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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 has recently released the Feifer Assessment of Childhood Trauma, or the FACT, the first and only comprehensive instrument measuring how stress and trauma can impact children in a school-based setting. You can learn more or purchase the FACT teacher form by visiting parinc.com\fact_teacher.

All right, y’all, welcome back to the final episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast for 2021. As is the tradition, the last episode of the year, we’ll look back at the most popular episodes of 2021 according to the number of downloads that each episode received. I’m going to count those down here pretty soon.

But before I do that, I want to just congratulate all of you who made it through another year in your business, in your practice. Whether you’re working for someone else in private practice, in a school, in a hospital, or on your own, it’s been a heck of a year.

I personally was hoping that we might be in a different place regarding the pandemic. And we certainly are. The vaccine came out and that has allowed a lot of us, I think, to feel more comfortable, both in our businesses and in our lives. However you feel about the vaccine and other personal preferences there, of course, you can’t deny that it was a huge development for the year. And for many of us, allowed us to get back to practice in person in some form or fashion. So again, congratulations all of you who made it.

The hope of course is that we’ll be able to get back to normal, whatever that might look like or a new normal sooner than later. But I think we’ve all shown quite a lot of resilience over the last two years in adapting our practices and continuing to do good work and help folks the best that we can. So give yourself a little pat on the back.

I’ve seen folks make lots of incredible decisions in their practices and in their lives through my consulting work. I’ve seen many folks who’ve been able to grow their practices and continue to thrive or build an even larger practice over the last year. And I’ve worked with some folks who have decided to dial back their schedules and raise their fees and do more of a lifestyle practice where they’re not working all the time. So whatever the effect this past year has had on you and your life and your practice again, just give yourself some credit for making those choices and doing the best that you can given the circumstances.

As far as the podcast goes, the audience has continued to grow over the past year, which is truly amazing. I keep thinking at some point we’re going to reach the apex of downloads and capture all of the individuals out there who care enough about assessment to listen to the podcast, but we have not hit that point yet. So I always appreciate it if you keep telling your friends. There are any of you who listen regularly but don’t subscribe. Definitely do that. That certainly helps as I look for more quality sponsors to bring you discounts and products that could help you in your practice. I appreciate all of you for spreading the word.

I’m also very grateful for all of my guests. I’ve been so fortunate to have just an incredible array of guests on the podcast to talk about a variety of topics and share their expertise. So, a huge thank you to all of my guests who’ve come on and shared their knowledge.

All right. I will not keep you in suspense too much longer. Let’s go ahead and get to the top five episodes of 2021.

Okay, everyone. We are back. Just like before, I’m going to count down the top five episodes. Each of these episodes is linked in the show notes. If you didn’t catch them the first time around, you can definitely go back and check them out. And if you’d like to do a second listen, these are all worth it. They’re all fantastic episodes.

Let’s start with the number five most downloaded episode of 2021. This episode was number 197: Evolution of Cognitive Assessment with Dr. Joel Schneider. I really enjoyed this podcast. Joel has been around for a long time in our field. He’s been writing and maintaining a blog for 10 or 12 years on a number of topics that I just find fascinating. I love Joel’s style. I love his writing style and his speaking style, to be honest. So this podcast for me was more of a philosophical conversation than anything else. And the way that Joel presents information is so clear and yet so prosaic that I walked away from this interview in a really, really nice headspace and just wanted to hear more from Joel.

We talked about the history of cognitive assessment, where it came from, what it originated from and what we’re actually measuring when we say cognitive assessment. And just that topic in and of itself took us down several different fascinating paths. We do end up talking about more applied information with regard to cognitive assessment. And I think that was a nice way to round out the interview. So number 197: Evolution of Cognitive Assessment with Dr. Joel Schneider.

The fourth most downloaded episode of 2021 was episode 209: Conceptualizing and Treating Irritable Kids with Dr. Melissa Brotman. This was an interview that I had been pursuing for years. I originally tried to get Dr. Ellen Leibenluft on the podcast. She was one of the researchers who helped develop the criteria for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. And in talking with her, she actually suggested that I get in touch with Melissa, who was a fantastic guest.

Melissa has worked on that team and on other teams on a variety of projects, but we spent this time during the interview really talking about those kids who fall between diagnostic boxes, those kids that might reach the threshold for a disruptive mood dysregulation disorder diagnosis, but also those kids who are just irritable and cranky and grumpy.

So we talk about what that’s about, diagnostically, how to think about these kids, we spend a fair amount of time talking about a treatment modality that Melissa is developing with her team that focuses on exposure therapy for irritability and anger. So, if that sounds interesting at all to you and it should if you work with kids, certainly check out episode number 209: Conceptualizing and Treating Irritable Kids w/ Dr. Melissa Brotman.

All right. The next episode on our list, the third most downloaded episode was episode number 215:Cognitive Testing for Preschoolers with Dr. Stephanie Meyer. Now, this is a topic that we have not touched on much on the podcast. And I think that that is a big reason that it was so popular. That, of course, along with Stephanie’s style which is relatable, informative, and really quite thorough.

Stephanie talks through her methods for assessing preschoolers, the things that she’s looking for, the way that she looks at data, she also talks about some of the graphs that she makes to communicate evaluation results. And all of those factors contributed to this being the number three most downloaded episode of 2021, episode 215: Cognitive Testing for Preschoolers with Dr. Stephanie Meyer.

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner.

Kids are experiencing trauma like never before, but how can you figure out whether they’ve been affected and how it impacts their behavior and performance at school? The Feifer Assessment of Childhood Trauma or the FACT is the first and only comprehensive instrument measuring how stress and trauma can impact children in a school-based setting.

The FACT teacher form solicits the teacher’s perspective on the performance and behavior of children ages 4 to 18 years. It takes just 15 seconds to administer. And the available e-manual gives you detailed administration and scoring instructions. You can learn more or purchase the FACT teacher form by visiting parinc.com\fact_teacher.

All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

Okay, we’re getting close y’all. The next most downloaded episode, the second most downloaded episode of 2021 was episode number 230: Identifying Adult Autism with Dr. Theresa Regan. Now, as you can tell from the title, you could probably guess why this was a popular episode. Any episode that I’ve done on autism has been extremely popular. Adult autism is certainly no exception.

Dr. Theresa Regan has specialized in adult autism for a number of years. She has some fantastic materials available for those of you wanting to learn more about this topic. We talked through a lot of different things related to autistic adults.

I think the biggest takeaway for me from this episode was some of the concrete questions that Theresa uses that you’re not going to necessarily read in a book or a diagnostic manual or anything like that. These are sort of soft questions, the questions that get up soft signs of autism that can help suss out what is really going on for someone or identify adult autism when you may not have had it on your radar before. So tons of good information to take from this podcast. Again, episode number 230: Identifying Adult Autism with Dr. Theresa Regan.

Okay. DRUMROLL, PLEASE! I wish I was sophisticated enough to insert a drum roll sound. I’m sure I could do that somehow, but I’m not going to do that. Just think drum roll in your head.

The number one most downloaded Testing Psychologist podcast episode of 2021 was episode 199: Conducting a Valid ADHD Assessment with Dr. Julie Suhr and Dr. Allyson Harrison. I got more comments about this episode. than any other episode that I’ve ever done, perhaps just excluding the masterclass with Dr. Stephanie Nelson from two years ago or last year.

So many people emailed me or commented about this episode because I think it blew a lot of people’s minds. Dr. Julie Suhr and Dr. Allyson Harrison have been researching valid research-supported ADHD assessments for years. And during this episode, we talk about a number of topics that will binge your brain a little bit.

They shared how many college students end up with ADHD diagnoses without valid documentation, essentially. And so, we talked through why it’s important to have valid documentation. We talk about the ways to do that. We talk about validity measures in symptom reporting. We talk about the criteria that need to be documented. I think that the takeaway from all of this is that we as psychologists have it incumbent upon ourselves to document ADHD symptoms very clearly and conduct a very thorough evaluation, particularly for adult ADHD or college students with ADHD. We need to include performance validity testing to make sure that we have a valid assessment and a number of other things.

This was a fantastic episode. These women are highly knowledgeable. They’re doing great work and I encourage you to check this one out if you missed it the first time around, or just listen to it again, I’m sure you will take away even more information the second time around.

There you have it, folks. There you have it. The top five episodes of 2021. Again, number 197: Evolution of Cognitive Assessment with Dr. Joel Schneider. Number 209: Conceptualizing and Treating Irritable Kids with Dr. Melissa Brotman. Number 215: Cognitive Testing for Preschoolers with Dr. Stephanie Meyer. Number 230: Identifying Adult Autism with Dr. Theresa Regan. And number 199: Conducting a Valid ADHD Assessment with Dr. Julie Suhr and Dr. Allyson Harrison.

Thank you all so much for listening to the podcast. I have so much gratitude for all of you who continue to tune in and listen to the episodes and share your thoughts about the episodes. It is incredibly rewarding to talk with folks on the phone or get emails or get comments on the episode webpages about the podcast being helpful, being informative. It is really just a dream come true.

I always like to reflect. It was almost five years ago to the day that I released the first episode of The Testing Psychologist. I had no idea that it would turn into what it has turned into. It’s a true blessing and a pretty amazing experience. So, thank you all for tuning in, for listening, for sharing, and being part of The Testing Psychologist world.

I will be back in 2022. Many of you know that I committed to two episodes a week a year and a half ago. It was during the pandemic, of course. And I love it. So that will continue. I am working hard to bring on more sponsors to bring quality info and discounts and products to you. And I will continue to have stellar guests as well. So stay tuned. Subscribe if you haven’t. Follow if you haven’t. Rate it if you haven’t. I look forward to spending time with you in 2022. Take care y’all.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is 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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