Journeys through the valley of death: multimethod psychological assessment and personality transformation in long-term psychotherapy.
Center for Therapeutic Assessment, Austin, Texas, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM Task Force, 2006) is based on the assumption that an in-depth understanding of clients' underlying emotional, personality, and interpersonal patterns will facilitate their treatment. In this article I show how such an understanding can be achieved through multimethod psychological assessment, and how useful such information can be in long-term psychotherapy with high-achieving, successful clients who struggle with forming and maintaining intimate relationships. Such treatments are extremely difficult, because when these clients attach to their psychotherapists, many of them temporarily become more symptomatic. I illustrate these points with a detailed account of my long-term therapy with a resilient but highly traumatized young man. Repeated use of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Disorder-2 (MMPI-2; Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) and Rorschach with my client helped guide us in our work, and also helped create an important therapeutic "opening" into the underlying traumatic material. This and other experiences have convinced me that it is extremely useful for psychologists to have training in both assessment and psychotherapy.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]