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Psychological Testing: Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders

15 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $129.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

This course was produced in collaboration between Taylor & Francis, PLC and the Zur Institute, Inc.. The Zur Institute, Inc. maintains responsibility for this continuing education program and its content.

Course fulfills the Psychological Testing requirement for CA LMFT applicants with out-of-state education.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

Psychological and neuropsychological testing is increasingly important for therapists. It is incumbent upon psychotherapists to not only know their clients' test results but be able to understand their importance and limitations and to interpret and read them critically. Test results aid in understanding clients, and in establishing and assessing goals. A proper understanding of testing can enhance psychotherapists' perspective on clients.

This intermediate level course fulfills the psychological testing licensing requirements for LMFT applicants with out-of-state education.The first section of the course presents an overview of testing and considers understanding how testing relates to different cultures and ethnicities and views testing in relation to the complexities of various disorders and individual clients. The second and third sections cover testing for specific disorders and conditions: suicidal risk, geriatric depression and dementia, criminal offenders, anti-racist attitudes and behaviors, and substance users' habits, self-assessments, and the effects of their substance use upon their performance and cognitions. It includes an examination of the rapidly growing use of computers and smart phone apps for testing and monitoring. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Explain the concepts of validity and reliability

2.    State the effects of the testing environment upon psychological testing

3.    Review the effects of multiculturalism and different ethnicities upon testing

4.    Explore the relationship between testing and the complexity of disorders and personalities

5.    Review testing for anti-racism attitudes and behaviors

6.    Explore assessing for suicidal risk

7.    Discuss testing for mental disorders among criminal offenders

8.    Discuss the White Coat testing effect among geriatric populations

9.    Review the differences between dementia and mood disorders

10.    Discuss assessing depression in geriatric populations

11.    Discuss the problems and advantages of computers and smart phone apps in testing and assessing

12.    Review the use of urine test strips in opiate maintenance therapy

13.    Discuss the issues of self-assessment among substance users

14.    Discuss the relationship between formal testing and psychotherapists' clinical judgments

15.    Discuss the balance between test results and formal diagnosis


Guzel, A. (2017). The paradoxes of statistics: Uncovering the logic of internalism in medical frameworks, Psychodynamic Practice, 23(4).

Keesler, M. E., McClung, K., Meredith-Duliba, T., Williams, K., & Swirsky-Sacchetti, T. (2017). Red flags in the clinical interview may forecast invalid neuropsychological testing. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 31 (3), 619-631.

Stavrou, E. (2015). How do you solve a problem like Agbon?: Cross cultural considerations in assessment and diagnosis. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 14 (4), 434-439.

Course Syllabus

Issues about objectively testing

  • Measuring reliability and validity
  • Identifying malingering or testee's manipulation attempts
  • Multicultural or multiethnic validity
  • Considering the complexities of disorders and of individuals

Testing among various populations and disorders

  • Anti-racism attitudes and behaviors
  • Suicidal risk
  • Screening for mental disorders among offenders
  • Geriatric populations

Testing in geriatric populations

  • confounding effects of the medical environment upon testing
  • dementia masquerading as mood disorders
  • accurately assessing depression

Testing with substance users

  • using computer and smart phone apps for assessing
  • using urine test strips in opiate maintenance therapy
  • using self-interviews to assess alcohol, tobacco and other substance use
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