Uh, by that I mean whether or not you have a favorite psych test. We’ll save tests for pets for another day.
There are many out there who love the Myers Briggs (MBTI). Others love the DISC. When people have a pet test it is usually because the test provides a quick and dirty profile in order to understand and categorize a person’s behavior. Actually, and sadly, we often like certain tests because they allow us to pigeon hole others (as in, “your such a J”).
But, I do have favorite tests. I love to review the couple version of the 16PF with both long-time marrieds and those seeking pre-marital counseling. When I was doing parent competency assessments, there were a number of lesser known tests that illustrated a parent’s capacity to be flexible (and so hopefully less rigid and abusive). When it comes to personality assessment, the MMPI-2 and the Rorshach (Exner scoring) are my favorites.
But lately, most of my assessments have been with pastors. I’ve found a number of great little tools to illustrate compassion fatigue and other at-risk problems. These assessments lack the depth and rigor of a personality test but work great as conversation starters and self-evaluation tools. With these I don’t have to explain what they mean.
How about you? Got a favorite test you’ve taken? Given? Why is it your favorite?
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.