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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Testing Psychologist Podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This episode is brought to you by PAR. PAR offers the  RIAS-2 and RIST -2 Remote to remotely assess or screen clients for intelligence, and in-person e-stimulus books for these 2 tests for in-person administration. Learn more at parinc.com.

Welcome back y’all. Welcome back to the final episode of 2020. I cannot believe that we have gotten to the end of 2020. It kind of felt like it would never ever get here. When I was reflecting back on the year and looking through all the episodes and the stats and whatnot, it was really mind-bending to think back [00:01:00] to the episodes that are recorded pre-pandemic especially, that feels like a completely different world from where we are now. [00:01:09] It is a different world than where we are now. A different lifetime. But even the episodes that turned out to be most popular which were all released toward the beginning of the pandemic, it was really, like I said, just mind-bending to try to think back and not remember the interviews, of course, I remember them and the connections with each of the guests. That’s seared into my memory. But just what was going on at that time and everything that I was dealing with, we were all dealing with, it was pretty incredible. So in some ways, very nice to reflect and know that we might be headed toward the end of the tunnel here,  but in other ways, just again, hard to fathom how much time and emotional energy and everything else was compromised or lost this year. So it’s been a crazy year. It’s been a crazy ride. I know that a lot of us have experienced a ton of loss. It could be personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, any number of things. It has been completely nuts.

[00:02:29] I also know that many of us have found ways to get through this and even thrive in some regards during this time. So I saw our Facebook community really work through a lot of disagreements around how to navigate the shutdown and remote testing and whether we should do it or not do it.  I’ve seen many practices discover new ways of doing business that might change things permanently going forward. I’ve seen coaching clients start practices during this time and succeed. I’ve seen more advanced practices continue to thrive than` higher, there are some silver linings from some of this. Our profession in many ways has remained quite busy after the initial shutdown. There’s a lot of opportunity for us. However this year turned out for you, I hope that you’re ending in a place where you are somewhat centered, grounded, hopefully, excited for the coming year.

I know for myself, there’s a lot to consider; the podcast has grown a lot over the course of this year. Back in June at double down and started offering 2 episodes a week. That has been amazing. That was a little bit of reckoning for me. And I love the change. I love doing 2 episodes of business and a clinical episode each week. [00:04:06] Launched a couple of different formats. We launched the masterclass series two months ago, which was very well received and will continue into 2021 with other experts in the field. I have experimented with book reviews and other formats. And I was also fortunate to connect with PAR who I think is an amazing company, amazing test publisher to test drive some sponsorship for the podcast after many years of turning away sponsorship and not pursuing that path. And I think that’s gone well. I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with them in 2021 so that I can keep bringing great content each week. You’ll also continue to see new podcast formats as well as continue [00:05:00] experimentation. That’s kind of the name of the game, just trying things that are new and hoping that they land. So as always, let me know what works and what doesn’t work.

But without any more preamble, I would love to get to the conversation about the best episodes of 2020. Let’s do it.

[00:05:41] All right, y’all, let’s jump right to it. I’m excited to bring you the top 5 episodes of 2020 as determined, solely by the number of downloads across the world. Just during this year. So you’ll definitely notice a little bit of a theme in the top 5 [00:06:00] episodes. That theme is remote assessment. Not surprising. But the interesting thing about the top 5 is that all of these were recorded almost in sequence or released in sequence rather. So, I’m not sure what it was about that time period. Maybe people just being home during the pandemic or something like that. But the top 5 episodes were all released right around the same time. Although there were two dark horse, non-remote assessment episodes thrown in here. So let me jump right into it starting with number 5.

The number 5 most downloaded episode of 2020 was The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) w/ Dr. Katherine Jonas. So if you miss this episode, this episode dove completely into HiTOP. [00:07:04] So HiTOP is a hierarchical taxonomy or diagnostic system that looks at symptoms really across these different taxonomies and really presents a different way of thinking about psychopathology. So, Dr. Jonos talked all about the different levels and hierarchies of HiTOP. So things like getting all the way down to the molecular level of mental health and illness, all the way up to behavioral presentations and symptoms.

So it was a really interesting episode. I think HiTOP is gaining a lot of steam as maybe an alternative way to conceptualize psychopathology. So, I don’t know that I will call it a competitor, certainly, no, I take that out. I would not at all call it a competitor to the DSM-V, but it is a different way to conceptualize what’s going on with people, and it’s really I think a more comprehensive and more accurate way to conceptualize mental health or mental illness. So check that one out. It was super interesting and Catherine was very articulate.

All right, the number 4 most downloaded episode of 2020 was Considerations & Concerns of Remote Assessment w/ Daniel McFadden & Dr. Carrie Champ Morera from PAR Inc.

So Daniel and Carrie tie team this episode which I think made it really fun to talk about the customer service side and the clinical side of remote assessment primarily [00:09:00] using a behavioral checklist. But also we did talk about some of the cognitive measures that are offered through PAR.

[00:09:07] We do a little bit of a deep dive into the PAR system, their organization as a whole, how customer service is set up,  the way that they approach remote assessment in terms of validation, and making sure that measures are appropriate. It was a really informative and enjoyable interview with the two of them.

So, this of course starts as a little bit of a run on remote assessment. So I think these topics are still quite relevant. And a lot of the things we talked about in this episode are going to endure because at least as far as we’re concerned, we are going to continue to offer remote “behavioral checklists”, and the content here is very applicable in that regard.

Okay, number 3. The number three most downloaded episode of 2020 was APA Guidance for Tele-Assessment w/ Dr. Jordan Wright.

So this was Jordan’s first of two appearances on the podcast this year. Both were fantastic. But this one is where Jordan really dove into the APA guidance for Tele-Assessment. So, this is a document that Jordan put together with a couple of other co-authors. It was very comprehensive. And I think in a time when there was a lot up in the air, not much to hang our hats on in terms of remote assessment, this was a document that started to provide some guardrails for us to drive between when we think about doing remote assessment. Jordan is a very engaging interviewee and does a great job at talking through each of the principles or the guidance principles here. He has a lot of experience in this area and clearly a lot of expertise. So, again, still relevant. I know that I’m still getting contacted by agencies and districts, and other entities about how to do remote assessment.[00:11:29] So I know that this is still relevant for many folks as the pandemic rages on. So check that out. Number three, APA Guidance for Tele-Assessment w/ Dr. Jordan Wright.

Okay, this is exciting. We’re getting to the top 2.

Number 2, I don’t think this will come as a surprise to many of you. Number 2 is Autism in Girls and Women w/ Dr. Donna Henderson.

So Donna was a guest that I had got a lot of feedback about prior to having her on. Many people reached out and said, “You’ve got to get Donna on the podcast so she can talk about Autism in girls and women.” So I was lucky enough to spend some time with Donna and she absolutely did not disappoint. This episode was very popular, got a lot of conversation, a lot of comments, a lot of positive thoughts sent my direction, and Donna’s direction as well.

So I think the title says it all, Autism in girls and women. Donna really dives into how each of the DSM diagnostic criteria for autism, how you would apply each of those to girls and women, how they’re different, how they’re similar to boys and we really talk in-depth about the considerations there and how we might conceptualize girls and women differently when we’re considering an autism diagnosis. If you haven’t heard this one, it’s absolutely a must listen. So go check it out. And I should say, all of these are linked in the show notes so you don’t have to go searching through on the internet or your podcast feed. You can just click on them directly from the show notes.

Okay, drum roll, please. So think just for a minute, if you can think back, it’s hard to remember but try to guess, just try to guess especially if you’re a longtime listener or a frequent listener, just try to guess what the number 1 most downloaded episode of this year was. I’ll give you just a couple of seconds to think. So again, continuing with our theme of remote assessment, the number one most downloaded episode by a long shot was Remote Administration of the WISC-V and KTEA-III w/ Dr. Susie Raifordfrom Pearson.

Again, I think the title says it all and the timing says it all.  The energy and the effort that Susie and the team at Pearson put into not only making this episode happen but releasing the materials necessary to conduct a remote assessment with these instruments, making those available in the early stages of the pandemic, those efforts were just incredible. I certainly don’t have the full story, but just getting a peek into that world as we were setting up the podcast episode, I know that there were so many people just hammering around the clock to get this stuff out and try to help all of us as we were scrambling to figure out what to do and how we would keep our testing practices going and how those schools could keep testing or hospitals could keep testing.

[00:15:12] So this was, I think, really a lifeline for a lot of us in the beginning stages of the pandemic as we’re wondering what to do. So Susie is fairly self-explanatory, but we dived into the nuances of how to administer some of these measures remotely. We talked about the technology involved, we talked about the validity, we talked about how to get index scores for some of the tests that are harder to do remotely if you have to skip or substitute for those. It was a really rich episode, and again, generated a lot of discussions, a lot of back and forth. I’m laughing because I think of all the episodes, this one probably had the most disagreement we might say or spirited discussion. So, there’s a lot to take away from this one. And again, I think still certainly relevant, particularly if you’re in a school district or in an area where we just can’t do testing in person safely.  So if you haven’t jumped on the remote assessment train, this is a great place to start.

[00:16:20] All right, y’all, there you have it- short and sweet top 5 episodes of 2020.

Now there are many that were in the running. The top 2 really stood out in terms of downloads and then after that, they were very close. So, any number of episodes I think could have jumped into the top 5. There were a lot that I think landed with people, but these are the ones that rose to the top. So huge thanks to all of my guests here. If any of you are listening, I sincerely appreciate the time and the energy that you put into making these episodes happen, and just giving back to our field this year as all of us struggled to find our way through the pandemic.

[00:17:12] Like I said at the beginning, we are moving on to 2021. There are some new directions for the podcast. There’s going to be some new content, new formats. I am very excited to continue experimenting and keep bringing you a couple of episodes each week. I love it. And I love connecting with all of you. Thank you all so much for listening. As always, take care, hang in there, stay healthy, and cheers to 2021.


The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologists website are intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. And similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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