counseling and psychotherapy. Her interest in diverse groups, including women and people of color, has been a particular focus of her writings. She has taught graduate courses, and has provided workshops and presentations in those areas as well. From 1978 to 1991 she served as a university counseling center psychologist, first at Colorado State University, and then at University of Texas at Austin. She also served as internship training director at both institutions. She is interested in the integration of science and practice and for the promotion of psychological knowledge that contributes to human welfare.

Dr. Vasquez has received professional recognition, including:
• Distinguished Professional Contributions to Independent or Institutional Practice in the Private Sector, American Psychological Association, August, 2007
• Woman of the Year, American Psychological Association’s Division 17, Society of Counseling Psychology Section for the Advancement of Women, August, 2006
•Honorary Doctorate, Phillips Graduate Institute, May, 2005
• James M. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award, American Psychological Association, 2004.
• Psychologist of the Year, Texas Psychological Association, November, 2003.
• Foremother Award in Appreciation for Contributions to the Section for the Advancement of Women, and Counseling Psychology of Women, Society of Counseling Psychology Division 17, American Psychological Association, 2003.
• Eminent Women: 25th Annual Symposium on Historical and Personal Perspectives, American Psychological Association, 2003.
• Senior Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest, American Psychological Association, 2002.
• Janet E. Helms Award for Mentoring and Scholarship, Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education, Columbia University, 2002.
• Vision to Action Award, Austin Women's Psychotherapy Project, Kaleidoscope of Women's Lives conference, 2002.
• John Black Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Practice of Counseling Psychology, Division 17, Counseling Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2000.
• The Distinguished Leader for Women in Psychology Award, Committee of Women in Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2000.
• Award for Extraordinary Contributions in the Professional Practice of Counseling Psychology, Academy of Counseling Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, 2000.
• Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award, Texas Psychological Association, 1999.
• Distinguished Career Contributions to Service Award, Division 45 of the American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, 1999.

The 2002 Award for Distinguished Senior Career Contributions to the Public Interest cited the following: "For her scholarship, teaching, service delivery, and professional leadership activities, which reflect commitment to issues of empowerment, justice, and equality for all members of society, Melba J. T. Vasquez has been involved in promoting the increase of ethnic minority and gender representation in all aspects of psychology. She has demonstrated her commitment to ensuring that psychology attends to the needs of the diverse population reflected in American society. Through her work in the areas of ethnic minority psychology, psychology of women, professional ethics, and teaching and training, her activism, passion, and commitment are particularly evident" (American Psychologist, vol. 57, pages 878-888, 2002 Award Winners).





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