Adult Competencies

Competencies Required for Certification in Adult Individual Therapeutic Assessment

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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)
1c. Skilled with at least one current broad adult cognitive measure (e.g., WAIS-­IV, Stanford Binet 5, Woodcock-­Johnson III)
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 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. Respects the client’s right to privacy and 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 and collaborative manner
3d. When appropriate, makes use of extended inquiry procedures for spontaneous assessment interventions
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.    Assessment intervention sessions
4a. Skilled at using assessment data to plan an assessment intervention or know when one is not appropriate
4b. Frames the session for the client in terms of the assessment questions
4c. Demonstrates flexibility in changing plans when the intervention is unproductive
4d. Balances support and firmness in dealing with the client’s coping strategies
4e. Contains potential insights and helps client formulate own insights
4f. Supports the client emotionally and intervenes if the client becomes emotionally overwhelmed

5.    Summary/discussion sessions
5a. Effectively plans the summary/discussion session, taking in consideration “levels” of feedback
5b. Demonstrates flexibility in changing plans if the session does not go as anticipated
5c. Actively involves the client in confirming and modifying findings
5d. Responds to the client’s disagreements in a therapeutic manner
5e. Helps the client tie assessment findings to daily life
5f. Is able to recognize and intervene if the client becomes overwhelmed
5g. Suggestions for next steps are derived from the assessment findings and these links are made clear for the client
5h. Suggestions for next steps go beyond recommendations for (more) psychotherapy and include things the client can work on alone
5i. Elicits and is open to the client’s input when discussing next steps
5j. Offers to help the client implement next steps
5k. Helps the client to meta-­?process the assessment experience
5l. Acknowledges the ending of the assessment

6.    Written feedback to client
6a. Written feedback to client is free of jargon and appropriate for client’s cognitive level and personality
6b. The document reflects the client’s input during the assessment
6c. The document is both professional and personal
6d. The document shows vitality and creativity; it does not feel “rote” or “boilerplate”
6e. The suggestions for next steps reflect the collaboration of the client
6f. The document acknowledges the ending of the assessment and clarifies how the client should handle questions before the follow-­up session.

7.    Follow-­up session
7a. Helps to structure the follow-­up session so as to meet the major goals
7b. Notices and comments on positive changes/strivings
7c. Helps the client meta-­process the assessment experience
7d. Effectively acknowledges the ending of the assessment

8.    Relationship with the referring professional (if applicable)
8a. Maintains a collaborative relationship with the referring professional, avoiding a “one-­up” or “one-­down” position
8b. Helps the referring professional frame useful questions for the assessment
8c. Stays in contact with the referring professional during the assessment
8d. Is attentive to the possibility of unhelpful triangulations with the client and referring professional

9.    Use of consultation
9a. Is aware of own strengths and weaknesses
9b. Seeks consultation and collaboration when appropriate
9c. Is open to feedback, while taking own authority
9d. Is aware of own reactions to the client and uses these therapeutically