Public reminded to be vigilant vs individuals misrepresenting psychology profession

September 23, 2021 - 11:13 AM
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Doctor vector art created by pikisuperstar via freepik

(Updated 8:56 p.m.) An organization of psychologists advised the public against individuals who misrepresent the profession amid these difficult times.

The Psychological Association of the Philippines issued this notice to the public on Facebook on September 21.

It noted that the organization is “committed to maintaining the country’s highest ethical and legal standards in psychology.”

“This commitment is embedded in the Code of Ethics for Philippine psychologists. As the Accredited Integrated Professionals Organizations (AIPO) of psychologists and psychometricians, one of our mandates is to protect the profession’s integrity,” PAP said.

“In recent months, PAP has received reports of a breach of ethical practices,” it added.

Some of these unethical practices are:

  • Unauthorized use of the organization’s name and logo
  • False membership claim and affiliation
  • Misrepresentation as a professional and licensed psychologist or psychometrician

The organization, however, did not mention or specify names of these individuals and entities.

“PAP will not tolerate the use of its name and it will act decisively. PAP will file a case against anyone who will use PAP’s name and logo by misrepresentation,” read its statement.

The organization then advised the public to be vigilant and circumspect against these sketchy individuals.

“As a precautionary measure, PAP is providing this reminder to the community to be circumspect and exercise diligence and vigilance against unscrupulous individuals who would exploit the current direct situation to their advantage,” it said.

It then addressed its members to help the organization protect the community while ensuring to adhere to the highest standards and principles of their profession.

“PAP is also reiterating the mandate of every member to help the organization in safeguarding the community against fraudulent actions. Further, PAP also encourages its members to adhere to ethical standards and uphold the standards and principles of the profession,” it said.

Under the Republic Act No. 10029 or “Philippine Psychology Act of 2009,” psychologist means “a natural person who is duly registered and holds a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional identification card as a professional psychologist, issued by the Professional Regulatory Board of Psychology and the Professional Regulation Commission.”

It should be noted that a psychologist is different from a psychiatrist.

While both hold doctoral degrees, they differ in terms of the practice of medicine.

A psychologist studies the mind and human behavior. They can diagnose, do therapy and conduct other forms of psychological interventions. However, unlike psychiatrists, psychologists, especially here in the Philippines, cannot prescribe
medications.