My friend, former teacher, mentor, Ed Welch, has posted a blog on the CCEF website on the topic of psychological testing and how biblical counselors might view it. You can see his blog here as well as my comment on their site: http://www.ccef.org/psychological-tests-are-you-or-against#comment-28
Ed, as you will see, isn’t really against testing, recognizes value in it, but doesn’t really think they are all that special–no more so than a really good interview. And, in part, he is right. A really good counselor/interviewer and learn a lot. In my mind, though, testing provides confirmation of what you are learning about the counselee PLUS uncovers subtle data that you might not get quickly or at all (especially through the more objective forms of testing).
It seems people think about testing in one of two ways: either they think testing uncovers secrets that couldn’t be gotten without a test or they dismiss it as pure theory. It is neither. Good testing provides a response profile that one can look at and compare to either the general population or a specific population. That, in itself, isn’t all that helpful but when combined with a specific assessment question, the examiner can interpret the data and build good hypotheses to direct future counseling and intervention.
I love to do psych testing. I find that interacting with test results and counselees provides dialog points that wouldn’t have been as easily discovered or talked about without the data in front of us. For example, if someone takes a personality test and one of the scales suggests that they are approaching the test in a manner consistent with those who are trying to look better than they really are, that provides an opportunity to discuss an pattern in their life that we might not have had the chance to do so easily.