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Russ, S.W. (2016). Psychological Testing That Matters: Creating a Road Map for Effective Treatment, by Anthony D. Bram and Mary Jo Peebles. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2014, 468 pp. (ISBN 9781-4338-1674-1, US $79.95). Psychoanal. Psychol., 33(3):530-534.
  

(2016). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 33(3):530-534

Psychological Testing That Matters: Creating a Road Map for Effective Treatment, by Anthony D. Bram and Mary Jo Peebles. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2014, 468 pp. (ISBN 9781-4338-1674-1, US $79.95)

Review by:
Sandra W. Russ, Ph.D.

A Model for Psychological Assessment

Psychological Testing That Matters is an outstanding text for many reasons. The approach to psychological testing that Bram and Peebles take provides an excellent model for integrating test findings with a focus on treatment planning. The authors are experts in psychological assessment and are seasoned clinicians. They tackle the hard question of how to weigh the evidence and decide which conclusions can be said with confidence and which are speculative. Principles of inference-making are presented. This is a clinically sophisticated presentation that uses language that is understandable for beginning students. The focus of the book is to “explicate methods of inference-making and synthesis that answer referral questions, create an experience of the person of the patient, and affect treatment meaningfully” (p. 8).

The organization of the book is unique and makes sense conceptually. The framework is that of a psychodynamic perspective that is focused on internal processes and personality characteristics that underlie symptoms. Using a psychodynamic approach in psychological testing teaches about personality development and processes such as affect regulation, self-other differentiation, and conflicts that influence thinking and perceiving. The benefit of this approach to clinical psychology graduate students is that they learn about the subtleties of psychological processes as well as personality assessment. As the authors point out, an understanding of the person from a psychodynamic framework does not imply psychodynamic treatment.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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