Ethical Guidelines for Conducting Clinical Research in Relationshipfocused Therapy

Steven M. Harris, Katharine Wickel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mental health codes of ethics are in place to protect the public, the profession, and the clinician. Most of these outline certain behaviors that clinicians should practice (confidentiality, informed consent, respect for client autonomy, etc.) and warn against others (sexual contact with clients, multiple role relationships, etc.). Most also make some recommendations as to how clinicians who are engaged in research should conduct themselves (offering informed consent, protecting identity, responsible dissemination of findings, etc.). Any clinical intervention or treatment modality that is subjected to a research protocol must also be ethical, and those delivering the treatment are held to the ethical standards that guide the profession. In clinical practice, ethical dilemmas can arise despite our best efforts to practice ethically. Similarly, in clinical research, where the art of practice meets the science of inquiry, ethical dilemmas can arise, but they can also be anticipated and dealt with in a successful manner. While attending to each and every possible ethical dilemma that can arise in relationship-focused clinical research is beyond the scope of this chapter, we present a guide that can help scientist-practitioners ethically navigate these waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Methods in Family Therapy Research
Subtitle of host publicationA Focus on Validity and Change
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136192203
ISBN (Print)9780415637503
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.


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