Therapeutic Assessment with Children
Enhancing Parental Empathy Through Psychological Assessment
Therapeutic Assessment with Children presents a ground-breaking paradigm of psychological assessment in which children and families collaborate with the psychologist assessor to understand persistent problems and find new ways of repairing their relationships and moving forward with their lives.
This paradigm is systemic, client-centered, and culturally sensitive and is applicable to families from many different backgrounds who often feel misunderstood and disempowered by traditional assessment methods. In this book, the reader will find a step-by-step description of Therapeutic Assessment with Children (TA-C), with ample teaching examples to make each step come alive. Each chapter includes detailed transcripts of assessment sessions with Henry, a ten-year-old boy, and his parents as they progress through a Therapeutic Assessment and find new ways of appreciating each other and being together. The combination of didactic and clinical material will give even new clinicians a groundwork from which to begin to practice TA-C. The volume demonstrates how the core values of TA-C—collaboration, respect, humility, compassion, openness, and curiosity—can be embedded in psychological assessment with children and families.
Therapeutic Assessment with Children will be invaluable for graduate assessment courses in clinical, counseling, and school psychology and for seasoned professionals wanting to learn the TA-C model.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Therapeutic Assessment With Children 2. Basic Steps, Development, Theory, and Research 3. Phase I – Initial Sessions: Phone Contact, Parent Session, and Parent-Child Session 4. Phase II: Data Gathering/Testing 5. Phase III: Case Conceptualization 6. Phase III: Family Intervention Session 7. Phase IV: Summary/Discussion Session With Parents 8. Phase IV: Summary/Discussion Session With Child 9. Phase IV: Written Communications: Reports and Parent Letters 10. Phase V: Follow-up Session 11. Adapting the TA-C Model to Various Settings 12. Learning and Practicing Therapeutic Assessment With Children 13. Closing Thoughts
Deborah J. Tharinger is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas, a Licensed Psychologist in Austin, TX, and a Founding Member of the Therapeutic Assessment Institute (TAI).
Dale I. Rudin is a Licensed Psychologist in Austin, Texas, and a Founding Member of the TAI. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of TAI.
Marita Frackowiak is a Licensed Psychologist in Austin, Texas, and a Founding Member of the TAI. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of TAI.
Stephen E. Finn is a Licensed Psychologist in Austin, Texas, and Founder and President of the TAI. He is also Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Texas.
"No small feat, this book is not only greatly informative about psychological assessment, it is extremely engaging (from the very first words!). The authors are methodical about presenting a process that can often seem ‘intuitive,’ helping the reader understand, step-by-step, the process of applying Therapeutic Assessment to children. They present a process that is at the same time extremely creative (requiring a great deal of critical thinking) and does not undermine the science behind the assessment process and the psychometric tests utilized within it. Perhaps the greatest benefit of this book is the myriad case examples used to illustrate, clearly and engagingly, the different aspects of TA-C."
A. Jordan Wright, Ph.D., ABAP, Clinical Associate Professor, New York University. Author of Conducting Psychological Assessment: A Guide for Practitioners
"Capturing and engaging like no other assessment book out there, Therapeutic Assessment with Children highlights the importance and practicality of Therapeutic Assessment with children and families making it more accessible than ever before to practitioners. Expertly and thoughtfully organized, each chapter provides remarkable insight on the utility of TA and the power of empathy at every step of the assessment process. Along with nonstop invaluable clinical knowledge, this book is written with a unique sense of heart and serves as a reminder of the essential and necessary human aspect of psychological assessment."
Hadas Pade, Psy.D., Associate Professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, San Francisco; President-Elect, Section IX (Assessment) Division 12, APA; President, The Collaborative Assessment Association of The Bay Area (CAABA); Section Editor, The Journal for Personality Assessment, Clinical Case Applications and Case Studies
"Therapeutic Assessment with Children is a trailblazing model of psychological assessment putting children in the foreground, combining traditional psychological tests with wise therapeutic intervention. The authors offer our field much needed relational and culturally sensitive contexts that revitalize psychological assessment for practitioners and doctoral students. These gifted psychologists generously share each step of how they invite parents to be compassionate observers and experts in their children’s lives. Thinking back over many years of embedding this model into our community clinic assessments with families, I can’t imagine working without it."
Barbara L. Mercer, Ph.D. Former Director of Assessment, WestCoast Children’s Clinic, Oakland, California; Co-editor of Assessing Children in the Urban Community
"Written by four of the world’s leading assessment psychologists, Therapeutic Assessment with Children: Enhancing Parental Empathy Through Psychological Assessment provides a roadmap for implementing the innovative Therapeutic Assessment (TA) model in clinical work with children and their families. Blending clinical wisdom with rigorous empirical evidence, this compelling book illuminates the human side of psychological assessment, reminding us that the purpose of assessment is to understand people, not test scores. For those already familiar with TA, Therapeutic Assessment with Children will provide profound insight into the psychological functioning of children within the family system. For those not yet familiar with TA, this book will change the way you think about and conduct psychological assessment. Of interest to early career psychologists and seasoned professionals alike, this important book should be on every clinician’s shelf."
Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D., University Professor, Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University, New York
"This volume exquisitely details Therapeutic Assessment with Children (TA-C), a developmentally, culturally, and contextually sensitive relationship-based approach to psychological assessment of children and families consistent with attachment theory. Loaded with clinical examples, the volume elegantly articulates the background and guidelines for multi-method assessment that fosters 'heart-to-heart communication' with children and their parents and will aid in their attachment. Lucid and insightful, I recommend this book highly for practitioners seeking a sophisticated, conceptually- and empirically-grounded handbook on planning and conducting child assessment."
Carol George, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Distinguished Research Fellow, and Infant Mental Health Program Director, Mills College, California