Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Michael Nash

Committee Members

Leonard Handler, Mary Papke, John Lounsbury

Abstract

Therapeutic Assessment (TA) is a collaborative model of psychological assessment developed by Finn and colleagues (Finn & Tonsager 1992, 1997; Finn 2007) that is guided by the client’s questions and concerns. Although promising evidence is accumulating for the effectiveness of TA, the available empirical research does not rise to the bar set by the American Psychological Association Division 12 Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedure (APA, Chambless & Ollendick, 2001). The current investigation uses case-based time-series design, a method endorsed by the Division 12 task force (Borchardt, Nash, Murphy, Moore, Shaw & O’Neil, 2008), to evaluate whether Therapeutic Assessment is an effective, stand-alone treatment for depression. Daily, periodic, and pre/post measurement of hopefulness/wellbeing and symptom status were collected from three adult clients with depression; the data collection spanned three phases: 2-week baseline, 5-8 week intervention, and 4-week follow-up. Descriptive case material is presented for each individual, alongside quantitative findings. The quantitative data is as follows: one participant showed a statistically significant improvement in the daily hopefulness/wellbeing measure. Two of the three participants showed a statistically significant reduction in the daily measure of symptom status. All three of the participants showed a meaningful improvement in the periodic measures of wellbeing and depression. Only one participant showed an improvement in one of three pre/post measures of symptom status. The findings support the therapeutic values of TA as psychological treatment for depression. The results underscore the importance of the Assessment Intervention and Summary/Discussion sessions in the observed therapeutic gains.

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