Friday, April 10, 2009

Topic: Working with a Psychologist

10-second review: Don’t let the psychologist get away with diagnostic labeling, which names the problem but doesn’t help solve it.

Title: “Psychological Evaluation, Help or Hindrance.” Dr. R C. Erickson. English Journal (November 1975), 66-68. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary/Quote: “What I am saying is that psychological evaluation is a help if it serves to clarify the problem…and if, and only if, it stimulates you and the psychologist, and perhaps the family, to try out new and different ways of handling the situation so that…the child will grow.” P. 67.

“Well, psychologist, tell me what to do with this problem student you have just evaluated.”
“Well, I will if I know. I’ll tell you what I can. Please put pressure on me to think harder. Don’t let me get away with mere diagnostic labeling. In the final analysis, you and I may have to experiment. We may fail, we may succeed. We will certainly consume a lot of time and energy and creativity.” P. 68.

Comment: I wish I could say that my experience with even one psychologist had the give-and-take and cooperative effort suggested by the psychologist who wrote this article. He seems like an honest man. Unfortunately, I can’t. In fact, I’m wondering, what is the job description of the school psychologist? RayS.

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