What makes a good psychological evaluation?

A good psychological evaluation is one that is comprehensive enough to assess the developmental, psychological and personality factors present in a candidate’s life. The produced report from the evaluation should include the following:

  • Clinical interview
  • Psychosocial & psychosexual history
  • Intelligence assessment (cognitive functioning)
  • Psychological testing (e.g., MMPI-II, Rorschach, Incomplete sentences, etc.)
  • Discussion Section (emotional/relational life, strengths, areas of growth, overall summary)
  • Recommendations for growth

CPA_SeminaryAssesment_Brochure3DThe report should be written in understandable language with a sensitivity to Catholic anthropology, an appreciation of cultural/ethnic issues and an understanding of the demands of priestly formation. Once completed, the psychologist should provide an oral feedback session to the candidate.

The report should offer helpful, practical suggestions in its recommendations highlighting areas for growth and development. For example, a possible recommendation might highlight the need for the candidate to improve his organizational skills with the mention of suitable resources. If therapy is recommended, the evaluator should specifically note if long-term or intensive therapy would interfere with the candidate’s ability to engage fully in seminary or if shorter, less intensive therapy may be completed while in seminary. Also, the goals for therapy should be clear and understandable (e.g., individual and/or group therapy for addressing anxiety, addictions, etc., or participation in an online program such as Reclaim Sexual Health for habitual/compulsive difficulties with pornography).

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