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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Clinical Psychology, University of Arkansas, 2001


Current Positions

Psychologist in Private Practice


How did you become interested in Personality Assessment?

I became interested in personality assessment when Professor Mark Hilsenroth told me that I could make money as his research assistant. Although I was skeptical at first, I eventually learned that PA was a marvelous way to understand and see a patient and their struggles.

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 teach, do a bit of research, mentor grad students, see patients, and avoid administrative duties as much as possible. Teaching PA is the highlight of my teaching schedule; it's a wonderful way to introduce students to what it means to be a person.

What are the most interesting and/or meaningful aspects of your job?

Mentoring and supervising graduate students.

Tell us how you initially learned about and joined SPA.

I joined SPA in 1996 upon entering grad school. I did my first presentation at the 1997 meeting and have presented every year since.

How has SPA impacted or benefited you or your career?

It's been huge. SPA has been my professional home since I was a graduate student. The conference is more and more like a reunion with friends and colleagues that I greatly admire. I'm proud to be a Fellow and to have won the Beck prize. I'm proud to have introduced a number of graduate students to a welcoming organization.

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?

Most importantly, the field of PA needs to adapt to a radically shifting cultural environment in the US and the world at large. As the population is more mobile and diverse in terms of language, culture, and experience, assessment needs to become more flexible and culturally sensitive. Secondly, even now, the field of personality assessment feels like it's about 10 years behind current technology and statistical methodology. It seems important for test developers to recognize the huge potential in Internet-based, adaptive assessment, mobile applications, or even virtual-reality environments. The future of the field is in flexibility, adaptability, and meeting people where they are.

Join SPA!

Membership in SPA offers many benefits - Subscription to the Journal of Personality Assessment, Research, Advocacy, Interest Groups, Exchange Newsletter, Annual Convention and more!

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JPA Journal

Receive 6 Issues of the prestigious JPA Journal each year.

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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