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Professional and ethical standards of military psychologist

The professional activity of a psychologist is a very complex and responsible area of ​​professional activity. It requires appropriate education, professional skill and may affect the fate of people (for example, when a medical or forensic psychological diagnosis is made).

The professional activity of a military psychologist is associated with the knowledge of purely individual personal characteristics of people, their deep inner experiences and conditions. In the process, a military psychologist uses information whose careless use can cause irreparable harm to individual military personnel, families, military collectives, and the authority of military psychology. At the same time, the psychologist should develop suggestions and recommendations to commanders (commanders), provide them with the necessary information about military personnel in the interests of ensuring educational work with them, independently carry out targeted intervention in their thoughts, feelings, worldview, behavior.

In this regard, a number of socio-ethical and professional requirements are presented to psychologists, compliance with which allows the specialist to maintain people's trust, choose the right line of behavior in a conflict between the norms of subordination and morality. Professional and ethical standards are the requirements for the level of professional qualification of a psychologist, the implementation by him in his activities of specific moral standards of behavior both in relations with colleagues, the scientific community, and with subjects (clients).

The requirements under consideration are formulated in a number of principles.

1. The principle of secrecy. This principle means that any information provided by a client to a psychologist cannot be transferred without his consent to any public or state organizations, officials or private individuals, including relatives, friends, etc. Not only the fact of the possibility or impossibility of transmitting information is discussed, but also the volume of this information, the circle of persons to whom it can be transmitted, the purpose and procedure for using the information by these people.

There are exceptions to this rule, about which the client should always be warned in advance. An example is the situation when a psychologist finds out at the reception about something that is a serious threat to someone’s life or health. An exception is also cases where a psychodiagnostic examination is carried out for scientific purposes as part of an experimental study, but even then it is not recommended to indicate the exact names and surnames of the subjects in publications.

A military psychologist must take all measures to maintain the confidentiality of professional relations, received information, documents, personal records, photographs, audio and video films related to work. He should not allow cases of the publication of information of an intimate nature, public comparisons of people (groups) on psychological qualities, and an indication of the source of the information.

2. The principle of non-damage. He suggests that the psychologist should not disseminate information and special psychological knowledge that can be used to manipulate people and worsen relations between them. The psychologist must:

- respect the personal inviolability of the military personnel, their right to participate or not to participate in research, diagnostic and formative-corrective measures, to psychological counseling without the presence of third parties;

- explain the goals and objectives of psychological research, the procedure for using the information received. A person must not be subjected to a psychological examination against his will or by fraud (except in cases of judicial, medical practice, stipulated by law);

- do not use methods and procedures that infringe on a person’s personal dignity, do not take part in events accompanied by physical or psychological coercion of military personnel to communicate any information, change their views and beliefs, even if it is authorized by their superior;

- evaluate any professional situation from an ethical point of view and inform the commanders (chiefs), other persons about the ethical requirements for it and their own ethical position.

Before conducting a psychological examination of a person, it is necessary to warn that during the testing process he can unwittingly give out information about himself, his thoughts and feelings, which he does not realize. Any person, unless specified by law, has the right to know the results of their testing, as well as by whom, where and how they can be used. The results of the psychological examination are provided to the examinee by the person conducting the examination in a form that is accessible to a correct understanding. When testing minor children, their parents or their substitutes have the right to know the results of testing the child. If testing is carried out for the purpose of competitive selection (in a university, for a higher position), a soldier has the right to know who and on what basis conclusions will be drawn about him based on the results of testing.

3. The principle of scientific validity of the psychological methods used and the objectivity of conclusions. This principle requires that the methods and tools used by the psychologist be valid and reliable, that is, give results that can be fully trusted. The psychologist must use diagnostic, corrective, psycho-preventive methods and techniques, the mechanism of action of which he clearly understands, considers sufficiently mastered and anticipates the consequences of their use.

The conclusions drawn by the psychologist should flow from the results of the examination itself, and not depend on the subjective attitudes of those who conduct it or use its results.
When selecting methods, the psychologist proceeds from the requirements of maximum diagnostic efficiency - maximum reliability with minimum costs. When hypothesizing the causal relationships of certain psychological parameters and interpreting data, it is necessary, along with the most probable, to consider an alternative psychological hypothesis, following a principle similar to the principle of the “presumption of innocence” in legal proceedings.

4. The principle of comprehensive diagnosis and psychological assistance. This principle involves a combination of various methodological techniques in the diagnosis of the same mental properties, as well as techniques aimed at related mental properties, to increase the validity of the diagnostic conclusion. The psychologist provides the necessary level of reliability of the diagnosis, using standardized and non-standardized methods, as well as a method of independent expert evaluations.

In addition, during the provision of psychological assistance, a system of reasons for the situation proposed to the counseling psychologist should be revealed. The consultant can understand the causes of the client’s problems only in the context of sufficiently complete information about him. On the other hand, there must be a theoretical system to explain individual facts and manifestations of feelings, actions of the client, based on a holistic vision of a wider “panorama” of his mental life, to predict possible options for positive changes.

This principle also means that in determining the factors that determine the possibility of positive changes, a comprehensive approach should prevail that takes into account the possibility of implementing these factors in the system of professional actions of both the psychologist and other officials, specialists and the client’s environment (taking into account the requirements of reasonable sufficiency ) In addition, the views of all parties involved in the situation proposed by the consultant should be taken into account.

5. The principle of a non-judgmental attitude towards the client and respect for his personality. The psychologist creates such conditions under which a soldier (client) who has applied for help feels calm and comfortable during a reception. A benevolent attitude involves not only following generally accepted standards of behavior, but also the ability to listen carefully, provide the necessary psychological support, not judge, but try to understand and help everyone who seeks help, regardless of rank, position, age. It is necessary to accept people as they are. For the sake of creating an atmosphere of trust conducive to a more complete disclosure of personality, the psychologist seeks to avoid any value judgments. No matter what a person says, everything is worthy of benevolent attention.

6. The principle of effectiveness of recommendations. This principle assumes that the recommendations of the psychologist must be useful for the person to whom they are given. They must be real, feasible both for the person himself and for officials related to solving a specific problem. The effectiveness of the recommendations implies their specificity, taking into account the competence and competence of those officials to whom they are addressed.

7. The principle of professional competence and reflection of professional restrictions. A military psychologist should be responsible for the consequences of his professional activity, clearly present the limits of his capabilities in solving the challenges, apply only proven and mastered methods of work, predict the consequences of his actions, and minimize the risk of unintentional negative effects on people. He is called upon to constantly improve knowledge, skills and abilities, to maintain his qualifications at the level of the requirements of professional activity. The psychologist must have good theoretical training, thoroughly know the psychodiagnostic, psychocorrectional and developing methods and rules for their application, have sufficient experience in their practical use.

Officials who have received psychological information from a psychologist should refrain from applying administrative measures without a thorough and comprehensive analysis and consideration of the information received and the possible consequences of the applied influences.

A military psychologist is obliged to build his relations with colleagues on the basis of mutual respect, trust, mutual assistance, to share with them the information received, methodological and scientific findings that allow effective practical work. At the same time, direct borrowing of the results of other people's research, attribution of theoretical propositions, experimental methods and data, the absence of references to primary sources, etc., in the published works is prohibited.

In the interests of the client, the psychologist should actively cooperate with doctors, lawyers, officials of educational institutions. He is authorized to personally impede the incorrect and unethical implementation of measures of psychological work. The psychologist must report all violations of normative legal principles and professional and ethical norms of activity to his immediate command, psychologists of higher organizational and staff structures, as well as to regional or central bodies of the Society of Psychologists of the Russian Federation.

Violation by the psychologist of ethical norms and principles of work is incompatible with the performance of duties by him in his post.
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Professional and ethical standards of military psychologist

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