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2018 SPA Annual Convention - Register Now!


2018 Workshops

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


#1 The Rorschach Performance Assessment System: Basic Interpretation

Joni L. Mihura, PhD, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Philip Erdberg, Ph.D. Private Practice, Corte Madera, CA

Wednesday, March 14, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

New Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS). The workshop focuses on R-PAS interpretation with an illustrative case. An evidence-focused system based on the most current research, R-PAS emphasizes those aspects of test performance that have the strongest empirical foundation, the most transparent relation to underlying psychological processes, the greatest utility as rated by experienced Rorschach users, and the most reliable normative comparisons. The workshop begins with a review of an update on new R-PAS developments that affect interpretation—in particular, the new R-PAS interpretive output. The workshop focuses on two cases that illustrate the clinical application of R-PAS with adults with two different presentations. Upon proof of enrollment in the workshop, participants will be able to request a copy of the R-PAS results for these two cases in order to familiarize themselves with the cases before the workshop. This will not only maximize the time spent in the workshop but allow the participants to be more meaningfully involved in discussing the interpretations for the cases. In general, participants will receive training in the principles and procedures for generating interpretive inferences that are most closely aligned with the research literature and the psychological processes that are involved in generating each response. Throughout we provide time that allows for questions, comments, and discussion with those in attendance. Although the workshop will instruct participants in the application of the new interpretive output, it does not assume that every participant will purchase the interpretive output with every scoring allocation. This workshop should be useful for people who teach personality assessment, but it is especially aimed at the needs of practitioners. It should appeal to practitioners and teachers interested in learning how to more fully and accurately understand clients through multimethod clinical assessments that incorporate making careful inferences from valid, performance based R-PAS scales.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Summarize the R-PAS principles for accurate interpretation and contrast them with previous models
  • Apply R-PAS interpretive procedures and guidelines to a case.
  • Utilize the R-PAS scoring printout to make accurate interpretations.
  • Utilize and apply the new R-PAS interpretive output to a case.

Skill Level:

Intermediate skill level with basic knowledge of R-PAS administration and coding.

#2 Personality Assessment Consultation Opportunities with the Federal Aviation Administration: An Orientation to FAA Practices and Standards

Chris Front, Psy.D., ABAP, Federal Aviation Administration

Wednesday, March 14, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Personality assessment is an essential element in pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations for a variety of public safety-sensitive positions. Many psychologists specializing in personality assessment have developed consultation relationships with police and other public safety agencies. Fewer have become consultants for the FAA, which relies on psychologists skilled in personality assessment to conduct thorough evaluations of pilots and air traffic controllers. The FAA is actively recruiting psychologists who are skilled in personality assessment to join its team of consultants. This workshop is designed to prepare such psychologists to perform both pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations for the FAA. The workshop will begin with a brief review of the legal and ethical issues involved in conducting pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations. An orientation to the unique psychological demands inherent in the aviation environment and the standards necessary for aviation safety will follow. The main focus of the workshop will be on the special considerations required for pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations conducted with pilots and air traffic controllers for the FAA, including published and unpublished normative test score patterns for those populations, the safety relevance of subclinical conditions, and the differences between DSM-5 diagnoses and FAA regulatory standards. A discussion of test data, psychosocial history, clinical interview, MSE, and collateral information to guide and support decisions will follow. Case examples will be provided to illustrate assessment practices and FAA standards.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the unique psychological demands of working in the aviation environment.
  • Describe the most salient ethical and legal issues in conducting pre-employment and fitness for duty evaluations for public safety-sensitive positions.
  • Utilize normative score patterns (e.g., MMPI-2 means and S.D.s for pilots and Air Traffic Control Specialist Applicants) when conducting test interpretation.
  • Discuss the differences between DSM-5 diagnoses and FAA regulatory standards.
  • Explain the safety relevance of subclinical conditions in the aviation work environment.

Skill Level:

Participants with advanced skills in personality assessment will benefit most from this workshop.

#3 A Review of Statistics for Reviewers

David L. Streiner, Ph.D., McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Daniel A. Sass, Ph.D., University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Wednesday, March 14, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop is open to all and is free for members of the JPA editorial board. The morning session will focus on a comparison and implementation of exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), exploratory structural equation model (ESEM), and Bayesian factor analysis, with a primary focus on when and why to use each factor analytic model. Participants will be taught how to run these models using Mplus, interpret the output, and statistically compare models. Also included will be a presentation of relevant procedures commonly connected to factor analysis (e.g., parallel analysis) and key statistical concepts (e.g., model fit). The afternoon session will be devoted to scale development. It will cover newer conceptualizations of validity, and problems with alpha as an index of a scale’s internal consistency and some alternatives to it. Most of the afternoon will be an introduction to item response theory and the “new rules” of scale construction. Lastly, this workshop will outline what information should be included in published research and what reviewers should be cognizant of.

Goals and Objectives:

  • To discuss what reviewers should look for in papers sent for review.
  • To update the attendees' knowledge of statistical methods used in papers submitted to JPA.
  • To explain the differences among exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, exploratory structural equation modeling, and Bayesian factor analysis.
  • To discuss more modern conceptualizations of validity.
  • To illustrate problems with using alpha as an index of internal consistency and to discuss alternatives.
  • To acquaint attendees with modern methods of scale development, such as item response theory.

Skill Level:

This course will be taught at an introductory level and open to anyone interested in these topics.

#4 Therapeutic Assessment (TA) in Clients with Personality Disorder

Jan. H. Kamphuis, PhD., University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hilde De Saeger, De Viersprong The Netherlands

Pamela Schaber, Ph.D. Center for Therapeutic Assessment, Austin, TX

Wednesday, March 14, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

Kamphuis, De Saeger, and Schaber will share empirical research and clinical experiences re: working in TA with patients with (severe) PD, and illustrate these learnings with video clips and role-plays. Accordingly, this training will be particularly useful for therapists (of all levels of experience) working with patients significant personality pathology. In the lectures, the theoretical framework of Epistemic Trust (Fonagy, Luyten & Allison, 2015) is explicated and pertinent research is discussed alongside clinical observations. Of note, this workshop puts emphasis on the hands-on practice of the specifically modified TA model for working with this client group; modifications that differ for specific types of personality pathology. Specifically, participants will practice an adapted version of the initial interview, the assessment intervention sessions, and the feedback session. Hilde de Saeger has been working for more than 15 years at a Dutch specialist center for the assessment and treatment of patients with personality disorder (de Viersprong), and has recently published (together with Jan H. Kamphuis and Stephen E. Finn) two studies describing findings from a Randomized controlled Trial (RCT) on TA in patients with personality disorders.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Explain how principles and features of TA are specifically suited to the clinical needs of patients with personality pathology
  • Describe how each phase of TA can be optimally adapted for working with clients with (severe) PD
  • Explain how PD Cluster C clients differ in needs from PD Cluster B clients
  • Have practiced the modifications of each TA phase
  • Understand how TA in this client population can be profitably joined with subsequent therapy

Skill Level:

This is an introductory workshop geared for participants of all levels; however, a basic understanding of the general principles and features of TA will be helpful in appreciating the key technical adaptations for working in TA with clients with (severe) PD.

#5 An Integrative Approach to Interpreting the MMPI-2-RF and the NEO-R/NEO-3

R. Michael Bagby, Ph.D., University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Wednesday, March 14, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

In this work shop the presenter(s) will demonstrate an integrative approach to the interpretation of the MMPI-2-RF and NEO PI-R/NEO-III (NEO). The focus will be three-fold: (1) diagnosis, including "major mental disorders" and "personality disorders" as defined in Section II of the DSM-5; (2) case conceptualization; (3) and treatment formulation that incorporates both psychiatric symptoms and "normal range" personality traits. Brief descriptions of both instruments will be provided first, which will then followed by how the strengths of both instruments can be used in case conceptualization. Finally, a therapeutic model in which personality-based individualized treatment plan can be used, to suggest how targeting personality traits in treatment can mediate symptom reduction. Evidence supporting this model based on RCT studies will be presented along with several case study examples.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the MMPI-2-RF and NEO scales.
  • Demonstrate how these instruments can be used, in combination can be to diagnose mental disorders.
  • Utilize test results to formulate a case conceptualization.
  • Utilize test results to formulate a case conceptualization.

Skill Level:

Familiarity with psychological assessment, case formulation and treatment planning.

#6 Interpersonal Assessment of Personality Pathology

Christopher Hopwood, Ph.D. University of California, Davis

Wednesday, March 14, 1:15 pm – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop will focus on the assessment and treatment of personality pathology from an interpersonal perspective. Research on the interpersonal core of personality pathology and interpersonal dynamics associated with specific personality disorders will be reviewed in the context of recent changes in the diagnostic manuals. The diagnosis of personality pathology using common interpersonal instruments will be demonstrated, and the connection between assessment data and treatment hypotheses will be highlighted.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe personality pathology from an interpersonal perspective
  • Apply the interpersonal situation as an organizing framework for personality, psychopathology, and treatment
  • Use interpersonal assessment methods to develop specific treatment hypotheses

Skill Level:

Participants should have a basic knowledge of assessment and treatment of individuals with personality pathology.

#7 An Introduction to the MMPI-2-RF (Restructured Form)

Martin Sellbom, Ph.D., University of Otago, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 14, 1:15 pm – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop introduces the 338-item version of the MMPI-2, the MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) to assessment psychologists. Topics include the rationale for, and methods used to develop the instrument, the various materials available to score and interpret the test, psychometric functioning of the MMPI-2-RF scales, and interpretive recommendations. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice the recommended strategy for MMPI-2-RF interpretation with clinical case examples. Case illustrations will be derived from a variety of settings.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Know the rationale for and methods used to develop the 51 MMPI-2-RF Scales
  • Describe the 51 scales of the MMPI- 2-RF
  • Become familiar with psychometric findings available to guide MMPI-2-RF interpretation
  • Interpret scores on the MMPI-2- RF
  • Integrate MMPI-2-RF interpretations with other sources of information.

Skill Level:

This is a beginner's level workshop, but some background in psychometrics and personality assessment would be helpful.

#8 Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Female Offenders

Ted. B. Cunliffe, Ph.D., Private Practice, Miami, FL

Jason M. Smith, Psy.D., FCC Hazelton, Morgantown, West Virginia

Wednesday, March 14, 1:15 pm – 9:45 pm

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Workshop Information:

Female offenders are a growing population in the United States. Therefore, clinicians need to understand the similarities and differences with this population compared to male offenders. The main goal of this workshop is to provide participants’ ways to best assess this population to help with treatment and management. A brief review of the similarities and differences between male and female offenders with be provided. Psychopathy and the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) will also be discussed. Female offender data (i.e., non-psychopathic females, psychopathic females, female sex offenders) with the Rorschach Inkblot Test (CS), PCL-R and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) will be presented. Interview recommendations will also be provided as well as caveats related to clinical judgment. A female offender treatment program will be outlined. Finally, case examples will be discussed to highlight the topics discussed.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the similarities and differences between male and female offenders.
  • Explain how female psychopathy differs from male psychopathy.
  • Discuss female offender data on the PCL-R, Rorschach and PAI.
  • Describe caveats in assessing female offenders.
  • Discuss a treatment program for incarcerated female offenders.

Skill Level:

Advanced graduate students, researchers, and practicing clinicians with a basic understanding of forensic clients and assessment instruments (i.e., PCL-R).

#9 Introduction to R-PAS Forensic Applications in a Family Law Setting

Donald J. Viglione, Ph.D., Alliant International University, San Diego, CA

Alissa Sherry, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Wednesday, March 14, 1:15 pm – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop presents an introduction to using the R-PAS in forensic assessment in the context of Family Law applications. Accordingly, essential research and conceptual issues involved with defending the Rorschach and R-PAS in court, what the Rorschach adds to forensic assessment and to evaluating parenting capacity will be highlighted. An R-PAS case vignette involving R-PAS administrations will be used to demonstrate key interpretive inferences.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Identify key conceptual issues to support the Rorschach in court.
  • Interpret scores for variables related to parenting capacity.
  • Describe the distributional qualities and normative sample used for the displays on Page 1 and Page 2 interpretive output plots.
  • Identify variables related to severity of psychological disturbance and psychosis.

Skill Level:

Should have some experience with R-PAS

#10 Proficiency in Personality Assessment: Producing an Integrated Report

Hadas Pade, Psy.D., CSPP-Alliant International University, San Francisco, CA

A. Jordan Wright, Ph.D. New York University, Department of Applied Psychology, New York, NY

Wednesday, March 14 1:15 pm – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This intermediate workshop presents the common challenges in writing integrated psychological assessment reports as well as strategies to improve integrated writing. Participants will also learn and practice several specific steps to better organize and integrate their assessment findings. In addition to directly developing or strengthening participants’ own report writing skills, report writing tips applicable to students and trainees will be discussed.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the importance of producing well-integrated reports
  • Identify common challenges in producing well-integrated reports
  • Utilize specific strategies to better organize data towards producing an integrated report

Skill Level:

Anyone who is learning, practicing, or teaching/supervising personality assessment. Participants need to be familiar with at least some personality measures and psychological assessment process in general.

#11 Integrating the MMPI-2-RF into Contemporary Diagnostic Assessment and Formulation

Martin Sellbom, University of Otago, New Zealand

Wednesday, March 14 6:00 pm – 9:45 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop will focus on integrating MMPI-2-RF information in contemporary diagnostic assessment and formulation. There will be an emphasis on personality disorders, both as formally operationalized in DSM-5 but also based on the alternative model of personality disorders. Furthermore, the utility of the MMPI-2-RF scales as measures of trans-diagnostic psychological constructs in providing information relevant to multiple disorders will be described, including how such information maps onto contemporary psychopathology models (e.g., Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology [HiTOP]). Finally, MMPI-2-RF interpretation from this perspective and integration of such information with conceptual formulation will be interactively discussed through numerous case illustrations.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Know how to map MMPI-2-RF scale scores into both traditional and alternative operationalizations of personality disorders
  • Describe how MMPI-2-RF scale scores map onto contemporary models of psychopathology
  • Be familiar with psychometric evidence linking MMPI-2-RF to contemporary models of psychopathology
  • Know how to interpret MMPI-2-RF scales and integrate such information in contemporary diagnostic case formulations.

Skill Level:

This workshop will be taught at an intermediate level, and previous knowledge of the MMPI-2-RF will be assumed. The introduction to MMPI-2-RF workshop taught in the morning session will provide for sufficient familiarity.

#12 Using the Inventory of Problems – 29 (IOP-29) to Discriminate Feigned from Bona Fide Mental or Cognitive Disorders

Luciano Giromini, Ph.D., University of Turin, Italy

Donald J. Viglione, Ph.D., Alliant International University, San Diego, CA

Wednesday, March 14 6:00 pm – 9:45 pm

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Workshop Information:

The Inventory of Problems – 29 (IOP-29) is a new, multi-method, international, brief (29 item) test designed to assist practitioners in discriminating between feigned and bona fide symptom reports in four areas: (1) depression/anxiety, (2) psychosis/schizophrenia, (3) post-traumatic reactions, and (4) neuropsychological/intellectual dysfunction. It may be used via traditional, paper-and-pencil format, or by using a personal computer, a tablet, or even a smartphone. Results of the test are expressed in a simple False Disorder Probability Score. This half-day workshop will describe the research foundation for using the IOP-29 in the U.S., in Italy, and in a few other countries, and will present some useful guidelines for its use in applied practice. Additionally, some specific issues concerning the adjustment of the IOP-29 probability score based on the benefit-cost ratio of a given case or on the expected malingering base-rates will be discussed. No prior experience with the IOP instruments is required.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the research foundation for using the IOP-29 to discriminate feigned from bona fide mental or cognitive disorders
  • Compare the efficacy of IOP-29 versus other available tools such as the SIMS, PAI or MMPI
  • Explain how to administer, score, and interpret the IOP-29
  • Discuss about possible adjustments of the IOP-29 probability score based on the benefit-cost ratio and/or on the expected malingering base-rates

Skill Level:

No prior experience with the IOP instruments is required, and all psychologists and graduate students at all levels of training may attend this introductory workshop.

#13 Adjusting the Rorschach for the XXI Century

James P. Choca, Ph.D., Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

Wednesday, March 14, 6:00 pm – 9:45 pm

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Workshop Information:

There has been a drastic decline in the number of universities and training centers that teach the Rorschach. Changes are needed if the Rorschach is to survive. Both the CS and the R-PAS are forging ahead in attempts to make the test more empirical and scientific. Those attempts, however, make the test more cumbersome, and are partly responsible for the test’s decline. In a recent review on the New York Times Ruth Whippman characterizes the codification of Rorschach responses as “tediously technical.” This workshop will follow the work that Edward Rossini and I have detailed in a book that will have been published by APA Books by the time the SPA meeting takes place. Together with Chilean psychologist Hellmut Brinkmann, we propose three ideas to make the Rorschach simpler and more practical: (1) reducing the number of cards administered, (2) reducing the number of variables coded, and (3) using the test in a more clinical manner, a manner that pays more attention to the client. During this workshop I will also demonstrate the use of our free computer program, a program that allows the recording and scoring of the protocol. Cases will be presented using all three of the proposals and demonstrating the computer program.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Become acquainted with Herm, the four-card Rorschach and the supporting statistics
  • Become acquainted with the 34 scores used by the Basic Rorschach, and the reason for abandoning the rest of the scores
  • Become acquainted with Follow-UP, a new procedure used after the traditional administration of the test is completed, a procedure designed to learn in more depth what the client is all about
  • Learn how to use Hermann, the computer Rorschach Assistant Program
  • Develop a comfort, after the presentation of a few cases, for administering and analyzing the briefer and more stream-lined protocols, and using Hermann

Skill Level:

Intermediate or above. The workshop will require reasonable acquaintance with the Rorschach.

#14 MCMI-IV: The Integration of Theory and Empiricism

Seth Grossman, Psy.D., Private Practice

Wednesday, March 14, 6:00 pm – 9:45 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop directly focuses on the blend of Millon Evolutionary Theory with contemporary empirical methodology, and demonstrates enhanced interpretation and intervention strategies through didactics and case examples. Using insights generated by the theory, participants will learn how to build therapeutic alliance through personalized feedback and therapeutic dialogue. Additionally, the workshop will review the enhanced empirical methodology of the MCMI-IV, emphasizing its integration of theory and empiricism. The workshop will also discuss specific application areas in which further research is desirable. While the MCMI-IV will be emphasized, the workshop will also discuss the current theoretical/empirical development of the forthcoming Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory-II (MACI-II; Millon, Tringone, & Grossman, in preparation).

Goals and Objectives:

  • Operationalize Millon's evolutionary theory for clinical interpretation.
  • Discuss empirical methodology and issues relevant to the MCMI-IV and MACI-II.
  • Utilize a blended theoretical/empirical approach to deepen interpretation and intervention strategies for the MCMI-IV.
  • Examine specific application concerns (e.g., forensic) for the MCMI-IV.

Skill Level:

Intermediate: Knowledge of Millon Evolutionary Theory is beneficial but not a prerequisite.



Thursday, March 15, 2018


#15 Using the NEO PI-R with Couples

Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D., Loyola University Maryland

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

The purpose of the half day workshop is to introduce the NEO PI-R and its utility for assessing important dynamics in relationships. The Cross-Observer Analysis COA) paradigm will be presented including a review of the underlying logic and a review of the basic principles and methods for examining observer and self-reported profiles. How convergence is determined and the interpretations associated with various patterns of self-other agreement will be presented. Participants will gain hands-on experience in interpreting an actual couple profile.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the development and structure of the NEO PI-R
  • Explain and apply the Cross-Observer Analysis(COA) paradigm
  • Compile and create a COA profile using NEO-related materials
  • Be able to explain the strengths and limitations of COA
  • Discuss and critique the 3 levels of couple assessment

Skill Level:

Individuals need to be familiar with psychological assessment in general and the NEO PI-R in particular.

#16 Introduction to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual -2

Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D., ABPP

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Introducing the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual - 2 (PDM-2) Edited by Vittorio Lingiardi, PhD and Nancy McWilliams, PhD Explicitly oriented toward case formulation and treatment planning, PDM-2 offers practitioners an empirically based, clinically useful alternative or supplement to DSM and ICD categorical diagnoses. Leading international authorities systematically address personality functioning and psychological problems of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age, including clear conceptualizations and illustrative case examples. The workshop will discuss how to use the PDM-2 tool, the PDC-2, with case formulation, progress notes, supervision and research.

Goals and Objectives:

  • List the changes to the PDM-2
  • Apply the PDM-2 for case formulation
  • Apply the PDM-2 for case supervision
  • Use the PDM-2 tool, the Psychodiagnostic Chart-2 (PDC-2) for a more clinically useful diagnosis
  • Use the PDM-2 tool, the Psychodiagnostic Chart-2 (PDC-2) for research

Skill Level:

Moderate to Advanced diagnostic skills

#17 Therapeutic Feedback with the MMPI-2: A Demonstration

Richard Levak, Ph.D., Independent Practice

Philip Keddy, Ph.D., Independent Practice & Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Dr. Keddy will introduce Dr. Levak's approach and Dr. Levak will demonstrate giving feedback about MMPI-2 results directly to "client-actors" who are graduate students in psychology. Dr. Levak's method forms the basis for the book "Therapeutic Feedback with the MMPI-2: A Positive Psychology Approach" (Routledge, 2011) that he authored, along with Liza Siegel, David S. Nichols, and Ronald A. Stolberg. Dr. Levak will only know the "client's" MMPI-2 results and basic identifying information. Three different grad students will role play their respective clients. The grad students will have gotten to know their clients by assessing them and possibly having done therapy with them as well. These demonstrations will be "live" in that they will not be scripted. The MMPI-2 results will be projected for the audience and client-actors to see. Discussion with the audience will be encouraged during and after the demonstrations.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Demonstrate how MMPI-2 test results can help to understand the client.
  • Demonstrate how the results can be communicated directly to clients in an empathic way, influenced by Positive Psychology.
  • Demonstrate how the giving of feedback becomes a collaborative/therapeutic intervention

Skill Level:

Participants will get the most out of this workshop if they have some basic knowledge and background in the interpretation of MMPI-2 profiles and code-types, although MMPI-2 beginners will be welcome too.

#18 Assessment of Psychological Vulnerabilities in Disputed Confession Cases

I.Bruce Frumkin, Ph.D., ABPP, Forensic and Clinical Psychology Associates, PA

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

This workshop will be appropriate for both the beginning and advanced practitioner. It will provide a practical and conceptual framework on how to evaluate for psychological vulnerabilities relevant to false and coerced confessions. A focus will be on the appropriate use of specialized tests, such as the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales (GSS) to help in one’s assessment. Interrogation tactics, research and relevant case law in the field will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to avoiding common pitfalls in one’s expert testimony in light of Frye and Daubert standards.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Explain the types of false confessions and risk factors which contribute to a false confession.
  • Utilize various assessment procedures relevant to evaluating one's vulnerability to giving a false confession.
  • Discuss and critique commonly used interrogation tactics used by law enforcement in extracting a confession.
  • Explain common pitfalls in the use of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales and expert testimony in general in disputed confession cases
  • Discuss various factors relevant to conducting culturally-relevant forensic assessments in the disputed confession arena.

Skill Level:

This workshop is appropriate for both the beginning and advanced forensic practitioner.

#19 Children in the Legal System

Ginger Calloway, Ph.D., Private Practice

S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D., Private Practice

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Children are involved in the legal system in different venues and roles. Children may be witnesses in the courtroom, informants in sexual abuse evaluations, reporters in family law cases or their opinions may be assessed for reliability in international Hague cases. In order to obtain reliable, useful information from children, one needs to know how to apply developmental information when interviewing children, and know the research regarding challenges to relying on children’s testimony, given issues such as memory, suggestibility and limitations due to immature language development. Questioning and assessing children without tainting information requires knowledge of that research. A newer emphasis in family law and from the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children calls on having children’s voices heard in matters that involve decisions about their lives. The legal standards in different domains must also be considered, when assessing the reliability and usefulness of children’s testimony and may limit expert opinions that can be rendered utilizing that data. This workshop will review relevant research on children’s language and cognitive development, including memory and suggestibility; will explore pitfalls when interviewing and assessing children in the legal context and will provide the legal context for the most common roles and venues where children participate in the legal system. The second part of this workshop will involve case presentations that apply the research to an array of cases.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the various venues in which children serve as informants and/or witnesses and the demands inherent to each situation.
  • Participants will identify developmental influences including memory, suggestibility and use of language for interviewing children.
  • Participants will identify potential sources of bias in interviewing children.
  • Participants will identify relevant research findings as they relate to children's testimony and participation in the legal process.
  • Participants will list differences in children's ability to participate as witnesses and informants and state the source of these differences.
  • Participants will identify the different legal standards that apply in cases involving children's testimony or statements.

Skill Level:

Limited experience with legal system, some experience with children.

#20 Developing Proficiency in Diversity-Sensitive Personality Assessment

Radhika Krishnamurthy, Psy.D., Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Virginia Brabender, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 15, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Consideration of client diversity is an expected component of current assessment practice across the domains of clinical/counseling, forensic, and neuropsychological assessment. This is reflected in the criteria for proficiency in personality assessment, which include contextualizing the findings in light of client diversity variables. This workshop will address how to attend to a broad range of diversity variables (inclusive of age, gender, cultural background, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability) through adopting a diversity-sensitive framework. The presenters will discuss diversity considerations in determining the validity of test results, developing test score interpretations and diagnostic impressions, deriving conclusions, and providing useful recommendations. We will use vignettes and case examples to illustrate key points.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Examine personal assumptions and attributions related to aspects of diversity.
  • Become familiar with models of cultural identity and multicultural assessment.
  • Evaluate the validity of test results in light of factors such as cultural background and gender.
  • Develop diversity-sensitive interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations.

Skill Level:

The workshop is suitable for assessment practitioners, instructors/supervisors, and graduate students who have completed coursework in personality assessment



Sunday, March 18, 2018


#21 The Rorschach Performance Assessment System: Overview and Case Illustration

Gregory Meyer, Ph.D., University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Cato Gronnerod, University of Oslo, Oslo Norway

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop provides an introduction to the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS), which is an approach to using the Rorschach that is based both on strong empirical support and on an appreciation of the task as providing an in vivo sample of perceptual and verbal problem-solving behavior obtained in a standardized context. The latter allows for personality inferences to be based on observed performance rather than self-description. R-PAS emphasizes scores where there is a clear link between the psychological processes associated with the perceptions and behaviors coded in the microcosm of the task and inferences about parallel psychological processes associated with the perceptions and behaviors that make up personality characteristics expressed in everyday behavior. In this workshop we focus on how R-PAS is a reliable, valid, useful, and manageable way of using the Rorschach internationally in applied practice. We also document how it provides incrementally valid information that complements self-reported characteristics to more fully understand patients and the problems that bring them for an assessment. We start the workshop by briefly describing the scientific rationale and procedures for R-PAS, addressing administration; inquiry; the selection, scoring, and computation of variables; form quality and perceptual accuracy; normative referencing; a standardized format to present the results; and interpretive inferences. The system is designed to address legitimate criticisms that have identified limitations and problems with previous approaches to Rorschach-based assessment and as such it is built upon a strong research foundation, making use of the best supported variables in the Rorschach literature, and an appreciation of the Rorschach task as providing a sample of behavioral performance. The selection of variables and interpretive guidelines derive primarily from systematic reviews of the Rorschach validity literature; to a lesser extent they also derive from surveys of clinicians about the usefulness of indices and variables, a conceptual understanding of the processes involved in generating test responses, and attention to efficiency and parsimony. We will review relevant evidence from several of our studies, including extensive internationally conducted research to generate contemporary measures of perceptual accuracy, as well as several studies to optimize the range of responses obtained from an examinee while simultaneously allowing for flexibility in responding and idiographic richness. The procedures used to derive R-PAS normative data will be reviewed and illustrated. As time allows, we also will briefly describe the large array of free training resources that are available to R-PAS account holders. Finally, we illustrate the practical features of R-PAS by applying the system to a clinical case. Throughout we provide time for questions, comments, and discussion with those in attendance. This workshop should be useful for practitioners and for people who teach or conduct research on personality assessment. It should appeal to practitioners and teachers interested in learning how to more fully and accurately understand clients through multimethod clinical assessments that incorporate making careful inferences from valid, performance based R-PAS scales. Similarly, it should appeal to researchers interested in more fully measuring personality and psychological functioning through multimethod assessments that have incremental validity over self-report methods. Attendees should have some familiarity with Rorschach-based assessment. The workshop largely will be didactic.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe the basic empirical and conceptual foundation for variables in R-PAS.
  • Summarize the value of "performance assessment" as a foundation for clinical interpretation.
  • Explain why new normative reference standards improve clinical inferences.
  • Implement standardized administration procedures that optimize the length of Rorschach protocols.
  • Apply R-PAS interpretive procedures and guidelines to a case.

Skill Level:

Intermediate; we assume some familiarity with Rorschach-based assessment.

#22 Forensic Assessment in Immigration Court

F. Barton Evans, Ph.D., Private Practice

Giselle Hass, Psy.D., Independent Practice

Hon. Lory D. Rosenberg, Esq. (ret), IDEAS CONSULTATION and COACHING Immigration Defense & Expert Advocacy Solutions

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

Forensic psychological assessment has proven invaluable in complicated Immigration Court matters involving individuals seeking political asylum due to torture, battered women and men seeking status under the Violence Against Women Act, victims of crime under the Nonimmigrant Visa for Victims of Crime, families claiming hardship to prevent the deportation of a spouse or parent, and immigrants facing complex criminal matters involving convictions of minor crimes. A former Board of Immigration Appeals judge and eminent legal scholar will first review the impact and benefit psychological evidence in Immigration Court matters from a legal standpoint. Two experienced forensic psychologists will then discuss how such evaluations are best conducted to provide objective and neutral evidence, reduce bias, and produce informed adjudications. The use of psychological assessment instruments in such matters will be reviewed. Issues of cross-cultural sensitivity and complexity will also be addressed. Discussion of report writing and testimony in Immigration Court, including case examples and a mock trial.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe areas of forensic assessment practice in Immigration Court (IC)
  • Discuss the legal basis for forensic psychological assessment evidence
  • Explain how to conduct such forensic assessment
  • Discuss the importance and complexity of assessing over- and under-reporting and feigning in IC setting
  • Explore issues of cross-cultural sensitivity and complexity
  • Demonstrate report writing and testimony in Immigration Court, including case examples and a mock trial

Skill Level:

Beginner through advanced

#23 The Dire Straits of Working with Clients: How to Recognize Missteps and Use Repairs in TA

Filippo Aschieri, Ph.D., Therapeutic Assessment Institute, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Francesca Fantini, Therapeutic Assessment Institute: Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

“Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde's quote is just one of many that stress the role of mistakes in personal growth. For psychologists, mistakes are one of the most powerful opportunities to learn and to change because 1) they teach something about oneself, 2) they set the stage for repairs to be made and relationships to be strengthened. Missteps in Therapeutic Assessment (TA) can result in negative reactions to the assessor, experiences of misattunement, and even drop out. They can also hinder the achievement of the goals of TA, making it impossible to respond therapeutically to clients assessment questions and affect as it arises. Missteps are often bound to assessors’ personality characteristics, misunderstandings about their role as a TA practitioner, and incomplete or inaccurate case conceptualizations. Each can negatively impact various TA steps and lessen the potential effectiveness of the model. Therefore, missteps can be important learning and growth opportunities that can increase self-awareness about how to provide responsive and effective professional help to clients and enhance capacity to integrate data to form more complete and accurate case conceptualizations about clients personality, needs, and struggles. The aim of this workshop is to de-shame assessors for making missteps. The workshop will focus on missteps in initial sessions, in assessment intervention sessions, and in summary and discussion sessions. During initial sessions, participants will focus on missteps in negotiating the framework of the assessment (e.g., What does collaboration mean? What are the assessor’s responsibilities? What are the responsibilities of the client?), and on balancing hope in the treatment and humility (i.e., How to cope with idealizing and devaluing transferences to the assessor). In intervention sessions, participants learn how to avoid missteps in their attempts to modulate the level of emotional arousal (i.e., Determining when the target of the intervention session is adequately arousing. Repairing when the session is too “challenging” for the client.). Finally, participants will learn about problems is writing fables for children at the end of the assessment and how to avoid overwhelming or hurting either the child or his or her parents. For each step of the TA, the workshop leaders will provide case scenarios and will lead small group discussion about the variables to take into account in avoiding the missteps that actually occurred in real TAs. Attending this workshop will be valuable for clinicians interested in fine tuning their TA skills by reflecting on the rationale of different clinical choices and techniques with TA clients.

Goals and Objectives:

  • List typical sources of missteps in Therapeutic Assessment and normalize them.
  • Discuss the interpersonal and clinical implication of missteps in Therapeutic Assessment.
  • Analyze different typologies of missteps.
  • Explain the causes of different typologies of missteps and discuss possible alternative choices of the assessors.
  • Select the proper repairs to restore the relationship with clients.

Skill Level:

The workshop is open to participants all skills levels pending they have at least a basic knowledge of Therapeutic Assessment.

#24 Quantitative Models of Psychopathology and Psychological Assessment: A Clinician's Guide

Mark A. Blais, Psy.D., Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 11:45 am

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Workshop Information:

Quantitative models of psychopathology emerged from the empirical study of excessive co-morbidity among DSM disorders. These studies repeatedly found that psychopathology is better conceptualized as a hierarchy of broad integrated dimensions or spectra rather than as discrete individual disorders. Briefly, quantitative models propose that most common and severe forms of psychopathology (e.g. symptoms, signs, and disorders) are actually expressions of three broad higher-order spectra representing Internalizing, Externalizing and Reality Impairing psychopathology. Likewise, the three higher-order spectra are positively correlated suggesting the presence of a more general Global Spectra of psychopathology. The Global Spectra or p-factor is conceptually similar to Spearman’s cognitive g-factor. Research suggests that the Global Spectra captures the overall burden of psychopathology and is related to functional impairment, probability of relapse, and sub-optimal treatment response. Conceptually, hierarchical models of psychopathology and psychological assessment are highly compatible and when combined offer a powerful approach to measuring psychopathology, estimating life impairment, and recommending effective treatment (e.g. trans-diagnostic response to psychotherapy and medication). Blais & Hopwood (2016) outlined some potential advantages of integrating quantitative model concepts and findings into assessment training and practice including enhancing our empirical foundation and linking assessment more broadly to psychology. This workshop will use two broadband assessment instruments, the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991) and SPECTRATM (Blais & Sinclair, 2016), to illustrate how clinicians can assess psychopathology consistent with the quantitative model perspective. The workshop will focus primarily on assessing the higher-order dimensions of Internalizing, Externalizing, Reality Impairing and the Global p-factor. It will highlight the relevance of these Spectra to clinical assessment and offer suggestions for integrating Spectra level information into assessment reports. These concepts will be illustrated using both de-identified case material and empirical findings from a large assessment database.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Understand how problems inherent within traditional diagnostic systems (DSM) lead to the development of quantitative models of psychopathology.
  • Become familiar with the features of the general quantitative model of psychopathology (higher-order Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality Impairing Spectra and a Global p-factor).
  • Learn how traditional psychological assessment instruments can be used to assess these higher-order dimensions of psychopathology.
  • Learn a conceptual and practical approach for integrating quantitative model based data and insights into assessment reports.

Skill Level:

This is an introductory level workshop and will be of benefit to all interested assessment psychologists.

#25 An Applied Introduction to the Crisi Wartegg System (CWS) for the Wartegg Drawing Completion Test

Alessandro Crisi, Istituto Italiano Wartegg

Jacob A. Palm, Ph.D., Southern California Center for Collaborative Assessment

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

This workshop presents a general introduction to Crisi Wartegg System (CWS), a methodology for the clinical use of the Wartegg Drawing Completion Test (WDCT). The WDCT is a semi-structured, graphic, performance-based personality test, created by Ehrig Wartegg (1939). With a foundation in Gestalt and Psychodynamic theory, the WDCT has been used widely throughout Europe, South America, and Japan, but only recently has become integrated into personality assessment in the United States. Initial scoring systems for the WDCT were considered cumbersome and lacked research-driven validation. In response to these factors, Alessandro Crisi, following years of clinical practice and research, developed the Crisi Wartegg System (CWS; 1998, 2007), a normed and standardized administration, scoring, and interpretation system for the WDCT. Over the past three decades, Dr. Crisi has refined and expanded the CWS through research, broadening the scope of the measure, and increasing the accessibility of the system to clinicians. A recent meta-analysis attests to its validity in assessing personality and psychopathology, and reliability and validity data of the CWS is commensurate with both self-report (MMPI-2) and performance-based (Rorschach) personality measures. The CWS provides an efficient, intuitive, and incrementally valid assessment tool for personality assessment. Able to be administered to individuals of all ages, developmental levels, and cognitive abilities, administration takes approximately 10 minutes, with scoring and interpretation requiring 15-30 minutes for a skilled clinician. Despite these minimal time requirements, the test produces normatively-driven interpretive information commensurate with other performance-based measures of personality, as well as incremental validity based in utility, theoretical application, the non-threatening or non-affectively arousing nature of the test stimuli (which lends itself well for use with children, adolescents, and individuals with significant mental health or personality disorders), and applications to the Therapeutic Assessment model. As such, the CWS is one of the performance-based personality measures approved for certification in the Finn (2007) model of Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment. With a growing community of trained English-speaking clinicians using the measure, the CWS is a useful addition to the personality assessment toolbox! Topics covered in this workshop include introduction to the history of the WDCT, as well as the development of the CWS. Reliability and validity data will be reviewed, as well as recommended clinical use and incremental validity of this measure. Participants will learn proper administration procedures and be provided with introduction to major scoring categories of the CWS. A variety of clinical cases examples and protocols will be provided to demonstrate both the utility of the measure and its discriminative power between clients with various presenting symptoms or challenges. Lastly, an applied case examples and will be presented. Prior to exposure to the CWS, participants will have the opportunity to complete the test independently, with time provided for reflection on their experience and initial reactions.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Describe personal reactions to the WDCT, reflecting on potential client reactions to the test.
  • Describe clinical use of the CWS, including the clinical populations the measure is appropriate for, as well as the incremental validity/benefits of use in clinical practice;
  • List the steps required for proper administration of the WDCT according to the CWS;
  • List and describe the major scoring categories of the CWS;
  • Utilize CWS scores and analyses to differentiate between various clinical symptoms and presentations through review and discussion of case examples

Skill Level:

This is an introductory training on the CWS; no previous use of the test is required although thorough grounding in psychological assessment and theory is recommended. It is further useful if attendees have previous knowledge of the Rorschach and other performance-based personality tests. This workshop is open to mental health professionals and graduate students training to be mental health professionals.

#26 Psychological Testing that Matters: Assessment for Treatment Planning

Anthony Bram, Ph.D., ABAP, Harvard Medical School

Mary Jo Peebles, Private Practice

Sunday, March 18, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Workshop Information:

Psychological testing is most valuable to the extent that it makes a meaningful difference in a person’s treatment. Too often, though, testing falls short as treatment implications described in test reports are generic, unelaborated, or would have been obvious without the time and money invested in the evaluation. In this workshop, we present a person- and treatment-centered—as opposed to the more common test-centered—approach to psychological testing aimed to redress this. Synthesizing and updating the method that evolved and was taught in the postdoctoral training program at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, KS from the 1940’s through 2001, we present an approach to Psychological Testing that Matters (also the title of our recent book). Our workshop takes participants through a way of thinking about testing from the eliciting and clarifying questions posed by our referring colleague through the written report and other feedback. Along the way, we teach about: (1) the concept of treatment-centered diagnosis, (2) principles of inference-making, (3) how to assess crucial ego functions (reality testing, reasoning, emotional regulation, relatedness/alliance potential), linking each to their relevance in treatment planning, (4) how to make use of the patient-examiner relationship as data source and means of hypothesis testing, and (5) use of the inference map as a tool to organize data to refine our formulation and treatment implications. We emphasize assessment using Rorschach, TAT, and Wechsler, as well as the patient-examiner relationship, as key data sources, though we believe this way of thinking transcends the particular tests used in a particular evaluation.

Goals and Objectives:

  • List four factors critical to our level of confidence in interpretive inferences.
  • Describe three places (each) to look in psychological testing data for information about a patient’s a) reality testing, b) reasoning, c) emotional regulation, and d) alliance capacity.
  • Conduct a disciplined configurational/minisequence analysis and describe three findings relevant to a psychotherapy process.
  • List the four paradigms of underlying disruption and their implications for treatment.
  • Describe at least four factors that enhance the treatment-relevance of a test report.

Skill Level:

Participants have completed two graduate level courses in Psychological Assessment and have conducted a minimum of six (6) test batteries that included performance-based personality (projective) tests.

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Ask your favorite personality assessor what the biggest personality assessment convention is, and he/she will tell you it's the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality Assessment. Ask him/her what the best personality assessment convention is, and he/she will tell you it's the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality Assessment, held every March in a different city.

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The Society for Personality Assessment YouTube channel offers full-length lectures from past annual conventions and expert speakers in the field of personality assessment. A great resource to expand your knowledge.

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How Therapeutic Assessment Works: Theory and Techniques - Presented by Stephen E. Finn, PhD. In this webinar, Dr. Stephen Finn, the main developer of Therapeutic Assessment, will explain the techniques of TA and how they relate to TA’s underlying theory of client change. This session is particularly suited to those who are new to TA, including graduate students, or who wish to deepen their understanding of its therapeutic mechanisms.

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