The degree to which psychology trumpets its scientificity is precisely the correlate of the extent to which it evades the question of its ethics. It is entirely unnecessary for a body of knowledge to be ‘scientific’ in order to be valuable. The scientist-practitioner of psychology needs the ‘science’ to serve as a fig leaf for the praxis.
If your psychological ‘therapy’ is one that a court could or does order, then it isn’t a therapy at all, but an ideological program; and you are not a ‘therapist’, but rather, a kind of cop.
In Australia, AHPRA regulates all medical and allied health professions, both from the standpoint of accreditation, and on ethical matters. The statutory agency is seeking powers for itself that would exceed even those of the police, in that it wants to access the phone and web metadata of all practitioners, without a warrant.
Virtually any meditation on ethics involves the philosopher setting some self-imposed limit somewhere. Ethics generally proceeds on the basis of the ego ideal, reference to the law and to a symbolic reference outside of any particular ethical content. By way of contrast, AHPRA here is proceeding from the obscene superego, the drive which disregards the law and all self-limitation in order to see (and do, and investigate) just one more…
Consequently, the governing body determining the state of ethics in Australian healthcare is itself unethical. “Everything that is not forbidden is compulsory”.
Lacan made the point that the status of the unconscious was ethical, not ontological. The neuropsychoanalysts with their fMRIs are, in the Freudian sense, pursuing a preconscious rather than anything which resembles a psychoanalytic unconscious. In a different context, Levinas makes the point that ethics holds primacy over ontology. The ethics-ontology dichotomy seems to me relevant when discussing questions of intersectionalism, ‘identity politics’, and the like. To ‘check one’s privilege’ is to stick with ontology, or, more precisely, to undertake a (mis)recognition of some ontological status or other. What one does with one’s privilege – here defined as the rights that should be (but are not) universal, open to all – is a question that belongs to ethics.