As an ongoing part of either counseling or life coaching, my clients and I often want to deepen our understanding of what’s going on inside. I have been very well trained in personality testing, and it is an enjoyable and constructive experience for most of the people who work with me. Most instruments costs $50, and include both a written summary and verbal feedback recorded for you in my office. The following four instruments are the ones I use most often:
The Traditional Assessment of Wellness (TAW, free)
This 125-item 7-point-scale will soon be available again free and anonymously, online, through this site, and a new forthcoming website www.to-the-well.org. I adapted this test from the best items of the CAS (below), and expanded to include a new dimension and current issues. Much more about this instrument is available elsewhere on this site.
The Personality Research Form (PRF, $50)
This 352-item true-false test measures 20 needs or drives in your personality. I use it when folks want us both to know what they do and don’t like to be, and when they want new ways to tell others about it. It measures both strengths and weaknesses in these 20 areas:
Achievement – driven to compete and self-improve
Aggressiveness – critical argumentativeness
Asking for Help – comfortable seeking assistance
Assertiveness – leadership, dominance
Defensiveness –not naïve but easily offended
Definite Planning – logical thinking
Fellowship – loving to talk and be with friends
Helpfulness – generous, taking care of others
Impulsivity – expressing and acting on feelings
Independence – determined self-reliance
New Experiences – openness to change, surprise
Orderliness –structuring tasks and environment
Open-mindedness – eagerness to read and learn
Playfulness – recreational, good sense of humor
Playing it Safe – worried about health and safety
Popular Approval – insecure, needing approval
Public Attention – dramatic, enjoying attention
Sensual Awareness – loving beauty and pleasure
Submissiveness – motivated by guilt and criticism
Work Endurance – patient, liking to stay busy
Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI, $50)
175 true-false items show tendencies to create problems for self and others. It measures similarities to people who have been diagnosed to have various mental, emotional, behavioral, and personality disorders. It is a big help to see what might be undermining progress in life, and can show when taking medication can bring positive results. It measures attitudes toward taking the test (validity), and the following Axis 2 clinical personality patterns (in parentheses is a layman’s description):
Schizoid (Burned Out), Avoidant (On Guard), Depressive, Dependent (People-pleasing), Histrionic (Superficial Charm and Drama), Narcissistic (Image Management), Antisocial (Sneaky Rebellion), Sadistic (Aggressive Toughness), Compulsive (Rigid Perfectionism), Negativistic (Passive-aggressive), and Masochistic (Self-defeating). Extreme scores indicate personality disorders. These personality patterns are often seen as ego-syntonic, and typically bother others more than the client.
Then it measures the Axis 1 symptoms that are bothering the test-taker. It indicates both tendencies toward and current symptoms of the three types of major disorders: Thought disorders like schizophrenia, Mood disorders (major depression, mania, and bipolar illness), and Delusional disorders such as paranoia. Separate scales measure the severity of Anxiety symptoms (phobias, panic disorder), Somatoform (conversion disorders, psychosomatic and stress-related physical problems), Dysthymia (mild depression), Alcohol and Drug Abuse/Dependence, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (long-term after-effects from past trauma).
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI, $60)
This 567-item true-false test measures dozens of signs of dysfunctional thinking, relating, behaving, and handling emotions. Much like the MCMI above, it compares your answers to those of people who have been diagnosed with various personality/mental/emotional/relational disorders. It is a must if you are going to court to prove something. It has seven “lie scales” to show tendencies to deceive yourself or others about these matters.
Strong Interest Inventory (SII, $50)
317 multiple choice questions are designed to show what will be the enduring patterns of interest in all the various fields of employment. Its primary use is in choosing vocations, whether to go to college, or even what to major in at a university. It is also helpful in choosing the setting and motivational conditions within a career that will produce optimal effectiveness. This test also helps people look at their leisure life, suggesting avocational activities that are likely to be most fulfilling. This can be very useful in planning retirement, or helping couples have more fun together.
The Character Assessment Scale (CAS, $50)
225 true-false items. I am the author of this test, but it was presented at APA’s annual convention in Los Angeles, and it has been used in six continents across the world. It measures the seven deadly sins plus a lie scale, and as a proactive challenge, it also shows the adaptive counterpart attitudes. Handouts are available for devotional study with biblical passages for each of the eight content areas. The CAS shows positive and negative uses of eight moral resources:
- Character Moral Character
- Weaknesses Resources Strengths
- Denial Truth Honesty
- Vanity (Pride) Respect Humility
- Envy Concern Compassion
- Resentment Anger Peacemaking
- Greed Money Resourcefulness
- Laziness Time / Energy Enthusiasm
- Lust Sexuality Sexual Integrity
- Gluttony Body / Health Physical Fitness
The Sexual Dependency Inventory (SDI, $100)
This instrument is taken online through the Recovery Zone (see below), and results are sent to me online immediately, as well as given by me in session. The cost covers the time I will spend going over it (35 pages), and the extra cost to me per administration (fees to the test authors/computer scorers). It will tell you how you compare to normal folks and to sex addicts regarding your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. It outlines what you need to learn/work on, and how things will likely deteriorate if you don’t. If you have a sexual addiction, remember this disease is primary (you must treat this before any other problem such as marital or spiritual will improve), progressive (it gets worse if untreated, so that what it takes to satisfy you now soon won’t be enough), and fatal (it will kill your relationships and self-esteem, and if untreated, it will more than likely kill YOU, because giving it up almost always results in other addictions, many of which are also deadly).
The Post Traumatic Stress Inventory (PTSI, $70)
This test is taken through the Recovery Zone (see below), and instructions are given below to you about how you can complete your test online. It surveys the situations and experiences in your life that have been so frightful and degrading that they served to shut down your awareness and coping systems, regressing them into survival mode.
It also inventories all the effects of these abusive and traumatic memories and relationships, so that you can learn your style of responding to new stressors and losses in your life. Suggestions are made for coping and counseling. This test can establish eligibility for certain treatments and compensations, for example, for those who have been disabled due to military or employment situations. Validity scales establish the reliability of the test, and reveal any tendency to over- or under-report your symptoms and experiences.
Money and Work Adaptive Styles Index (MAWASI, $80)
This test is taken through the Recovery Zone (see below), and instructions will be given to you below about how you can complete your test online. This test measures money and work disorders, such as workaholism, under-earning, compulsive spending, debting, gambling, and hoarding. It shows how strong are the tendencies to use these behavior patterns as painkilling escapes from reality, as ways to medicate or numb out the awareness of the emotional pains of life. Research shows that these disorders tend to occur together, and that shutting one of them down temporarily is likely to give rise to an increase in another, unless one enters recovery as a replacement lifestyle. The word mawasiis Swahili for “in God’s hands.”
Recovery Zone Instructions
Here are your instructions for taking their online tests:
You will take the test online, and your scores and written feedback will come first to you and me when we click on a website below. You can study the results on your end, but you won’t understand them completely on our own.
To get your assessment done
- Go to recoveryzone.com
- Click on client access
- Type in my last name (schm… should be enough to pull it up), then click on me
- Enter the assigned identifier I will give you when you tell me you want to take the test. It is usually PFS###
- Take the test
Once you finish taking the test, you will click finish, and I will immediately be able to see your results online through the recoveryzone.com website. I will make some explanations and suggestions, and then make these available to you to help you understand your test results. You can discuss your reactions with me by phone, and/or in your next session. My feedback is included in the cost of the test. You receive extensive written feedback in the office alongside my recorded remarks.