Abstract and Keywords
The Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment (C/TA) paradigm represents a significant shift from the traditional aims and techniques of psychological assessment. C/TA deliberately employs a variety of evidence-based techniques intended to maximize the potential that the process of assessment will result in meaningful therapeutic benefits for clients. The empirical support for the effectiveness of the C/TA approach is promising and demonstrates direct intervention effects on such indicators as self-esteem and symptomatology, as well as improvements in constructs and processes salient to continued psychological care, including the therapeutic alliance, treatment readiness, and distress. C/TA has also been shown to increase participation and retention in subsequent indicated mental health services for populations that traditionally are difficult to engage. This chapter describes the history and evidence-based theory behind C/TA approaches; describes the steps and procedures of the semi-stuctured Therapeutic Assessment model, and presents a thorough discussion of the application of a variety of therapeutic techniques (e.g., circular questioning, scaffolding, psychoeducation, shame modulation, mentalizing) in the context of the C/TA paradigm that increase the likelihood that assessment will result in clinically relevant outcomes. These techniques are applied in a variety of therapy models in psychology but have only recently been explicitly used in the context of psychological assessment for adults, couples, and families with children or adolescents.
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