The Biopsychosocial History encourages the use of sociocultural, biological, and psychological assessments in the treating of and interacting with a patient. It is generally done in the form of an interview at the very first interaction between a patient and his or her therapist. Hastings (2015) notes that the test is done at the initial stages of therapy to allow the therapist to get a full picture of what the patient is going through, and pinpoint some of the factors that might be contributing to the patient’s mental health problems. It can be argued that the biopsychosocial history test is very holistic. This is because it does not limit the depth of personal knowledge that the client can provide. The test analyzes the client at all possible levels of self. One can argue that the basis of the test is grounded in the fact that mental health can be influenced by several factors that cut across various platforms and circumstances.
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Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test II
In the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, the therapist uses nine index cards highlighting various geometric designs to the patient. It is important to note that patients that take this test are normally over three years old. Once the cards are shown, the patient is asked to draw a representation of the same card from memory. The test normally checks neurological impairments, visual-motor interactions, and developmental disorders in the client. Each drawing the patient makes is scored based on its accuracy compared to the original image. The test has been very critical in the treatment of children and was initially only used in child psychiatry. Adaptations were also made to suit older patients. Critics have analyzed the accuracy of the scoring model since there is no rigid and absolute grading model. This means that different therapists can have different grades for the same patient, thus, offer various treatment options depending on the discrepancies between the given scores.
Danger to Self and Other Assessments
The Danger to Self and Others tool is a risk assessment that (as the name suggests) analyzes whether a person can harm him/herself, others, or both. Southern and Hilton (2013) explain that the test is commonly used in traumatized patients who are severely depressed. The tests usually check whether the patient has any problem functioning on his/her own and whether help is required and can be accessed. The patient is also tested on his or her attitude towards the treatment process to ensure efficiency. The SLAP model is part of the Danger to Self and Others assessment. It is mainly reserved to help family members and friends of people who are suicidal. SLAP is an acronym for Specific plan, Lethality, Availability, and Proximity. The acronym DIRT, which stands for Dangerousness, Impression, Rescue, and Timing is also added to the term if the person involved has been suicidal before. It is crucial to mention that depression often manifests in various ways. Thus, therapists using this approach have to be open-minded as the family members and friends might have seen different levels of depression.
Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Unlike the tools summarized so far, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator analyzes a patient’s condition from the client’s point of view. The test is introspective. This means that the patient conducts a self-report on his or her behavior. The report is meant to reflect how the patient views the environment/world around him or her, and how he or she uses these views to form his or her identity and role. Myers (2016) notes that the test usually relies on four elements of the human construct. The four parts are thinking, intuition, feeling, and sensation. The test is often used in patients who show a normal and healthy mental state but who have also experienced challenging issues that have made them question their existence. The test has in recent decades also been used in businesses, specifically in Human resources. Some scholars have, however, criticized the use of the tool in business due to its lack of validity.
Strong Interest Inventory
Strong Interest Inventory is a tool used in career counseling. The tool is often used to determine whether a person suits a particular career. It can be done by both the individual, and the company that seeks to fill a position. Pirutinsky (2013) notes that the tool can be efficiently used to help students determine the courses they would like to take in school that would eventually shape their careers. The initial version of the tool was used to allocate suitable jobs to soldiers who had left the military. It has been revised and adjusted over the years to suit the general population. The test has six areas that a person has to fill. The six areas are occupations, subject areas, characteristics, leisure, activities, and people. Indeed, the test measures the interests of a person and cannot be used to determine other psychological elements such as personality.
Self-Directed Search (SDS)
Just like the Strong Interest Inventory, Self-Directed Search is also used in career counseling. As the name suggests, the test is typically done by the individual. It links the person’s talents, aspirations, and usually activities to a suitable career choice. Similarly, the test can also be used as an educational guideline. It can help students take the right classes and courses based on their suitable career paths. The Self-Directed Search is founded on the RIASEC theory. RIASEC, an acronym, stands for Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. RIASEC highlights six possible focus areas that both people and environments can be classified in during a psychological test. The test is very brief and can take a maximum of 20 minutes. It requires complete honesty from the person involved. A report is then generated after the test is done.
Kinetic House Tree Person (K-H-T-P)
As a projective test, the Kinetic House Tree Person tool uses stimuli to reveal internal conflicts a person is experiencing. It is important to note that at times, patients might not be aware of the internal personality wars they are fighting. The test brings these emotions out and helps the counselor design an efficient method of treatment. Handler and Thomas (2013) observe that the test is usually employed when the patient seems to not be aware of any underlying problem that has led to, for example, deviance. The Kinetic House Tree Person tool can also be used as a diagnostic test in clinical psychology. Towards this end, the test can be used to determine any level or extent of brain damage. Psychologists would be told to draw something, although the instructions might be slighted distorted. The test assumes that the drawing that will be made is a direct representation of the person’s inner world. After drawing, the patient will be asked to describe what he or she has drawn. This exercise determines how the person views his or her inner world.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
The Thematic Apperception Test, just like the Kinetic House Tree Person test, is a projective tool. The test is conducted by encouraging patients to come up with anecdotes based on presented images and pictures. The narratives created are then used to determine the personality of the patient. Through the test, one can assume that the different characters created in the narration represent how he or she views the outside world. For instance, if a lady character in the narrative is deemed unworthy and irrelevant, then it can be assumed that the patient has problems with the female gender. Ideally, the test is an excellent way for the psychiatrist to narrow down the mental challenges or issues the patient is experiencing. The responses the patient gives also highlight how the patient views himself/herself. It is very common to find that one of the characters faces a similar challenge as the patient, or harbors the client’s characteristics. The test has been used widely across different platforms.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 determines the psychopathology of a patient. The tool has 567 questions that have to be answered in a true or false statement. These questions are divided into ten categories of abnormal behavior. It is critical to mention that the test is often used in people who are highly suspected to have mental health conditions. Unlike some of the tests summarized, this test can only be administered and interpreted in the therapist’s office. There are currently no legal online versions of the test. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 has been proven very reliable in clinical psychology as it has a validity test within itself.
World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2)
The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 focuses on six elements. The factors are cognition, self-care, participation, getting along, mobility, and life activities. In regards to cognition, the tool assesses whether the patient can communicate and understand others well. Self-care revolves around whether the client can perform the seven main activities of living as described in nursing. Participation inquires on the person’s ability and willingness to engage in communal exercises while getting along determines the ability of the patient to interact with other people well. The mobility element analyzes the person’s ability to freely move around while life activities inquire and test the client’s grip on his or her responsibilities at home, in the workplace, at school, and in the general society.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS-IV)
Unlike all the other summarized tests, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test is a cognitive tool. According to Dorfman and Hersen (2013), it is the most commonly used IQ test in psychology. The test has several versions including the WAIS R, WAIS-III, and WAIS-IV. This summary focuses on the latter, the WAIS-IV. The latter uses four distinct intelligent indexes to analyze a patient. The indexes are the Working Memory Index (WMI), Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI), Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI), and the Processing Speed Index (PSI). The scores observed in the four indexes can also be divided into two intellectual abilities. The two elements are the General Ability Index (GAI) and Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ).
Dorfman, I. W. & Hersen, M. (Eds.). (2013). Understanding psychological assessment. New York, NY: Springer.
Handler, L. & Thomas, D. A. (Eds.). (2013). Drawings in assessment and psychotherapy: Research and application. New York, NY: Routledge.
Hastings, P. (2015). Introduction to the special section: Biopsychosocial processes in the etiology and development of internalizing problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(5), 803-805.
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Myers, S. (2016). Myers-Briggs typology and Jungian individuation. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 61(3), 289-308
Pirutinsky, S. (2013). Career assessment of ultraorthodox Jewish men: Reliability, validity, and results of the strong interest inventory. Journal of Career Assessment, 21(2), 326-336.
Southern, S. & Hilton, L. K. (Ed.). (2013). Annual review of addictions and offender counseling: Best practices. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.