Adult Competencies

Updated 8/29/22

Competencies Required for Certification in Adult Individual Therapeutic Assessment

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Competencies Required for Certification in 
Adult Individual Therapeutic Assessment
Licensed for the independent practice of psychology in at least one jurisdiction
1. Competency in psychological testing
1a. Skilled with at least one valid, broad self-report personality inventory (e.g., MMPI-2, MMPI-2-RF, PAI, MCMI-IV, 16PF)
1b. Skilled with at least one valid performance-based personality test (e.g., Rorschach, AAP, TAT-SCORS, Wartegg, WUSCT)
1c. Skilled with at least one current broad adult cognitive measure (e.g., WAIS-V, Stanford Binet 5, Woodcock-Johnson IV)
1d. Skilled at integrating different types of tests with background information and interview data to make a coherent case formulation
2. Initial Sessions
2a. Skilled at helping the client formulate relevant and useful Assessment Questions 
2b. Skilled at building a secure relationship through emotional attunement, collaborative communication, and repair of disruptions
2c. Clarifies the contract for the assessment with the client
2d. Skilled at gathering background information in a way that begins to contextualize the client’s problems in living and enlist the client’s curiosity
2e. The session is client-centered and the assessor connects all non-obvious questions to the client’s agenda for the assessment. 
3. Early testing sessions
3a. Skilled at selecting tests that will address the assessment questions 
3b. Introduces tests to the client as relevant to the assessment questions
3c. Administers tests in a standardized manner 
3d. Skilled at extended inquiries of standardized tests
3e. Supports the client’s affective reactions during the testing sessions
3f. If appropriate, collects information from collateral professionals, involving the client in this process when possible
4. Case conceptualization
4a. Skilled at integrating different types of tests with background information and interview data to make a coherent, systemic, and developmentally appropriate case formulation
4b. Can consider different theories in integrating the assessment findings
4c. The case conceptualization is grounded in the data, explains the clients’ and family’s dilemma of change, recognizes the client’s strengths, and hypothesizes about what the client would need to address current struggles
5. Assessment Intervention Sessions
5a. Skilled at using the case conceptualization to plan an Assessment Intervention or know when one is not appropriate
5b. Frames the session for the client in terms of the Assessment Questions
5c. Demonstrates flexibility in changing plans when the intervention is unproductive
5d. Balances support and firmness in dealing with the client’s coping strategies
5e. Contains potential insights and helps client formulate own insights
5f. Supports the client emotionally and intervenes if the client becomes emotionally overwhelmed
6. Summary/Discussion Sessions
6a. Effectively plans the Summary/Discussion Session, taking in consideration “levels” of feedback 
6b. Demonstrates flexibility in changing plans if the session does not go as anticipated
6c. Uses language and metaphors that are meaningful to the client 
6d. Actively involves the client in confirming and modifying findings
6e. Responds to the client’s disagreements in a therapeutic manner
6f. Helps the client tie assessment findings to daily life
6g. Is able to recognize and intervene if the client becomes overwhelmed
6h. Suggestions for next steps are derived from the assessment findings and these links are made clear for the client
6i. Suggestions for next steps go beyond recommendations for (more) psychotherapy and include things the client can work on alone
6j. Elicits and is open to the client’s input when discussing next steps
6k. Offers to help the client implement next steps
6l. Helps the client to meta-process the assessment experience
6m. Acknowledges the ending of the assessment
7. Written feedback to client
7a. Written feedback to client is free of jargon and appropriate for client’s cognitive level and personality
7b. The document reflects the client’s input during the entire assessment
7c. The document is both professional and personal
7d. The document shows vitality and creativity; it does not feel “rote” or “boilerplate”
7e. The suggestions for next steps reflect the collaboration of the client 
7f.  The document acknowledges the ending of the assessment and clarifies how the client should handle questions before the follow-up session.  
8. Follow-up Session
8a. Collaborates with the client to set the goals for the session
8b. Gives the client a sense of being remembered and thought about
8c. Inquires about the client’s reactions to the written feedback
8d. Notices and comments on positive changes/strivings
8e. Helps the client meta-process the assessment experience
8f. Effectively acknowledges the ending of the assessment
9. Relationship with the referring professional (if applicable)
9a. Maintains a collaborative relationship with the referring professional, avoiding a 
“one-up” or “one-down” position
9b. Helps the referring professional frame useful questions for the assessment
9c. Stays in contact with the referring professional during the assessment
9d. Is attentive to the possibility of unhelpful triangulations with the client and referring professional
9e. Facilitates the transition of the client back to the referring professional after the 
10. Use of consultation
10a. Is aware of own strengths and weaknesses 
10b. Seeks consultation and collaboration when appropriate
10c. Is open to feedback, while taking own authority
10d. Is aware of own reactions to the client and uses these therapeutically