ABSTRACT

T he overall purpose of this book was to provide a forum for leading authors to present their acquired knowledge in a form that was amenable to teaching both general and specific features of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). It is hoped that readers will be able to take away a broad scope of knowledge about the PAI and keep this book on their shelves as a reference tool when they have questions about certain clinical groups. In addition to this desire to provide information about profile interpretations and local norms for specific clinical populations, we also hoped to help readers think about how to use the PAI at an ideographic level. This chapter will focus on this latter goal by presenting a case in which the PAI was administered both at the beginning of treatment and a year into therapy. The profile will be interpreted both from the perspective of a psychologist knowledgeable about the test as an information gathering method as well as providing some suggestions about how to present and discuss these findings with a patient from a Therapeutic Assessment model (TA; Ackerman, Hilsenroth, Baity, & Blagys, 2000; Hilsenroth, Peters, and Ackerman, 2004; Finn and Tonsager, 1992, 1997; see also http://www.therapeuticassessment.com). In TA, patients are considered to be the experts on themselves, to have an acute desire to have their lens of reality confirmed, and to be inherently interested in seeking out personal growth. In many ways, TA is more of a healing intervention than a passive learning experience for the patient. Not surprisingly, TA contains many of the “common” or “nonspecific” elements of psychotherapy, including patients’ desires to be accepted, respected, listened to, and given hope to overcome what Jerome Frank called the “demoralization” that develops as a result of being unable to resolve their difficulties on their own (Frank and Frank, 1991).