The idea of psychology and the mental processes began in 387 BC and has continued to progress as a field of science. What is the history of psychology and testing? What are testing, assessment and diagnosis? How are the results of testing used and for what purpose? These are just a few of the tools of the trade a counseling profession uses in creating a treatment plan for their client. This paper explores these areas and delves into the Biblical aspects of testing and counseling as a whole.
The history of psychology dates back to Greece in 387 BC when Plato first theorized a link between the human brain and mental processes. In 1774 Frank Mesmer first proposed a new mental illness cure in the form of mesmerism or as it is now known, hypnosis. And in 1878 G. Stanley Hall received the very first doctoral degree in Psychology and went on to create the American Psychological Association in 1892 (History of Psychology, 2012). The APA is a well-known organization revered in the psychological community and sets forth a set of ethics codes that psychology professionals are bound by. In 1886 one of the most renowned therapists, Sigmund Freud, started counseling therapy in Vienna (History of Psychology, 2012). James Cattell first devised the idea of “mental tests” in 1890, this crucial step in the world of psychology created the specialization in psychology known as psychological assessments (History of Psychology, 2012). Throughout time there have been philosophers and researchers that have made the crucial link between the human brain and emotion or brain function. Without researchers and philosophers like Plato, Mesmer, Hall, Freud and Cattell the field of psychology would be virtually unknown. Introduction
Professional counselors and psychologists use many tools to assist their clients in the healing process. Those tools include testing, assessment and diagnosis. It is these tools the professional uses to determine the best course of action in helping their client. Testing is a process by which the counselor or intern use established materials to form an idea of the diagnosis for the client. Psychological testing is often referred to as psychological assessment; however testing is a process using predetermined criteria in a test and assessment is a process in using multiple tests performing a battery of tests on a client. Diagnosis is the process a counseling professional uses to determine if a client meets certain criteria for a psychological disorder. All of these tools combined offer the counseling professional a view of the client that will be used in the creation of a treatment plan. Testing
There are several components used by counseling professionals in the testing. There are norm-referenced tests, interviews, observations, and informal assessments. The first component in testing is norm-referenced tests. These tests use standardized psychological tests to assess a person’s general knowledge and personality. Standardized tests are a general set of tests that use a task or set of tasks that are administered under a generalized set of conditions (Framingham, 2011). Tests are the general psychological tool by which professionals gage a person’s illness. However tests aren’t conclusive in nature, the reliability of tests are subjective, meaning the test could vary depending on the person’s mental inclination at the time. Norm-referenced tests assess many areas of development including reading, arithmetic, spelling, motor skills, and behavioral flexibility (Framingham, 2011). These tests provide a multitude of information for the professional that would not normally be available. Norm-referenced tests also provide a base line of behavior and competence that can be later referenced in the event of change. The second component to testing is an interview. Interviews are for the purpose of gaining additional information from the client to which a test...
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