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Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas Through the Lens of the Television Show Gypsy - A Summary

I previously wrote a piece featured on the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy's website (Division 29 of the American Psychological Association) titled "Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas Through the Lens of the Television Show Gypsy" (Prieto, 2018). Here is a summary of that piece with a link to the full work included.

It can be an unfortunate and potentially dangerous circumstance when a professional clinical psychologist violates the American Psychological Association’s Code of Ethics (2002b). Often times, certain situations can be difficult to resolve, and more often than not, life is not black and white, yet it is more so grey. However, basic humane ethical statutes and procedures should be considered when working with such a diverse and vulnerable population.

Through the lens of the show Gypsy, starring Naomi Watts, one is exposed to many ethical violations that harm other individuals. Although the appearance of such violations may seem dubious, it should be noted that professionals may at times contravene these ethical codes. Specifically, sexual misconduct with adult clients was the highest ethical complaint (29%) filed with the APA. Importantly, not only do these violations catalyze disciplinary action for the professional, but most importantly, it negatively affects the patient, hence disregarding Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence.

Thus, through the exploration of Gypsy, one can view a plethora of ethical and humane violations, and hopefully learn to not perform Dr. Jean Holloway’s mistakes.


Prieto, H. (2018,  March). Analyzing ethical dilemmas through the lens of the television show Gypsy. [Web article]. Retrieved from

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