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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