Corresponding Author Information: Diane H. Engelman

Session Abstract: SPA's 2021 convention theme is Advancing Standards in Personality Assessment. Advancements evolve from ideas and experiences, both old and new. In the 1950s, psychiatrist Karl Menninger rallied colleagues to the "indispensable flame" of Hope in dealing with patients. In 2018, Rorschachiana (Vol 39, Issue 1) published an article that discussed an unfolding Rorschach Hope Index as a method of assessing a client's attachment, survival, and mastery. And in 2020, we have all been challenged to help clients find Hope in the face of a pandemic that upended lives, livelihoods, and relationships. This symposium explores the critical importance of Hope in both its theory and practice, and most especially in Collaborative Therapeutic Assessments (CTA) and their outcomes. One presentation considers a 17-yr-old triplet, wedged between one sibling more competent than she and one less so; the assessment process and findings and a therapeutic story of Hope suggest some ways for her to claim her own personhood, as separate from siblings and parents. Another presentation highlights attachment disruptions in families, as they arise in the testing; it explores how the data can be used to illustrate strengths and the potential for Hope and connection between children and their parents. A third presentation seeks Hope in the CTA of a married, adult male; an aerospace engineer and 'love addict,' he spent more than $800,000 over three years, giving gifts and money to a stripper whom he believed was his girlfriend. Finally, our discussant applies his unique perspective to integrate these presentations and their focus on Hope.

Chair Information: Diane H. Engelman | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine, Kentfield, CA

Discussant Information: Stephen E. Finn, PhD | Therapeutic Assessment Institute and Private Practice, Austin, TX

Presentation 1 Title: "Act the Way You Want to Be": Leveraging Hope to Build a New Life


Diane H. Engelman | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine, Kentfield, CA

Janet Allyn | Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine, Kentfield, CA

Presentation 2 Title: Hopes for a Secure Base: Using Assessment to Bring Families Closer


Jessica Lipkind, PhD | West Coast Children's Clinic & Private Practice, Oakland, CA

Presentation 3 Title: The Suffering Swimmer: CTA as Lifebuoy, Psychologist as Swim Coach


Tracy R. Zemansky, PhD | Courage to Change, Inc.; Pacific Assistance Group, Inc.; & Private Practice, Santa Monica, CA

Dr. EngelmanDr. Diane H. Engelman

I have worked in the field of mental health treatment, assessment, and consultation for more than thirty years. My belief in empowering people to better understand and advocate for themselves led me to specialize in neuropsychological and personality assessment and then to adopt the collaborative assessment method I now use. This approach considers the client a full partner in the assessment process.

I have an extensive background providing psychotherapy and assessment for adults, children, adolescents, couples, and families. My other areas of focus comprise the psychological aspects of medical illness, including bereavement. My counseling experience encompasses working with individuals and families who are faced with acute, chronic, or terminal illness, are dealing with loss and grief due to death, divorce, or life change, or have general parenting concerns. I co-founded Valley of the Moon Hospice in Sonoma, California, and consulted to that organization for over twenty years.

Prior to completing my doctorate in psychology, I received a Master’s degree in Community Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing and continue to hold an active license as a registered nurse. Following doctoral studies, I also completed a two-year intensive postdoctoral training program in clinical neuropsychology.

I am co-director of the Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine in Marin County, California, and I speak and teach for professional and lay organizations. I am certified through the Therapeutic Assessment Institute to carry out Therapeutic Assessments with adults and am a member of that Institute. I am a Fellow and former Board Member of SPA and was awarded Proficiency status in personality assessment by this organization. My other memberships in professional organizations include the National Academy of Neuropsychologists; International Rorschach Society, to which I was a voting delegate at three congresses; California Psychological Association; Northern California Neuropsychology Forum; and Marin Psychological Association. Website:

Dr. FinnDr. Stephen E. Finn

Stephen E. Finn, Ph.D., founder of the Center for Therapeutic Assessment, is a licensed clinical psychologist in practice in Austin, Texas, USA, a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, Senior Researcher and Director of Training at the European Center for Therapeutic Assessment at Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Director of Training at the Asian-Pacific Center for Therapeutic Assessment in Tokyo, Japan. He has published 90+ articles and chapters on psychological assessment, psychotherapy, and other topics in clinical psychology, and is the author of In Our Clients’ Shoes: Theory and Techniques of Therapeutic Assessment (Erlbaum, 2007) and A Manual for Using the MMPI-2 as a Therapeutic Intervention (1996, University of Minnesota Press). Dr. Finn also co-edited, with Constance Fischer and Leonard Handler, Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment: A Casebook and Guide (Wiley, 2012). In 2011 Dr. Finn was awarded the Bruno Klopfer Award from SPA for distinguished lifetime contributions to the field of personality assessment. In August 2017 he received the award for Distinguished Contributions to Assessment Psychology from Section IX (Assessment) of the Society for Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of APA). In 2018 he received the Carl Rogers Award for an outstanding contribution to theory and practice of humanistic psychology from the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of APA).

Janet AllynJanet Allyn

I specialize in creative and science writing and editing in the field of psychology. In January 2012, Routledge published my book on effective writing for psychological assessors, Writing to Clients and Referring Professionals About Psychological Assessment Results. I have collaborated with Dr. Diane Engelman on therapeutic stories, presentations, and other writing projects for 17 years.

I have a passion for words – well chosen, crisp, and sometimes lyrical - and I bring thirty years of diverse knowledge to my work. I’m pleased to contribute my ability to help people grasp information in a way they find relevant and useful. Written and spoken communications have provided the backbone of my experience in business management, teaching, and the theatre. I hold a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and drama from California State University, Sonoma.

I designed and managed communications and training programs for various industries and businesses, large and small, and coached individuals in effective writing and speaking skills. Working with scientists and engineers, I translated complex technical terms and data into plain English. I have written corporate training materials, articles, software manuals, and speeches for CEOs of companies as well as poetry and fiction. I was business manager for communications companies and professional theatres, including the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival. In my earliest career, I acted in the theatre. Website:

Dr. LipkindDr. Jessica Lipkind

Jessica Lipkind is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in treatment and psychological assessment of children and adolescents. She is the Associate Director of the Assessment Program at WestCoast Children's Clinic. In addition, Dr. Lipkind maintains a private practice where she conducts evaluations using the Collaborative Assessment model with children, adolescents, and families. She is a member of the R-PAS Research and Development Group. She has presented nationally and internationally on the assessment of children, trauma, and attachment.

Dr. ZemanskyDr. Tracy R. Zemansky

Dr. Tracy R. Zemansky is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, licensed MFT, and Clinical Sex Addiction Therapist - Supervisor, with a private practice in Santa Monica, California since 1994. She does clinical, forensic, occupational, and pre-employment psychological assessments, Collaborative-Therapeutic Assessment, as well as dynamic, interpersonal psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups. Her areas of particular expertise include: substance and process addictions, positive psychology, and impaired professionals, as well as trauma, abuse, grief/loss, disfigurement, and cross-cultural issues.

An acknowledged expert in working with healthcare professionals since 1998, Dr. Zemansky is a founding member and current President of Pacific Assistance Group (PAG). Since 2008, PAG has been the sole comprehensive, statewide, support and monitoring program for healthcare providers in California. Dr. Zemansky currently runs five weekly professionals’ groups in Los Angeles and oversees groups in several other areas of Southern California.

Dr. Zemansky received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara; she has Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology (Fielding), Marriage and Family Therapy (Phillips Graduate Institute in Los Angeles), and Psychology/Philosophy (Academia Europea – CRS-IDEA in Bergamo, Italy). Her undergraduate studies were at UCLA and at l’Université de Bordeaux III, in Bordeaux, France. She studied under Dr. Patrick Carnes for her Certification as a Clinical Sex Addiction Therapist – Supervisor and trained under Dr. Stephen Finn in Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment. She is currently in training as an AEDP psychotherapist.

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