1st Edition

Ethics in Rural Psychology Case Studies and Guidance for Practice

By Sara Boilen Copyright 2021
    214 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ethics in Rural Psychology provides readers with theoretical underpinnings, practical applications, and empirically based knowledge of the practice of psychology in rural communities.

    Dr. Boilen explores the similarities and differences within and across rural American communities to provide a framework for understanding this vast and varied population. Focusing on the ethical considerations unique to these communities, chapters use illustrative case examples, useful exercises, and personal anecdotes to highlight obstacles unique to rural areas. Finally, the book emphasizes the opportunity to be innovative and creative in rural practice, demonstrating how rural practices hold promise for cutting-edge advancements in the field of psychology.

    This book will serve practitioners, students, and researchers as a primer, handbook, and road map for the challenging and rewarding clinical work that awaits in rural America.

    Introduction; Section One: Rural America; Chapter 1: What is Rural?; Chapter 2: Cultural Competence and Rural America; Chapter 3: Rural Americans; Chapter 4: The Psychological Landscape of Rural America: Values, Culture, and Norms; Chapter 5: Health in Rural America; Chapter 6: Healthcare in Rural America; Section Two: Ethics in Rural Communities; Chapter 7: An Ethical Framework; Chapter 8: Ethics in Rural Practice; Chapter 9: A Road Map for Managing Ethical Dilemmas in Rural Practice; Chapter 10: Dual Roles, Multiple Relationships: No One Is a Stranger Here; Chapter 11: Confidentiality and Privacy: Small Town Secrets; Chapter 12: The Generalist: Competencies and Necessity; Chapter 13: Life as a Rural Clinician: Isolation, Impairment, and Self-care; Section Three: Innovations and Opportunities: Practical Applications in Rural Communities; Chapter 14: Clinical Practice in Insular Communities; Chapter 15. Recruitment and Retention; Chapter 16. Defining Rural Mental Healthcare; Chapter 17: From Collaboration to Co-location: Integrated, Whole-person Care in Rural America; Chapter 18. Telehealth: Advances, Advantages, and Limitations; Chapter 19: Creating a Culture: Decreasing Stigma, Increasing Wellness; Chapter 20: Closing Thoughts.


    Sara Boilen, PsyD, is the owner and chief psychologist at Sweetgrass Psychological Services, a community-minded group practice in Northwest Montana. She serves on the Montana Board of Psychologists.

    "At a time when writers in urban citadels have turned again to describing rural Americans as stupid, lazy, and even as bad people, it is refreshing to see a book that takes the strengths and weaknesses of rural America seriously. Here, we find a balanced discussion of the heterogeneity of rural America as well as valuable insights about the values, dispositions, and needs of its citizens."
    Robert Wuthnow, professor, Princeton University

    "As we face unprecedented rates of suicide, addiction, and behavioral health issues in rural America, Dr. Boilen's focus on this issue is timely and crucial. As I work with organizations serving rural areas in Montana and beyond to plan their future strategies and services, I see the real-life implications of the trends Dr. Boilen references in action: the challenge of attracting and retaining trained providers of behavioral health services leaves many undiagnosed, untreated, and isolated. Our communities are suffering because of this gap. While we can be proud of our go-it-alone, independent streak, rural Americans can also teach all of us how much we need each other to survive and thrive (as evidenced by the bars, pie socials, and church potlucks that still survive in otherwise struggling towns). I urge practitioners with any connection to rural America to explore and respond to the ethical and treatment considerations in this book; healing and support from providers who understand the unique needs and strengths of rural America, especially as telehealth brings this 20% of the country more in contact with our existing secondary and tertiary treatment systems. Rural America needs you now more than ever."
    Ned Cooney, MSW, facilitator and consultant to organizations and community groups, Bigfork, Montana