This book aims at helping the practicing counselor in choosing, administering and interpreting psychological assessment procedures and it does its task well! It's not a desk manual for the tests themselves, but teaches you about the nature and use of psychological testing, measuring concepts and testing interpretation in sufficient detail so that I recommend it as first choice if you are considering using assessment tools in your counseling practice. Counseling education should make a book like this one "required reading".
The body of the book (some 340 pages) gives a good overview of what the different types of questionnaires aim at. This includes chapters on intelligence testing, career choice testing, values and interests, personality, and mental health assessment. Finally, the last section covers professional considerations such as minority testing and testing of special populations, communication of test results and ethical and social issues. All by all, this is a pretty complete book for what a counselor will typically need.
Of course, a book review is not complete without some suggestions for improvement. Having been building questionnaires for jobEQ.com over the last year as part of my PhD, I certainly have some recommendations. First, those that know me you might expect me to look for a link to emotional intelligence. Well, for a book revised in 2002, I found it a bit disappointing that some types of tests such as competence tests (e.g. testing for emotional intelligence) and 360° feedback instruments seem to be missing. Secondly, linked to my view as an "outsider" living in Europe, even if it treats "cultural aspects" this book is less useful at this side of the ocean, because, for instance, most instruments discussed are not translated into most European languages, let alone have European Standard Groups. Thirdly, the book isn't very critical about validity. I'd preferred it if it was more outspoken on the validity of certain tests. Also the book would be easier to digest if it included a few extra cases. And a last thing to mention is the huge difference between what the American Counseling Association (ACA) members pay for this book, and the list price "outsiders" have to pay.
When not to buy this book? As indicated in this review and in the book's title, this book is aimed at counselors. If you want to a more theoretical book, helping you to evaluate tests from a test design perspective, I'd rather recommend "Psychological Testing" by Kaplan & Saccuzzo (even if that is a *very* expensive book).
if you are a counselor, this book is a "must have" Especially if you can buy it at the price offered to you as a member of the American Counseling Association, it will be a "no-brainer" investment.
Patrick Merlevede, MSc - author of "7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence"