Projective Personality Assessment
"What the heck is THAT?
People are so fundamentally expressive of who they are, that a trained clinician can do a personality assessment by analyzing materials you put together at home. Simple stuff . . . preparing a sample of your handwriting, recording dreams that you wake up with (or have had over the course of your life), pictures I have you draw, stories I have you make up, etc. You submit, I analyze, and then I share my feedback, going over much of your stuff to show you what you seem to be communicating about yourself.
What can you hope to learn?
Lots! This is a big picture look at who you are and where you are at in your life. I might be able to help you see blind spots. If you have a symptom, this technique has us 'looking under the hood.' If therapy has not helped you resolve a longstanding complaint, you likely have not actually understood the root problem. Projective psychology can help with that. Very often what you think is a problem is actually the unconscious mind's solution to ANOTHER problem, which you may not know about. Solve the main problem, and things can suddenly start to shift!
When should a person consider getting this sort of assessment?
People sometimes come in because they have a longstanding problem they are looking for help with; other times they are looking for insight. Should I change careers? Are there other talents I should develop? Where am I in my life? What's my next step? Is there a block which prevents me from finding a healthy relationship? The myriad of life questions, in a moment where you may be looking for input or direction.
I've been doing this specialized work for 25+ years, and have, at times, helped clients address issues that were refractory to treatment.
I look at problems using a wide lens; I'm interested in the ways nutrition effects mental health, Chinese medical theory informs our understanding of psychological difficulties and cognitive processing sometimes effects social and psychological function. In other words, this assessment looks at the big picture; it's not just limited to the psychological aspect of your life.
What does the process entail?
Watch the video to get a sense of the materials you would need to submit. If you are interested to have an assessment, we need to talk on the phone, so I can understand your issue or interest. Let's get a feeling whether this work is a good fit for you.
If you and I have the feeling that this could be useful for you, read here about the materials you would be preparing. You would bring those materials to your first appointment.
At that appointment, I would administer additional tests and take a history. After that meeting, I then analyze all your materials. At the feedback session, I would be reviewing much of what you submitted, giving you an extensive download . . .The cartography of you!!
Is everything that the process uncovers accurate and necessarily true?
No. You will be the arbiter. I will be showing you themes that emerge in a pattern and you will determine the degree to which the feedback applies. Let's think of projective assessment as a way to get a big picture look at personality style and intra-psychic dynamics. Participants tend to find accuracy in the feedback as in "How did you see that!?" But projective assessment is more art than science. So you need to give me feedback on the feedback I give you. Based on what I see, I will make suggestions which could include ideas about therapeutic exercises, nutritional considerations to explore, the wide gamut of ideas that might be useful given the themes that emerge in the feedback. As always, you are the arbiter of whether all the feedback is relevant and there will be food for thought.
How do I know if this therapeutic approach is for me?
Here's one litmus test: Does projective psychology, the idea of it speak to you? Like, "Wow! So cool!"? Not so much? This is not for you!
If this sounds completely intriguing, then it may constitute an approach that will excite you and render a good therapeutic outcome.
I'm always surprised that my clients are not all artistic types (though many are!). I've worked with physicians, executives, lawyers, filmmakers, professors . . . the list goes on and on. The common denominator is interest, not any given professional designation.
Is this work covered by extended health benefits?
If you have mental health difficulties which prompt you to reach out for treatment and if you have benefits which cover the social work services of a social worker registered in Ontario, then the services should be covered. Your insurer may require you to get a doctor's note as a term for being reimbursed. You should get the note before we speak. To clarify, I use projective assessment within the context of providing therapy. Please note that some policies cover 80% of the fee, some cover the full fee. You have to check with your policy how much they reimburse.
If your interest is fueled by professional curiosity or general interest, this service is private pay, out of pocket.
If you wish to determine whether the use of extended health benefits for this service is appropriate in your situation and with your particular history, please discuss with your doctor, someone who knows you over time, and can advise. Please note that I do not work with schizophrenia, serious disorders of cognitive or psychiatric function. My work may not be appropriate if there are serious medical or functional problems at play which are out of the scope of my expertise.
Learn more . . .
You can read journalists' experience
"What's in the Way You Write" by Rebecca Payne in the Annex Gleaner, March 2011
"Read on for What Your Handwriting Says about You" by Valerie Berenyi, Calgary Herald, June 13, 2010
"Mind Your P's and Q's" by Carolin Vesely, Winnipeg Free Press, January 2, 2010
"Graphology: It's Kabbalistic, not Voodoo" by Shlomit Krieger, The Jewish Tribune, August, 2005
"Jewish Mysticism Can Help You Achieve 'Robust Health'" by Sheri Shefa, Canadian Jewish News, February 8, 2007
"Handwriting Analysis Provides Glimpse into the Person Behind the Pen" by Justin Skinner, InsideToronto.com
"What Your Writing Reveals: Graphology is a Legitimate Clinical Science" by Ali Schwabe, The Fulcrum, November 21, 2012
"The (Unwritten) Laws of Handwriting" College Press Releases & Wire Services, April 18, 2013