Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Isaac Prilleltensky

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In this thesis I studied the concepts of applied ethics of mental health professionals in Cuba. In the thesis, I discuss the values that guide Cuban professionals in their work, the dilemmas they encounter, the resources that facilitate solving ethical dilemmas and the barriers they encounter in addressing them. In addition, I present recommendations for the prevention of harm in professional practice. In the first part of the literature review, I critique traditional concepts of applied ethics prevalent in North America. These concepts are criticized for their lack of applicability to the working life of the professional. An alternative model is proposed which is based on qualitative, critical and feminist theories. In the second part of the literature review, I describe the socio-political context in Cuba since the Revolution, the achievements accomplished by it, and the present challenges faced by professionals in mental health. The similarities between the values of Cuban society and the values of community psychology are presented. This qualitative study used a participatory method that made use of interviews and focus groups to gather experiences in ethics from the perspective of people that experience moral dilemmas and conflicts. The results indicate that Cuban professionals espouse collectivist notions of ethics in which civic duty and social values play a key role. In the discussion section I draw comparisons between concepts of ethics predominant in North America and in Cuba. The comparison is organized according to the following dimensions: values and concepts of applied ethics, scope and relevance, dilemmas and decision-making processes, resources and limitations to solve ethical dilemmas, and prevention of harm. Practical and theoretical recommendations emerging from the study are made. In ending, mention is made of the limitations and contributions of the study, and of the personal experience and knowledge acquired by the author since embarking in this study.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season