In our everyday practice, there are various ethical and legal dilemmas that we face. Making the right decision faced with such dilemmas is a great challenge that requires consideration of different facets of the issues.  In order to decide the best course of action to take when face with ethical and legal dilemmas, there are a number of legal guidelines and ethics codes that provide the best practice to consider. In diagnoses and assessment, counselors are likely to be faced with myriad of ethical dilemmas they have to navigate through.  In order to overcome these challenges in diagnoses and assessment, legal guidelines and ethics codes helps counselors to take the best course of action.

Among the important legal guidelines and ethical codes are APA ethics codes and ACA code of ethics that give specific guidelines on appropriate course of action on conversion and reparative therapy (APA, 2010). These legal guidelines and ethical codes influence diagnosis and assessment by ensuring that counselors take decisions that are in line with their provisions. They assist counselors to make the best decision when faced by ethical and legal dilemmas in diagnosis and assessment. Their guidelines ensure that practitioners do not go outside their ethical and legal mandates.

In more than one occasion, diagnosis and assessment tools have provisions that come into conflict with the law. A case example is the TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test administered in the state of Texas.  There are many times that TAKS has been faulted for wrong assessment, which has necessitated the intervention of the government.  After a number of controversial administrations of the tests, Senate Bill 1031 introduced in spring 2007 was aimed at reviewing these problems (TFT, 2007).  The bill shows that TAKS conflicts with state laws and hence it was meant to introduce End of the Course exams for high school although these changes are to be introduced in a gradual manner.





TFT, (2007). SB 1031: not just getting rid of TAKS. Legislative Hotline, October 2004

APA, (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved December 16, 2010,

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