Psychological Assessment Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

December 28th, 2014
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

Alien Landscapes? Interpreting Disordered Minds

BOOK REVIEW.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists were called alienists. That archaic term is given a nod in the title of philosopher Jonathan Glover’s new book as he describes the often foreign-seeming terrain of a disordered mind and the ways that we have historically analyzed it. A professor of ethics at the School of ...

Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption & Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
We make a lot of fuss over book covers, don’t we. Whether they look cheesy or slick. Whether the publisher is trying to get us to purchase something old repackaged as something new. And, of course, whether we should judge by them or not. About titles, though, there’s less discussion. Which is why I was surprised that ...

The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients

BOOK REVIEW.
"What about my pain?" Sandra asked, her brow furrowed. "It's my back. My primary care doctor says I need more meds." "You can ask the nurse for Tylenol or ibuprofen," I said, trying to maintain my composure seated across from Sandra on the inpatient psychiatric ward, "or I can add some naproxen, if you would like." "But ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

Book Review: The First Interview

BOOK REVIEW.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Riddle,” I say, pulling a chair up next to the gurney. “I’m one of the psychiatrists in the emergency department this evening. Would you have time to chat for a few minutes?” The young woman on the gurney tries a half smile. I take that as consent. “What brings you into the ...

DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis

BOOK REVIEW.
I had just come off my first overnight shift. From 8pm to 8am, I was the go-to resident for any issues that arose on any of the three psychiatry units, along with any emergent psychiatric consults from anywhere in the hospital. A psych patient couldn’t sleep? My pager went off. Another fell while getting himself ...

Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles & Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians (2nd Edition)

BOOK REVIEW.
It was a few weeks into my psychiatry residency, the print barely dry on my medical school diploma, when I met a patient we’ll call Sarah. Up to that point, the majority of those I had cared for on the inpatient psychiatry ward had been in and out of mental health care for years. When ...

Anxiety + Depression: Effective Treatment of the Big Two Co-Occurring Disorders

BOOK REVIEW.
If you know anyone with anxiety or depression, you know that symptoms can be complicated. Even more complicated is that the two disorders have similar features. That makes diagnosis hard for many clinicians, no matter how seasoned they may be. And if that weren’t enough, the fact that the disorders can co-exist adds another layer ...

Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

BOOK REVIEW.
Sometimes one has the pleasure of reading a book that provides genuine insight and discusses a concept previously unnamed. Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, by clinical psychologist Jonice Webb and contributor Christine Musello, was one such book for me.  It is no secret that I consider many self-help books questionable, or, at best, critically lacking ...

Essential Psychopathology Casebook

BOOK REVIEW.
In medical school, we become adept at memorizing diagnostic criteria, able to spout off, at a moment’s notice, the definitions for everything from autism to schizophrenia. For some diagnoses, we are aided by mnemonics — SIG E CAPS for depression, DIG FAST for mania — while other disorders require simple brute-force memorization. All of this ...

Child Temperament: New Thinking About the Boundary Between Traits & Illness

BOOK REVIEW.
Are you the firstborn child of your family? Did you turn out to be the most responsible, the parent-pleaser, or the motivated one? According to Alfred Adler and researchers of personality and temperament, firstborns tend to “outperform” their other siblings. In fact, about 21 of the 23 astronauts and the majority of U.S. presidents have ...

Who Needs Counseling? 10 Therapy Myths Dispelled

Who Needs Counseling? 10 Therapy Myths Dispelled  She was sitting in front of me, hollow-eyed and tired. For years she was resolute in her refusal to seek help, intent to prove to herself and the world that she could handle anything. She crashed on my ...

The Future of Computerized Therapy

The Future of Computerized TherapyThere are some problems that continue to defeat computer science researchers. One example is natural language understanding. It is currently not possible for a computer to participate in an unconstrained, fluid and meaningful conversation with a person. This result alone places limitations ...

Top 5 Myths about Computerized Therapy

Top 5 Myths about Computerized TherapyThere are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to the future of psychotherapy -- especially therapy that involves a computer. Won't we all just be talking to computers in the future for our therapy needs? Isn't it unethical to conduct ...

Computerized Therapy: Will Your Next Therapist Be a Computer?

Computerized Therapy: Will Your Next Therapist Be a Computer?You have probably heard of ELIZA at one time or another. In the mid-1960s, Joseph Weizenbaum, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed a computer program to simulate a Rogerian psychotherapist. ELIZA, as the program ...

Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

Adult Children of Dysfunctional FamiliesCharles L. Whitfield's 1987 book Healing the Child Within is aimed at adult children of dysfunctional families. The ideas he presented synced up with the 12-step recovery movements for families afflicted by alcohol and addiction (Al-Anon, Nar-Anon). It made perfect sense that ...

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First AidIt is estimated that one in every four people are variously affected each year with some mental health concern. The National Institute of Mental Health has documented that only one-third of them get treatment. Whether these individuals seek out treatment or ...

April is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness MonthNaming a time for awareness brings an issue into focus. It gives us a reason to do something extra (such as post this article) to help more people understand it. It makes people who are dealing with it feel less alone, ...

Natural Disaster Crisis Management

Natural Disaster Crisis ManagementCrisis intervention in natural disasters is important to look at from many different angles. The points of view of those experiencing the disaster and those of relief workers should be considered when developing models and considerations for interventions and emotional care. Other factors, ...

Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook

BOOK REVIEW.
Two decades ago, in January 1993, Susan Lukas released Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook, aimed at guiding mental health practitioners toward better psychological assessments and intake interviews. Though the author died in 2008, her publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, has released a new edition this year, this time with ...

Seeking Mental Health Care: Taking the First, Scary Step

Seeking Mental Health Care: Taking the First, Scary StepDespite increasing acceptance and public awareness, there is still a stigma associated with seeking help from mental health professionals. While mental health screening and treatment can dramatically improve someone’s quality of life, there is often still a ...

Psychological Adaptive Mechanisms: Ego Defense Recognition in Practice and Research

BOOK REVIEW.
We all have them: ego defenses. Thomas P. Beresford refers to them as, “Psychological adaptive mechanisms.” As humans, when we are stressed, we find a way to cope. This helps survive. Identifying how people do something that is such second nature can be challenging. In his new book, Psychological Adaptive Mechanisms: Ego Defense Recognition in Practice ...