names, assessments, etc

Wed, 20 Sep 1995 12:23:43 -0500 (CDT)

Maureen, I agree that it's helpful to have full names. Being still a newcomer
to the PCP world, it's especially helpful when the post is from someone I've
met, or from those of you who have an extensive body of work. Being able to
contextualize remarks helps overcome the inherent shortcomings of this medium.

HAving said that, I'm afraid I accidentally deleted the message re DSM. My
background is not clinical (and I hope you get some feedback on how others ahve
handled this dilemma) but I can speak to the guilt issue. Not long ago I
agreed to do some HR work -- "executive assessments" -- and felt some really
strong pangs about synthesizing 16pf, MBTI, and some "leadership styles"
instruments that put people in boxes. The only thing I initially felt good
about was the interview data, not only self-assessment, but how would your boss
describe you, a subordinate, etc. I found two things -- first, it is possible
to do a constructivist reading on response patterns on standardized
instruments, tho you may have to look at individual items. You have to
consider interview as the primary data source, then pick and thing I found was
data that supports your theories about the person. I also found ths person I'm
working for complementing my insight and wondering how I developed my theories.
She was blown away when I keyed in on a family of origin script that was a
source of distortion, for instance. This gets back to what John Fallon pointed
out -- PCP is _useful_ most of all, and when we find ourselves in places where
we can demonstrate this, we advance the theory.

If I hadn't deleted the post, this probably wouldn't be here, but maybe this
will inspire those of you who have been in nonconstructivist internships or
other situations in which you had to play numbers and categories games.

Suzanne Huffman