"Writing Psychological Reports: A Guide for Clinicians" - Text by Greg Wolber and William Carne

Integrated report writing continues to develop as an essential dimension of training and competence. The ability to accurately convey an individual’s psychological functioning is an essential skill for today’s clinician across numerous professional settings. While much has been published on test administration and scoring, Wolber and Carne’s "Writing Psychological Reports: A Guide for Clinicians 2nd ed” explores integrated report writing in a concise, organized, and engaging format

The book consists of seven chapters, and begins with an overview of issues to be considered when endeavoring to write a psychological report. Such issues include the rationale for report writing, general guidelines for report writing, confidentiality and ethics, the emergence of test computerization, characteristics of the report writer. The first chapter concludes by presenting a suggested outline for reports, upon which the majority of the forthcoming text is based.

The text then delves into each aspect of the suggested outline’s "pre-results” sections. Information included in this section involves report heading and demographics, reason for referral, notification of purpose and limits of confidentiality, evaluation instruments and sources of information, background information, and behavioral observations. The purpose of each section, along with an explanation of appropriate word usage and section length is given.

From the same outline previously offered, the book then examines the results portion of a report, starting with intellectual and cognitive functioning. Dimensions of these constructs covered include orientation, sensation/perception, intellectual and cognitive function, academic achievement, language development, and other cognitive functions such as visuomotor functioning, abstractness-concreteness, calculating, and memory. Incorporating data suggesting localization and degree of impairment, as well as other questionable findings is then discussed.

The results domain is then further explored, incorporating the subject of personality functioning. After an introduction that addresses the difficulty and variance personality function can have from one paradigm to the next, the text supports an eclectic approach to conceptualizing an examinee’s personality. Emotional factors, intrapsychic factors such as ego defenses, conflicts, manifestations of intrapsychic issues, self-perception and identity, insight are explored. The text then explores factors related to interpersonal functioning, including statements addressing passive-active/hostile-dependent dimensions of the personality, issues of autonomy, position within the family, social functioning and dynamics, social skills and learning style, sexual feelings, and interpersonal conflicts.

The impressions/diagnoses section of the outline is then explored, demonstrating both paragraph form and the specific multi-axial system of conveying diagnoses. The summary and recommendations section of the outline is then presented, offering suggested wording and length for the section, as well as integrating such factors as immediate needs, integration of strengths, and other suggestions for recommendations. A brief conclusion is then presented, offering recommendations for ensuring the quality of a report. The book concludes with three appendices, offering questions one can review in completing each section of the outline, a suggested open format for a psychological report, and an example of a psychological evaluation.

Among the many positive qualities of this book are its organized presentation, the author’s engaging and concise writing style, and broad applicability to various psychological assessments. The author uses relevant examples and offers explanations for suggestions to demonstrate numerous points of practical significance. The book is a useful reference, and is appropriate for graduate students, professors, and psychologists practicing across a broad range of settings.




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