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Interpreting assessment results and writing reports in psychology

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There are countless psychometric tests and other non-standardized assessment tools and techniques available to assist counsellors with needs analysis and intervention planning. A key role for counsellors is to integrate assessment results and communicate those results effectively.

The required journal article, Teacher Ratings of Three Psychological Report Styles, examines components of assessment report writing (e.g., organization of results, use of technical jargon, readability).

In the required reading (Assessment in counseling), Some Thoughts on Psychological Report Writing, Nail (1996) examines three different psychological report models. The supplementary resources (Assessment Summary Report Template, Integrating Themes Example Paper, and two additional sample reports).

Discuss any challenges you anticipate (or are already experiencing) in interpreting assessment results and writing reports. What tips and techniques will you use from the readings (Assessment in counseling) in this topic?

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The main challenge I have experienced in interpreting assessment results and writing reports is that computer-based assessments are, in some cases, replacing the counselor despite the significant role counselors have! Based on my experience completing various tests, finding specific readings, completing test-related coursework, and applying these tests (I am a therapist), I have found that the counselor's role is quite significant for a few reasons: jargon, reliability/validity, application.

First, jargon and statistics throughout the tests and scoring instruments can be difficult for clients to understand and interpret correctly. Counselors can decipher important information for clients and help put things into terms which are easier to understand. Sometimes, showing clients a bell curve (especially when discussing IQ scores) can be helpful.

Second, reliability and validity issues may change the way clients view results and the way I write reports. Not all tests are reliable or valid, and clients have a right to know what their test results ACTUALLY mean; permanent records should not include ...

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