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Virginia Brabender

Virginia Brabender

Theoretical Psychology, Fordham University, 1976


Current Positions

Professor of Psychology, Widener University. SPA's Liaison to the Board of Educational Affairs of APA


How did you become interested in Personality Assessment?

I took a post-doc at Case Western where I had wonderful instruction in personality assessment from Sandra Russ and Irving Weiner, and also had exceptional placements.

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 two courses in personality assessment. One is a case conference in assessment for doctoral candidates. The other is a course titled "Advanced Differential Diagnosis," which brings together students' knowledge and skill related to psychopathology and assessment.

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

Every year as part of the pre-board meeting, a delegation of board members travelled to APA to consider possible collaborations. One year, when I was President-Elect, we had a meeting with Cynthia Belar of the Board of Educational Affairs. We learned about the possibility of establishing personality assessment as a recognized proficiency. I know then this this possibility must become my presidential initiative and it came to pass. Serving on the board, I made a number of friends-for-life--a major benefit of board membership!

Tell us how you initially learned about and joined SPA.

Somehow, I had an opportunity to write a book review for the Journal. I remember the book: How to be your own best shrink. Paul Lerner wrote to me and asked me to be a member. I didn't know who Paul Lerner was at the time. But I did join and have had over 30 years of fulfilling membership. As coincidence would have it, now I am one of the editors of the book review section.

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?

We need to conduct all phases of the assessment process with a greater understanding of the diversity among assessors, assessment participants, referral sources, and other stakeholders. We also must continue to nurture the atmosphere of collegiality within the Society even in the midst of strong differences of opinion among us.

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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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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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