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Barry Ritzler

Barry Ritzler

Clinical Psychology, Wayne State University, 1969


Current Positions

Professor Emeritus, Long Island University, Department of Psychology


How did you become interested in Personality Assessment?

In graduate school, I had courses on the Rorschach that got me started.

Tell us about your current job. We are interested in hearing about the different things that people do who work in the area of personality assessment.

I am retired. I taught personality assessment for over 40 years. I still teach workshops on the Comprehensive System. Personality assessment has changed from an activity that nearly every clinical psychologist did to a specialty in the field. I think the assessment psychologists of today are more competent and better equipped than psychologists years ago.

What are the most memorable aspects of your time as SPA President?

Several things happened just before and during my presidency: 1) We hired Manuela Schultz who proved to be an excellent Executive Secretary (we even gave her and others the Rorschach and MMPI-2 before we hired her.); 2) We purchased the office in Falls Church after Manuela and I looked at several offices in Washington, D.C.; 3) During our Board meetings in the Washington area, we visited many Congressional offices--an interesting, but not always fruitful effort; 4) We had the International Rorschach Congress in Boston.

Tell us how you initially learned about and joined SPA.

My post-doctoral mentor, Sid Blatt, got me interested. He was president of SPA at the time

As we look forward to SPA's 100th anniversary in 2038, what do you think is important in order for the field of personality assessment to thrive and to benefit others?

It would be good if personality assessment could become a more standard part of the psychiatric intervention process and more likely to receive third-party payments. Also, I think it would be an improvement if we could have more research on other performance-based (or self-expression as opposed to self-report) methods in addition to the Rorschach. I am thinking in particular about Ron Bruhn's Early Memories procedure, apperception tests, and other methods such as sentence completion and figure drawings.

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Proficiency

The American Psychological Association (APA) officially recognizes Personality Assessment as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology. SPA has taken lead role in developing and implementing Personality Assessment Proficiency

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Ask your favorite personality assessor what the biggest personality assessment convention is, and he/she will tell you it's the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality Assessment. Ask him/her what the best personality assessment convention is, and he/she will tell you it's the Annual Convention of the Society for Personality Assessment, held every March in a different city.

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Each April, candidates statements and a Ballot for electing new members to the Board of Trustees is made available to Members, Fellows, Life Members or Life Fellows by the Nominations and Elections Committee. The persons elected to the Board take office in September.

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The Society for Personality Assessment YouTube channel offers full-length lectures from past annual conventions and expert speakers in the field of personality assessment. A great resource to expand your knowledge.

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How Therapeutic Assessment Works: Theory and Techniques - Presented by Stephen E. Finn, PhD. In this webinar, Dr. Stephen Finn, the main developer of Therapeutic Assessment, will explain the techniques of TA and how they relate to TA’s underlying theory of client change. This session is particularly suited to those who are new to TA, including graduate students, or who wish to deepen their understanding of its therapeutic mechanisms.

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