Recently, Christine has been undergoing some psychological and assessment testing to help determine some strengths and weaknesses and to help in charting the course of action for her life. Psychology has always been very interesting to me, yet I’ve held it at arm’s length, or farther, being leery of mans’ attempt to conclude the study of our psyche without a biblical perspective or for man to try to dissect a wonderfully and fearfully created mind.
Mike brings perspective as we discuss. He reminds me that psychology is by no means flawless, but God has gifted men (or women) with ways of studying, organizing and classifying information that is common to everyone. This can be helpful and is possible because of God's order and design in his creation. We measure all things by God’s ultimate and perfect standard. I remain mindful of this as I ask for wisdom to balance any “Freudian-phobias”.
Most of the evaluation has been in the office through fancy evaluations and some one-on-one dialogue. Yesterday, however, Christine had an evaluation to finish at home and she asked me to sit alongside as she read the true or false questions. The test is titled “Milton’ Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III” which is mainly a personality profile and it has 175 questions which could be helpful in assessing strengths, weaknesses and the way we relate. Here I will list questions 57-64 just to give a sampling of the typical questions:
57. T or F I think I’m a very social and outgoing person.
58. T or F I've become very jumpy in the last few weeks.
59. T or F I keep very close track of my money so I am prepared if a need comes up.
60. T or F I just haven’t had the luck in life that others have had.
61. T or F Ideas keep turning over and over in my mind and they won’t go away.
62. T or F I’ve become quite discouraged and sad about life in the past year or two.
63. T or F Many people have been spying into my private life for years.
64. T or F I don’t know why, but I sometimes say cruel things just to make others unhappy.
As she reads the questions, she usually fills in the True or False ovals on impulse. When she asks for my input, we discuss the question and often joke around to help break the seriousness.
She reads #57 "I think I’m a very social and outgoing person." Instant "T"! This is true and it’s a strength that is easy to love about Christine!
#58? She reads, "I’ve become very jumpy in the last few weeks." I smack my hand down onto the counter to see if she’s jumpy. She doesn’t jump. I say, "You didn't jump!" She slowly turns toward me and says, “Funny, Mom.” Then we laugh and spend 30 seconds in antics proving how jumpy we are or are not.
#59 "I keep very close track of my money so I am prepared if a need comes up." She says, "Money? What money?!” Then we talk about how Tab used to deposit her waitress tip money willy nilly into a big plastic cup on her nightstand, but she seemed to manage fine!
#60 "I just haven’t had the luck in life that others have had." reminded me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh so I say in my best Eeyore voice, “I can’t find my tail… If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.. .”
And that’s the way it went. Some questions she would read then almost instantly pencil-in the appropriate T or F. Other questions she would ask for input. We’d discuss seriously or joke to relieve some tension. Those questions were very typical of the test, however she pressed on to read #65.
# 65 T or F I flew across the Atlantic 30 times last year.
At that we make eye contact. I ask her to please repeat. She reads it again and we laugh and jest at the thought!
After regaining composure, she reads on. She reads and answers up to #79 then decides to finish in the morning.
Curiosity propels me to silently read further and try to decipher what the test is designed to determine. The questions continued in their self-discovery flavor until I got to #110.
# 110 T or F I was on the front cover of several magazines last year.
I think I’ll cut and paste Christine's picture onto the front of a magazine so when she gets to question #110 I can pull out her magazine cover! I would never have guessed that bonds could be strengthened by a psychological test! I’m reminded of the wisdom of God as I whisper a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.