Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

an assessor. The voyeuristic impulse can provide alertness and insight into the client's psychological dynamics; the autocratic position may allow the tester to see how the client handles power and powerlessness; the oracular aspect may motivate competence strivings in the student; and the saintliness of the student as tester may frame the objectivity of testing with the care and responsiveness we should expect in clinicians.

Recognition and processing of the emotional aspects of the client and the student may be a most useful tool in assessing the client, as well as in helping the student develop his or her personality and professional self. Such processing will provide the clinical student with the confidence to recognize, utilize, and manage the emotional ebb and flow of the testing session.

The testing setting allows the supervisor 4 and student to enter into exploration of the student's feelings or to focus more on the formal aspects of testing if the student feels too much threat to plunge into the supervisory aspect of processing feelings. For that reason, and because it is usually easier to make the transition from the more detailed and demanding testing setting to the unstructured psychotherapy experience, learning testing and assessment should precede the learning of psychotherapy. The student with a supervisor who is attuned to the emotional aspects of testing, who inspires security and trust in the student, and who can assess the student's readiness for grappling with personality dynamics while coping with the large amount of work involved in learning psychological assessment skills has a head start toward developing professional excellence, personal competence, and lifelong satisfaction in serving the welfare of others.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I appreciate the careful editing of this chapter provided by Kathryn A. Hess, Tanya H. Hess, Steven G. LoBello, Steven Walfish, and Peter Zachar.


REFERENCES

American Psychological Association. (1985). Standards for educational and psychological testing. Washington, DC: Author.

American Psychological Association. (1992). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 47, 1597–1611.

American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Anastasi, A., & Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological testing (7th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Baker, S. (1977). The practical stylist (4th ed.). New York: Harper & Row.

Cohen, R. J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (1999). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to test and measurement (4th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Dethier, V. G. (1962). To know a fly. San Francisco: Holden-Day.

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4
In programs that discourage such personal explorations, the student may benefit from supervisory contact in a practicum setting where there may be more distance and less of a reporting line to the program. In such events, the supervision should be sanctioned by the program as in the case of practicum placements. The student should clarify what will be reported to the program and what will be held in confidence. The supervisory relationship is dealt with in greater detail in the next chapter, concerning learning psychotherapy.

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