Psychological Testing

From Chapter 6

Had any of the administrators actually believed my flippant comment pointed to my suicide, they might have asked me. Ordering me to see a psychologist was not for my wellbeing. It was one more effort to collect information they could use against me.   

My being suicidal was reported to the psychologist as were my other deficits and deficiencies. I was nervous. I had already made a solid case for my teaching capabilities and my relationship with colleagues. Statistics bore me out. I knew I wasn’t suicidal, but I had never before been put to the test of sanity. Before I went to the first talk session, a friend commented that she doubted I would be able to pass the tests. Every Calvin student who is ordered to go for testing, she said, ends up at minimum having to go to group therapy. I was doomed. 

 Our first three 2-hour meetings were talk sessions. In her follow-up letter she summarized our discussions and stated that “it is my clinical judgment that in reality she is neither depressed nor suicidal. Even in the darkest times of her life, Ruth has not seriously considered taking her own life.” Three weeks after our talk sessions, I returned to take the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III. The psychologist stated that “this instrument picked up no significant depression or pathology.” She began her summary of the results by stating: “Ruth is a sociable and gregarious woman who presents in a positive manner.” She continued with three more descriptive paragraphs, none of which were negative, and she repeated again that “Ruth is neither depressed nor suicidal.”

 I was elated. I was not a mental case—even after all the school had put me through. The psychologist understood issues related to an all-male workplace: sex discrimination, menopause, hot-flashes and crying. I was incredibly relieved that I was cleared. Neal would have to eat crow. Not quite. He wrote back essentially saying that now I had no excuse for my misconduct. Had the administrators actually thought I was suicidal, one might think that their first response to the report would be one of relief that I was no danger to myself.

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