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(1) In regard to client welfare, a licensee:

(a) shall attempt to terminate a clinical or consulting relationship when it is reasonably clear to the psychologist that the client is not benefiting from it or is being harmed by continued service;

(b) shall not use relationships with clients to promote commercial enterprises of any kind for personal gain or the profit of an agency;

(c) shall not bill for services not directly performed for a client, unless there is an explicit agreement that permits this type of billing;

(d) shall take reasonable steps to avoid harming the psychologist's clients with whom there is a defined professional relationship, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable;

(e) shall make reasonable efforts to plan for facilitating care in the event that psychological services are interrupted by factors such as the psychologist's illness, death, unavailability, or relocation, or by the client's relocation or financial limitations;

(f) shall, when entering into employment or contractual relationships, provide for orderly and appropriate resolution of responsibility for client care in the event the employment or contractual relationship ends, with paramount consideration given to the welfare of the client;

(g) shall make an appropriate referral of the client to another professional when requested to do so by the client;

(h) shall continue the defined professional relationship with the client until a relationship is established with the professional person to whom the client is referred or until the relationship has been terminated by mutual agreement. In situations where referral, consultation, or other changes in the conditions of the treatment are indicated, and the client refuses referral, the psychologist shall carefully weigh the possible harm to the client, the psychologist, and the psychologist's profession that might ensue from continuing the relationship.

(2) In regard to respect for others, a licensee:

(a) shall not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as students, supervisees, employees, research participants, or clients;

(b) who performs interventions or administers, scores, interprets, or uses assessment techniques shall be familiar with the reliability, validation, and related standardization or outcome studies of, and proper applications and uses of, the techniques they use;

(i) shall recognize limits to the certainty with which diagnoses, judgments, or predictions can be made about individuals;

(ii) shall attempt to identify situations in which particular interventions or assessment techniques or norms may not be applicable or may require adjustment in administration or interpretation, because of factors such as individuals' gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status;

(iii) shall, when offering assessment or scoring procedures to other professionals, accurately describe the purpose, norms, validity, reliability, and applications of the procedures and any special qualifications applicable to their use;

(iv) shall ensure, unless the nature of the relationship is clearly explained to the person being assessed in advance and precludes provision of an explanation of results, that an explanation of the results is provided using language that is reasonably understandable to the person assessed or to another legally authorized person on behalf of the client;

(v) shall, regardless of whether the scoring and interpretation are done by the psychologist, by assistants, or by automated or other outside services, take reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate explanations of results are given and adequate provisions are made for referring and counseling individuals when needed;

(c) when interpreting assessment results, including automated interpretations, shall take into account the various test factors and characteristics of the person being assessed that might affect psychologists' judgments or reduce the accuracy of their interpretations and indicate any significant reservations they have about the accuracy or limitations of their interpretations.

(3) In regard to conflict of interest, a licensee shall be concerned primarily with the welfare of any client involved and only secondarily with the interest of the psychologist's own professional group, when there is a conflict among professional workers.

(4) In regard to the therapeutic relationship, a licensee:

(a) shall provide psychological services for the purpose of diagnosis, assessment, or treatment only in the context of a defined professional relationship. However, nothing in these rules precludes the provision of psychological services for crisis management or intervention, even in the absence of a defined professional relationship;

(b) shall not prepare personnel reports and recommendations based on test data secured solely by mail, unless such appraisals are an integral part of a continuing client relationship with a company;

(i) the reports shall not be embellished with detailed analyses of the subject's personality traits, as would be appropriate only after intensive interviews with the subject;

(ii) the reports shall not make specific recommendations as to the employment or placement of the subject, which go beyond the psychologist's knowledge of the job requirements of the company; and

(iii) the reports shall not purport to eliminate the company's need to carry on other regular employment or personnel practices such as appraisal of the work history, checking of references, or past performance in the company;

(c) shall not undertake or continue a defined professional relationship with a client when the psychologist is or could reasonably be expected to be impaired due to mental, emotional, physiologic, pharmacologic, or substance abuse conditions. If such a condition develops after a defined professional relationship has been initiated, the psychologist shall terminate the relationship in an appropriate manner, shall notify the client in writing of the termination, and shall assist the client in obtaining services from another professional;

(d) shall give a truthful, understandable, and appropriate account of the client's condition to the client or to those responsible for the care of the client;

(e) shall make assessments, recommendations, reports, and psychological, diagnostic, or evaluative statements based on information and techniques (including personal interviews of the individual when appropriate) sufficient to provide appropriate substantiation for their findings; and

(f) shall refrain from releasing raw test results or raw data to persons, other than to clients as appropriate, who are not qualified to use such information.

(5) In regard to education, a licensee:

(a) shall present psychological information accurately and with a reasonable degree of objectivity, when engaged in teaching or training;

(b) shall not teach the use of techniques or procedures that require specialized training, licensure, or expertise, including, but not limited to, hypnosis, biofeedback, and projective techniques to individuals who lack the prerequisite training, legal scope of practice, or expertise;

(c) shall establish an appropriate process for providing feedback to students and supervisees in academic and supervisory relationships; and

(d) shall evaluate students and supervisees on the basis of their actual performance on relevant and established program requirements.

(6) In regard to supervision, a licensee:

(a) shall adequately supervise auxiliary staff to ensure that the client's mental or physical health or safety is not at risk;

(b) shall delegate to their employees, supervisees, and research assistants only those responsibilities that such persons can reasonably be expected to perform competently on the basis of their education, training, or experience, either independently or with the level of supervision being provided;

(c) shall not, prior to obtaining the board's approval, commence supervision of a person practicing psychology;

(d) shall, upon board approval of the supervision, reasonably and adequately supervise persons practicing psychology, so as to ensure the client's mental and physical health and safety are not at risk and that each supervisee complies with all applicable standards, rules, and statutes; and

(e) shall strictly comply with the rules governing supervision.

(7) In regard to forensic activities, a licensee:

(a) shall not render a formal professional opinion about the psychological and emotional characteristics of an individual without direct and substantial professional contact with or a formal assessment of that person, for example, about the fitness of a parent in a custody hearing.

(8) The violation of any statute, rule, or standard applicable to the licensee in relation to the licensee's practice of psychology is unprofessional conduct.

History: 37-1-131, 37-1-319, 37-17-202, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-1-316, 37-17-101, MCA; NEW, 1998 MAR p. 927, Eff. 4/17/98; AMD, 2004 MAR p. 1474, Eff. 7/2/04; TRANS, from Commerce, 2004 MAR p. 2282; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 1041, Eff. 5/25/12.

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