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"The Indispensable Flame" - Hope as Healing in Collaborative Therapeutic Assessment (1.5 CEs)


SPA’s 2021 convention theme is Advancing Standards in Personality Assessment. Advancements evolve from ideas and experiences, both old and new. In the 1950s, psychiatrist Karl Menninger rallied colleagues to the “indispensable flame” of Hope in dealing with patients. In 2018, Rorschachiana (Vol 39, Issue 1) published an article that discussed an unfolding Rorschach Hope Index as a method of assessing a client’s
attachment, survival, and mastery. And in 2020, we have all been challenged to help clients find Hope in the face of a pandemic that upended lives, livelihoods, and relationships. This symposium explores the critical importance of Hope in both its theory and practice, and most especially in Collaborative Therapeutic Assessments (CTA) and their outcomes. One presentation considers a 17-yr-old triplet, wedged between one sibling more competent than she and one less so; the assessment process and findings and a therapeutic story of Hope suggest some ways for her to claim her own personhood, as separate from siblings and parents. Another presentation highlights attachment disruptions in families, as they arise in the testing; it explores how the data can be used to illustrate strengths and the potential for Hope and connection between children and their parents. A third presentation seeks Hope in the CTA of a married, adult male; an aerospace engineer and ‘love addict,’ he spent more than $800,000 over three years, giving gifts and money to a stripper whom he believed was his girlfriend. Finally, our discussant applies his unique perspective to integrate these presentations and their focus on Hope.


Diane H. Engelman, PhD | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine


Stephen E. Finn, PhD | Therapeutic Assessment Institute and Private Practice

Goals & Objectives 
  1. Develop and apply greater understanding of the value of hope as a factor in healing and the potential for an applied Hope index. 
  2. Identify data in the assessment process that may lead to exploration of strengths and connection in families. 
  3. Illustrate the value and impact of therapeutic story on growth of Hope in changing a client's life narrative. 

“Act the Way You Want to Be”: Leveraging Hope to Build a New Life

Diane H. Engelman, PhD | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine Janet Allyn, MBA | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine

Hopes for a Secure Base: Using Assessment to Bring Families Closer

Jessica Lipkind, PsyD | West Coast Children’s Clinic & Private Practice

The Suffering Swimmer: CTA as Lifebuoy, Psychologist as Swim Coach

Tracy R. Zemansky, PhD | Courage to Change, Inc.; Pacific Assistance Group, Inc.; &Private Practice, Santa Monica, CA


Non-Member Price: $109
Member Price: $49