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UAR Project


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The SPA Foundation Board is working on behalf of all assessment psychologists to support research on the practical utility of clinical assessment practice. Despite all the evidence that is regularly published supporting the validity of personality test scales, including in the pages of our Journal, there are virtually no data available on the applied value of what we do in clinical practice.


The 2009-2010 UAR-funded project is An Investigation of Personality Assessment with Challenging Psychotherapies, by Steven R. Smith, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara. A brief description follows.


There are times in all forms of psychotherapy when patients and therapists feel “stuck,” challenged, and that the work is not progressing as well as might be hoped. Such challenges may be due to patient factors, therapist factors, or the match between them. The purpose of this study is to investigate the utility of a therapeutic model of assessment (TMA; Finn, 2007; Finn & Tonsager, 1992, 1997; Fischer, 1994; Hilsenroth & Cromer, 2007) to inform challenging psychotherapies. Given the empirical evidence that TMA aids in the formation of working alliance in early psychotherapy (Ackerman, Hilsenroth, Baity, & Blagys, 2000; Hilsenroth & Cromer, 2007; Hilsenroth, Peters, & Ackerman, 2004), it is expected that a therapeutic assessment intervention will help inform both patients and therapists who are challenged by the work of psychotherapy. This study will rely on a randomized experimental design. Patients seen for psychotherapy in private practice settings, community outpatient clinics, and a college counseling center will be randomly assigned to a TMA condition or a consultation (CON) condition. In both conditions, clinicians will provide a collaborative feedback session with both patient and therapist present. Dependent variables will include assessments of alliance, session evaluation, psychotherapy process, psychological symptoms, feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and therapist activity. It is hypothesized that patients and therapists in both the TMA and CON conditions will find the interventions useful and informative, but that TMA will result in greater improvements in alliance, changes in therapeutic technique, and improvements in patients’ feelings of well-being and self-esteem.



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Proficiency

The American Psychological Association (APA) officially recognizes Personality Assessment as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology. SPA has taken lead role in developing and implementing Personality Assessment Proficiency

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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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Each April, candidates statements and a Ballot for electing new members to the Board of Trustees is made available to Members, Fellows, Life Members or Life Fellows by the Nominations and Elections Committee. The persons elected to the Board take office in September.

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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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