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                    Acacia Counseling
           Gene Douglas, M.Ed. LPC LMFT


To treat a problem using TAT, follow these instructions:
1.) Rate the strength of your feeling you are experiencing right now, on a scale of 1-10, when you think of the problem.
That number is the SUD (Subjective Units of Discomfort.)
2.) Put your thumb against the inside corner of one eye. Place the ring finger against the inside corner of the other eye.
3.) Place the middle two fingers against your forehead, about a quarter inch above a line between the eyebrows so the
two fingers are lined up with the upper part of the eyebrow.
4.) Cup the other hand, and place it behind your head, with the thumb against your neck, right where it meets the base of the skull.
The little finger will be pressed against your head where it rests. Don't lay your hand flat against your head.
5.) Close your eyes and think of the feeling or event or person that bothers you. Continue for one minute, or until you feel a "shift"
in your body before that. This may be a reflexive sigh.
6.) Keep your pose, and repeat a statement reminding you of the problem in your mind. It may be a person's name,
a phrase about what happened, or the name of the feeling. Continue repeating for one minute, or until you feel a shift.
7.) Keep the pose, and repeat in your mind a statement which is opposite of the problem -- even if you don't believe it.
This might be "I will feel comfortable when I do that," or "I will feel calm and relaxed," whatever is opposite to what has been the case.
Continue repeating for one minute, or until a shift occurs.
8.) Keep the pose, and concentrate your attention on the part of your body where you feel your feelings. That will be different for different people.
Continue for one minute, or until a shift occurs.
9.) Rate your SUD again.

TAT Links:
Learning and Using TAT
How To Do TAT

Recommended Reading


Acacia Counseling Service 

Telephone: (405) 546-5096 (ans. svc.*)

Testing -- Mental Health Evaluation

(See also:  Cell-Friendly Testing Page)

I can provide mental health testing, including personality testing, IQ and substance abuse testing.

Personality testing includes the MMPI-2, MMPI-2 RH and some others, including the Beck Depression Inventory.
The IQ test is the Shipley-2

The substance abuse testing includes the SASSI and the ASI.

In addition, there is a psychosocial interview involved.

When you request testing, if you were referred by an authority, please specify exactly what kind of testing you want done.  

Some referrers may be unclear as to what they want.  If they say "psychiatric exam," please know that an actual psychiatrist (a medical doctor) does not have time to do all the above testing, and also is typically not trained to do that.  He generally sees a new patient for 30 minutes, and then sees him/her once a month for 15 minutes, generally prescribing medications, for which time he receives a high price.  Spending two or three hours with a patient would be cost prohibitive.  Then, taking 8-12 hours to score the tests would also be very expensive.

However, he may ask "Who are you?  Where are you?  What day is this? Why are you here?  What did you have for breakfast?  Name three presidents.  Remember 3 words I give you," and other such questions.  I generally do not, because I already know you could make and keep an appointment and find the office on your own.  But I could if requested. 

Some employers or training schools require an MMPI without concern about where it came from.  An MMPI should include a psycho-social interview.   Without that, the MMPI doesn't tell as much.  A court of law will expect a thorough work-up, but a security service may not.

Some MMPI's are given by people never trained on the MMPI, and who provide a sketchy result.  Possibly they are not licensed therapists, or even therapists at all.  If they are, they should state their license and their license number and show you a wall certificate or a card.  This can be verified on the internet with the State Board of Behavioral Health. 

Some are scored by a computer, which produces an even sketchier result.  
Of course, to the prospective  employee, it's just paperwork, and he wants to get it behind him.  If to the employer or training school it is just paperwork, then the quicker and the cheaper the better.  One-size-fits-all is no problem to him.

If the employer cares about getting a thorough workup, then s/he should know that the work was done by a licensed therapist, and that the test was scored by the therapist and not a computer, and that a psycho-social interview was included in the workup and report.

My price for an MMPI-2 only, with no other data, is $200.  If a psychosocial interview is required (such as for a court) it is $300.  If an MMPI-2 RF is required, such as for spinal surgery, the rate is $400.

Typical Cost  of Testing (click here.)


There are several untruthfulness scales, including Fb for faking bad (malingering.)  The L (lie) scale detects "faking good."  The K scale detects defensiveness.  Other scales also show forms of truthfulness or untruthfulness.  If the test shows you were untruthful, the whole test will be invalidated.  The best policy is to be perfectly truthful on all questions.

Most items on the test are "subtle."  That means one can't tell by looking at it which is the good answer or the bad answer.  Sometimes a single answer is good on one scale and bad on another scale.  There is no answer to such questions that would be good on both scales.

One answer by itself means nothing.  Only when a lot of answers stack up in the same direction do they mean something.  An answer is not good or bad by how one would morally judge it when reading it.  It is good or bad depending how it matches how other people have answered it, in particular, people with known disorders or those without them.

Scales from a particular test are good or bad depending on whether the total is above or below how most people answer them.  Being a little bit above or below does not mean as much.  Being a very lot above or below means a lot.

More than one scale being high or low has a meaning, depending on which scales they are.  It does no good to be concerned about this, because the test taker can not control that.  In other words, honesty is the best policy.