All of the tests in this book are called self-report tests because they rely on information that you are willing to provide. Such tests are useful to psychologists because they provide an idea of how any one person compares to others. But because they are self-report tests, you are unlikely to learn anything about yourself that you didn't already know. So, for example, if you receive a high score on the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire, you already knew you were depressed; it did not take this test to make you aware of this. The goal of this book is not to provide you with startling new information about yourself, but rather to help you articulate and achieve a better understanding of the barriers that are standing in your way of a more satisfying and effective life. Also, it is important to appreciate that all of the tests in this book were developed by research psychologists to aid in understanding the various barriers, or problems, presented here. In almost all the cases, the norms were based on college students and not clinical patients. This means that no matter how high, or low, you score on any of the tests in this book, it would not be correct to conclude that you are mentally ill. Yes, it may be true that you have a diagnosable condition, but the only way you can know for certain is by consulting a mental health professional. This book simply cannot provide, nor is it intended to provide, enough information for you to come to this conclusion.
As you work your way through the book, you will notice that some of the items on the various tests are not directly relevant to your situation. You will be asked about disciplining your children, your relationship with your family, or your feelings about colleagues at work, situations that not everyone has experienced. When you come across one of these items that does not apply to your life, try to answer it as you imagine you would feel if you had such an experience. Even though your response is only your best guess, by responding to such items your final score will be more accurate than it would be had you skipped over the item.
Please use the book as I have intended. Use it as a guide for organizing your thoughts about your life and the barriers that are preventing you from getting what you want out of life and your relationships. Use it as a starting place for making the changes that will help you accomplish your goals. You can even use it with your spouse or a close friend to help you better understand any conflicts you may be having in your relationships. We do not always see ourselves as others do. But remember, this book is only a place for you to begin to ask the relevant questions and to begin your search for the appropriate answers. I hope you enjoy the process of self-discovery and find it as useful as I wish it to be for you.
Was this article helpful?