chapter  17
Teaching and Learning the Interpretation of the Wechsler Intelligence Tests as Personality Instruments
Pages 26

I ask students to focus their attention on such related areas of functioning on the Wechsler tests as stylistic and characterological variables (e.g., the manner in which patients approach the various subtests, how they deal with success and failure, the style of approach to each item, and ego function variables, all defined and discussed later. This approach is very difficult to communicate to students because they have been indoctrinated with the psychometric approach to intelligence testing, which they find is a reassuring alternative to the typically subjective approach to the interpretation of projective data. To bolster interest in this somewhat experiential approach, I deemphasize the importance of obtaining an IQ score. Instead, I emphasize a rationale that describes the use of the test to obtain a view of the patient as he or she functions on a variety of tasks (the subtests), in order to make generalizations from this performance to the patient's functioning in a variety of everyday situations. It is also possible to make predictions concerning the patient's functioning in therapy, because the experience of interpersonal stress in the assessment setting is often similar to the stress experienced in many approaches to psychotherapy (Zetzer & Beutler, 1995). For example, Zetzer and Beutler stated, "The patient's response to the time demands of the Digit Symbol (OS), Block Design (BD), Object Assembly (OA), and Arithmetic subtests provide an opportunity for the clinician to observe, in the analogue test environment, how the patient responds to the imposition of combined time, role and structure pressures that may characterize different forms of therapy" (p. 141).