May 5 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (EDT)


Rachel Cavallaro, PsyD | University of Hartford and University of Colorado: Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation (CeDAR)
Harlan Austin, PhD | University of North Texas and University of Colorado: Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation (CeDAR)

Workshop Information:

Psychological assessment evolved out of the symptom-focused medical model of identifying deficits in individuals in an effort to improve treatment outcomes. Symptom presentation is only one aspect of individual functioning and focuses on deficits rather than capitalizing on strengths which can delay treatment outcomes as highlighted through the lens of positive psychology. Through the use of traditional measures of assessment such as the Rorschach, MMPI-2, PAI, WAIS-IV and non-traditional measures such as the DISC and VIA character strengths survey, treatment recommendations can be made to increase overall wellbeing rather than improving deficits. This approach works to enhance posttraumatic growth and recovery for those suffering from trauma, addiction, and other mental health disorders. Case examples will also be presented.

Goals and Objectives:

1. List various scales and results on traditional measures (Rorschach, PAI, MMPI-2, WAIS-IV) that highlight individual strengths and resilient traits.

2. Plan how to interpret nontraditional measures such as the DISC and VIA character strengths survey in an integrated battery.

3. Describe psychological assessment results in a strength-based resiliency focused manner.

Skill Level:

This workshop will be taught at an intermediate level and previous knowledge related to personality assessment will be assumed.

Dr. CavallaroDr. Rachel Cavallaro 

Dr. Cavallaro received her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford in 2018. She completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship in Addiction Medicine at CeDAR before accepting a full-time position as a psychologist here. Her roles and responsibilities include conducting psychological assessments for both the inpatient and outpatient clinics, facilitating various therapeutic groups, providing psycho-educational lectures to patients and staff, as well as offering clinical supervision. Prior to her work at CeDAR, she was employed in various inpatient and outpatient programs specializing in severe mental illness, addiction, psychological and neuropsychological assessment. Dr. Cavallaro served in the Army National Guard for 10 years as a military police officer, including a combat tour to Afghanistan. Aside from treating addiction, her interests relate to treating military personnel, complex trauma, and resiliency. She has been trained by the Beck Institute in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy for PTSD. Although Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is her primary treatment of choice, Dr. Cavallaro regularly integrates techniques from positive psychology, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness to enhance her work with individuals.

Dr. Cavallaro has experience in assessing a wide range of mental health problems by objective, projective, and cognitive assessments as well as by clinical interviews. Her training and experience in psychological assessment has incorporated both neuropsychological and clinical psychology batteries. Since 2014, Dr. Cavallaro has administered, scored, and interpreted these reports to provide diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations to various clinical teams to better understand an individual’s present cognitive and psychosocial functioning. While at CeDAR she has focused primarily on identifying the current functioning for various professionals including doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals and lawyers to determine their ability to safely practice.

Headshot of Dr. AustinDr. Harlan Austin

Dr. Harlan Austin received his BA in psychology from The Ohio State University, his MA in counseling from New Mexico State University, and his PhD in counseling psychology (specialization in sport psychology) at the University of North Texas. He has national certifications in sport psychology as well as addiction counseling. Dr. Austin has lectured and presented at national conventions on the topics of sport and performance psychology, clinical sport psychology, and athlete rehabilitation.

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