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The paper offers a brief overview of some of the elements that are considered important to the pre-mental health counseling assessment to a young child aged ten years whose parents have divorced. The field that the paper presents has a paucity of empirical data, though, the paper is neither to be used as a standardization statement nor the best guideline. The paper’s goal is to analyze the necessary content of this psychological test, its role and the qualification of the client who undergoes the therapy.
The Objectives of the Assessment Therapy
The counselor who assesses the client for perception of Relationship Test has to ascertain the closeness of the child with either of the parents. The positive and the negative effects of this relationship are then analyzed and recorded (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). A prediction cannot be given before any kind of analysis is done on the parent whom the child feels so much emotionally attracted to. The analysis also helps to understand the parent whose image is negatively placed in the memory of the child.
The Perception of Relationships Test has been formulated to assist the parties who would like to be relevant in their child custody’s decision making (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Generally, there are seven duties involved in the test oriented towards establishing the closeness of the child in question to the parents. The strengths and weaknesses derived from such a relationship are also established and recorded (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
In particular to the custody issue, the Test helps the decision makers to assign the child to the rightful custodian. The parent with whom the child shows minimal interaction is given the opportunity to interrelate with the child so as to establish a customary relationship.
Clinical assessment cannot give an objective overview of a mental problem without testing the psychological part of it (Neukrug, 2012). There are a number of instruments used in the assessment of the Perception of Relationship Test clients. In selecting the better instruments, various factors must be considered. The rationale behind the inclusion of a psychological assessment to the clinical assessment is to ensure that the test data provides the accurate impression and challenges any distorted form of opinion that might have been formed by the clinical assessment. The choice of the psychological test to be applied is determined by referral question, the training skills of the psychologist, the rate, at which the psychologist interprets the test, and the familiarity with the skills behind the test skills (Neukrug, 2012).
Test Selection Criteria
During the process of choosing which instrument is to be applied to the psychological test, the following procedures must be ensured:
- Whether the measure is appropriate for the candidate;
- The instrument applied should be psychometrically sound in measure. The reliability of the scores to be realized is very important. The instruments that produce the correlation figures of 70 are usually considered adequate as the ones with 80 and above considered much better. The validity of the test should also be confirmed. This means that the correlations that exist between the given criterion measure and the test score should be of the higher values so as to reach the statistical importance;
- The instrument to be chosen should have reliable group of indicators or scales that can asses the response of the client;
- Are relevant issues addressed by the test and does the test address the relevant aspects;
- The last issue is the practicality of the test to be considered.
The first psychological test instrument to be applied should be the Relationship Structures (ECR-RS) kind of Questionnaire. This kind of instrument helps assess the attachment patterns in various relationships that are very close (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In the parental domain of the assessment, the reliability was about 80% for the child-mother relationship and 40 % for the child-father relationship. This meant that the child needed to be with the father for some time to allow further bonding.
The second instrument to be applied is the attachment therapy that is also called as the holding therapy (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The therapy involves various kinds of therapeutically designed processes that are not validated though aimed at restraining the child. Such a refrain is said to help the child be relieved from his or her mental instability. The therapy majorly places its attention at the child’s past life and experience and not at the current state of affairs. The assessment helps the client to find a meaning in his or her present situations of life.
The third instrument to be applied will be the Beery-Buktechnica Developmental Test‘s Visual Motor Integration that usually uses the drawing aspect with a pen and paper (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The test through screen needs the counselor’s assessment of the child’s rationality overviewed. The test aims at identifying the children who highly need special concern when they are undergoing a crisis.
American Psychiatric Association, (2000). Diagnosis and statistical Manual of mental orders IV-TR.
Neukrug, E., (2012). The world of the counselor (4th ed.). Belmont: Brooks/Cole.