March 9 | 8:00am - 5:00pm


F. Barton Evans, PhD | East Tennessee State University College of Medicine

Ali Khadivi, PhD | Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Workshop Information: 

Psychological trauma [PT] is ubiquitous and highly topical in modern clinical and forensic personality assessment. PT becomes deeply entrenched in the personality of the victim, yet systematic psychological assessment of PT is frequently not well understood. This workshop will acquaint the participant with core elements of the assessment of PT. First, we will provide a conceptual overview and include an in-depth review of DSM 5 criteria for PTSD along with problems of overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis of this disorder in clinical and forensic settings. Diagnostic issues including presentations of PT other than PTSD, such as complex posttraumatic disorder, dissociative disorder, and psychotic disorder will also be reviewed.

We will discuss how PT presents on careful diagnostic interview and the assessment instruments used in forensic evaluation, including major instruments such as the MMPI, PAI, and Rorschach, all with a strong research base. We will survey trauma-specific scales from these instruments as well as trauma-specific tests such as the CAPS-DX and TSI-2. We will discuss the assessment of feigning and defensiveness. We will also look at how to integrate these sources into a comprehensive clinical and forensic psychological assessment report.

Last, we will provide case studies illustrating the forensic assessment of PT in three groups- combat related PTSD and PT and individuals in immigration and criminal courts

Goals and Objectives:

  1. 1. Participants will understand that phenomenology and diagnosis PTSD and related diagnoses.
  2. 2. Participants will learn how to conduct evidence-based diagnostic interviews of PT.
  3. 3. Participants will learn to select from a variety personality assessment instruments to evaluate the effects of trauma including trauma-specific scales and trauma-specific instruments with sufficient empirical basis to be accepted in Court.
  4. 4. Participants will know how to use assessment of PT in clinical and forensic settings for developing competent reports.
  5. 5. Participants will learn how to defend their opinions and their test instruments in court, including how to assess for malingering of trauma effects, given the unique literature on trauma and malingering.
  6. 6. Participants will learn to use particular PTSD assessment strategies with combat veterans and individuals in criminal matters.

Skill Level: This workshop is best suited for beginning to intermediate psychologists or experienced psychologists interested in adding assessment of psychological trauma to their expertise.

Available Bios

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