Ethical challenges in the treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities

Zachary W. Adams, Sara E. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The effective provision of psychotherapy services to individuals with intellectual disability requires consideration of ethical issues related to clinical competence, access to services, obligations to multiple parties, guardianship, and appropriate assessment practices. This article provides an overview of major ethical considerations with guidance for clarifying and resolving common ethical concerns. Psychologists are encouraged to expand access to psychotherapy services for this population while maintaining awareness of potential modifications, training needs, and boundaries of professional competence. The authors provide recommendations and resources for effective and ethical treatment of psychotherapy clients with intellectual disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalEthics and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Clinical competence
  • Ethics
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical challenges in the treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this