Re: Assessment inventories

carol crook (
Mon, 2 Oct 1995 16:24:16 +0100

> I hold all the reservations about DSM-type classifications of
>people that have been expressed recently on this list, and also have serious
>doubts about the various scales, indexes and inventories that are used to
>arrive at those classifications. So when I am required to interact with people
>in terms of these inventories, I feel very uncomfortable and guilty (in the
>Kellian sense).
> I am of the view that trotting out these scales in an early
>interview with a client immediately does violence to the RELATIONSHIP I am
>trying to encourage. It would seem to convey to the client that I feel can
>reduce him/her to a mere score on a piece of paper.
>Bronwyn Seaborn
I agree with you totally. My advice is to go with your
instincts about the importance of relationship. You (we) are right, of
course. Much research has shown that the client-therapist relationship is
more important than any technique. And empowering the client is of more
significance in promoting psychological health than any one technique. Or,
various techniques may be equally effective, providing the client feels
empowered, listened to, respected, etc. Tests and objective measurements of
peoples' psyche typically have questionable reliablity and validity. And
they really, by definition, objectify the client. Is this therapeutic?
Where is the relationship in this? That is not to say that
knowledge and understanding of psychological matters is not useful for a
clinical psychologist. The background of knowledge may make him a more
intelligent and attentive listener -- Keep studying. But there are some
great psychologists who believe that people on the whole have it in
themselves to make the right decisions, and to manage themselves
effectively, if they can be led to see themselves and their choices more
clearly. Voila, the role of the clinician! It appears that, for a student
of psychology, you have great intuition. So keep studying, but at the same
time, keep refining those great instincts. The study of psychology involves
both intellect, and soul!

Carol Crook