I’m Dr. Jeremy Sharp. Today, we’re going to be talking about the best episodes of 2018. I’m looking back a little bit on all of the interviews I’ve done, all of the solo episodes, and pulling the best of the best.
Now, before we get to that, I want to reannounce The Testing Psychologist Beginner Practice Mastermind Group which starts in January 2019. This is a group coaching experience for those of you who are just getting started in your private practices with testing, and you’d like support from myself and others who are in your exact same situation.
We did a mastermind group back in the spring that turned out pretty amazing and people found it super helpful and I’m bringing it back for 2019. So if you’re interested in that Beginner Practice Mastermind, a group coaching experience, head on over to [00:01:00] thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting, scroll down, and just apply to join that group. I’ll give you a call and we will talk about whether it’s a good fit. Would love to have you join.
All right. Let’s talk about the best of 2018 from The Testing Psychologist Podcast.
Okay, y’all, here we are. Welcome back. This is episode 77, and I’m Dr. Jeremy Sharp.
Today, like I said in the intro, I am going to do a little recap of 2018. 2018 was my second full year doing the podcast. And it is frankly pretty amazing to look back and think.
I still remember very well some of those early [00:02:00] conversations with Joe Sanok, who was my personal practice coach for several months 2 or 3 years ago, and we were having this conversation about, I wanted to do something different. I knew that I really enjoyed teaching. I taught professional issues and practice development at a local grad school program. I was just looking for something different to shake it up and share knowledge in that way, and Joe, who runs the Practice of the Practice podcast, one of the most successful if not the most successful mental health podcasts out there, pushed me in this direction.
And my gosh, it was a ton of work in the beginning: getting everything set up, figuring out my system, figuring out how to get people to come on the podcast, and how to interview. It was a huge learning curve. But now here we are two years later. We’ve got now 77 episodes after this one is [00:03:00] published and it has been awesome.
This is still one of my favorite parts of the week. I really look forward to recording these episodes. I love interviewing folks. I’ve gotten to connect with some of the truly preeminent folks here in our field, and just to have that privilege to bring those folks and their knowledge to such a wide audience is really fulfilling. I’m so glad that I’ve gone this direction and will continue to go in this direction.
Let’s see. Let’s take a look back at some numbers for 2018. I’m a numbers person. Many of you are numbers people as well with the work that we do.
The total unique downloads for this year were 35,134 downloads. Now, this is nothing, to be [00:04:00] honest, compared to some of those larger podcasts. I had to get that out of my mind when I was looking at the numbers that we’re never going to be like Joe Rogan or even Practice of the Practice podcast or some of those podcasts with a broader breadth of clinicians that they’re pulling in to listen. And that’s totally okay. We have this little niche and I’m truly amazed that there have been 35,000 downloads of this podcast over the course of the year. Testing is such a specialty, and back in the beginning, I had no idea who would be listening or if anyone would want to listen, and yet here we are.
So that’s super cool. Just over 35,000 downloads. It’s been downloaded all across the world. I think the last time I checked it was over 30 different countries [00:05:00] that had downloaded the podcast. I don’t honestly really know how that works. I’m assuming it’s all English-speaking assessment folks in these different countries. So, it’s across the world and it’s just really cool to know that it’s reached that many people.
So total downloads as of right this moment, I checked right before I started recording are at 49,596. That is really close to 50,000, which to me is a milestone. So that’s cool too that we’re probably going to hit 50,000 before the end of 2018.
Now, let’s see. Most downloads in a single day, that was 404 on October 22nd. That is something to really pay attention to as [00:06:00] well. Those initial downloads often reflect the number of subscribers, and that says that there are about 400 people out there who are subscribed, who are tuning in each week, and who are looking for the podcast whenever it comes out.
I would love to continue to grow that number. So if you have not subscribed, it does so much good to help bump this podcast up the charts, so to speak, and try to show guests that it is worth coming on. So if you haven’t subscribed, take like 30 seconds and go into your podcast app and it should be a pretty obvious button in there. Just hit subscribe and you’ll get those episodes whenever they release.
Okay, now, the best of 2018. This is the part that I really like to talk about. In my best of episodes last year, I counted down the top five most downloaded podcast episodes, and we’re going to do that again this year. So [00:07:00] drum roll.
Without further ado, the number five most downloaded podcast of this year was episode 55, All about dyslexia assessment with Dr. Robin Peterson. If you did not catch this episode, Robin was a fantastic guest, as they all are. She talked all about dyslexia and assessing dyslexia.
Robin is a co-author of two books. She studied with Bruce Pennington, who is a pretty prolific neuropsych researcher, specifically on learning disorders out of Denver. She has a book coming out in January 2019. It’s all about the neuropsychological perspective on dyslexia and learning disorders, but she talked about her ideal dyslexia battery.
We dove into the discrepancy model, [00:08:00] the PSW model Model for assessing and diagnosing learning disorders, patterns of strengths, and weaknesses. We talked about her key components, like what are you looking for in a dyslexia assessment? And she gave us a ton of resources. That was something that really jumped out. She had an excellent working knowledge of resources out there that could really help with dyslexia assessment, so she dove into that as well. And then as a bonus, I managed to get her to tack on her one-hour concussion assessment battery because she works at Children’s Hospital Colorado and does a lot of that work.
So that was episode number 55, Dr. Robin Peterson, All about dyslexia assessment.
Okay, number four, episode number 44 with Dr. Benjamin Ben Lovett: Rethinking ADHD assessment. This was the first of two [00:09:00] appearances on the podcast with Dr. Ben Lovett. I think he remains the only repeat guest. And this one was a really interesting one.
We meant to get into testing accommodations for ADHD and so forth, like for the MCAT and LSAT and those sorts of things because that’s what he has studied and written books on over the years, but we detoured down this rabbit hole of what are we actually trying to do when we’re assessing ADHD and what parts of those assessments are important from a test reviewer perspective or accommodations request reviewer.
Dr. Lovett raised some eyebrows and raised a lot of discussions when he got into the idea that many reviewers are not looking so much for the cognitive assessment that we do, and the cognitive assessment, at least from an accommodations request perspective [00:10:00] is not that important. So he talked a lot about the role of behavior checklists, good interviewing, and how to document ADHD symptoms in the context of accommodations requests.
Let’s see. What else did he talk about? I think that’s about it. We really focused on how to assess ADHD from a testing accommodations perspective and people had a lot of discussion around this. It’s continued to generate a lot of discussion in the Facebook group since then. And it is a pretty enduring episode. So that was episode number 44, Dr. Ben Lovett on Rethinking ADHD Assessment in Adults.
All right, moving on to the number three most downloaded episode of 2018.
Number three is episode 50 with Dr. Ellen Braaten – All about processing speed. [00:11:00] I had so many guests this year where when I was typing out the show notes, I was able to write, this person has literally written the book on blank topic and Ellen is one of those. Ellen wrote a book called Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up, and it talks all about processing speed, what it is, how it shows up in real life, and how to help with it.
She is so good. She was such a good interviewee. I had a nice connection with her. We both went to Colorado State for our doctorate degrees and we had a great conversation about processing speed. We talked about what it is, how it’s related to executive functioning and working memory. We dove into how you “fix it or if you can fix it”, and we talked about how to measure processing speed with neuropsychological testing.
We covered a lot of ground and [00:12:00] she shared a ton of knowledge with us about processing speed. So, like I said, Ellen wrote a book, Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up, and she also, many years ago, wrote the Child Clinicians Report Writing Handbook which I still recommend to people as a guide for writing effective pediatric reports. So check that out. Episode number 50, Dr. Ellen Braaten- All about processing speed.
Now, we’re really getting down to it. The number two most downloaded episode of 2018 was episode 73 with Dr. Celine Saulnier – Research-informed autism assessment. Now, this was, I think one of my personal favorite interviews because, much like Ellen, Celine was just a fantastic interviewee.
She was warm. She was very responsive. She was very [00:13:00] knowledgeable and I felt like we had a great connection just right off the bat even though I had never met her before. And she also responded to my interview request, which came totally out of the blue, and she was very excited about it. So, from that perspective, she was a great interviewee, but the knowledge that she shared about her experience in autism research over the years was really just phenomenal. I kept asking questions thinking that I was going to stump her, and that never happened.
We covered a lot of ground in terms of autism assessment, both in research and practice. So we talked about early identification of autism during infancy and things you might look for even in very little babies. We talked about genetic research in autism and where we’re at with that, we talked about gender differences in autism, and we talked about her ideal battery for assessing autism. We covered a lot of breadth in this interview [00:14:00] and obviously that that showed up. People enjoyed it and this was the second most downloaded episode of 2018: Episode 73 with Dr. Celine Saulnier – Research-informed autism assessment.
Okay, now’s the real drum roll. What episode was the most popular in 2018? Take just a few seconds and try to think to yourself, if you’re a longtime listener, if you’re a subscriber, think to yourself, which episode do you think might have been the most popular?
Alright, here we go. The number one most downloaded episode of 2018 from The Testing Psychologist podcast is episode number 71: Dr. Steve Feifer – Learning disorders are not created equal. A lot of you were aware [00:15:00] that this episode was coming out because I got off the recording and immediately went to the Facebook group and said, oh my gosh, y’all don’t want to miss this one. This was a fantastic interview and that showed.
Steve Feifer, if you have not heard of him, has really done pretty much everything in our field over the course of his career. So longtime school psychologist, now a practicing clinical psychologist, also a test developer, and a researcher. He is an author of the Feifer Assessment of Reading, the Feifer Assessment of Math, and as he talks about in the interview, the Feifer Assessment of Writing.
Steve and I talked about a lot of different things. Another great conversationalist. He was an easy guy to interview. Talked about the nuances of test development and how you might get into that as a psychologist. We really dive [00:16:00] into the different types of reading disorders and the different types of math disorders. I do ask him about assessment of writing and that’s when he disclosed that he was coming out with an assessment of writing because I think we need a better one in our field. And then we talked about how to intervene appropriately and what kind of recommendations might be helpful for kids with different types of learning disorders.
So we really parse out different types of reading disorders, different types of math disorders, and which interventions might be most helpful for those. So, this was the top downloaded episode of 2018, Dr. Steve Feifer, episode 71 – Learning disorders are not created equal.
So it was really interesting. There were a few things that jumped out as I was putting together the list of the top downloaded episodes. One is that our top two most [00:17:00] downloaded are also two of the most recent which tells me that they were just so good that even without the benefit of time, which typically equals more downloads, these episodes really leaped to the top. So both of those were within the last two months. So that’s awesome. It also tells me that the subscribership is going up, and more people are downloading right off the bat, which is also really cool. Like I said, I would love to get that number up.
But the biggest thing that I took away from this top five list is that you’ll notice that all of these episodes are interviews, and not only are they interviews, but they’re interviews with experts in our field. So I think this has been the trend as time has gone on with this podcast is I’m really finding that there are a lot of podcasts out there about general practice development and business [00:18:00] and the coaching podcasts in the mental health world, and what really sets us apart is this ability to interview experts in the field and bring relevant knowledge on specific cases, diagnoses, research, things like that.
There are no episodes here in the top five about business, and none of my solo episodes are here in the top five. I had to deal with a little ego blow there, but I think I’m good with that. What that tells me is that I’m going to keep heading in that direction. I will still do business episodes, of course, and I will still do solo episodes, but I am really going to double down and try to focus on finding experts to interview for our field.
So with that, if you have any requests, any particular areas that you’d like to hear about, any experts you’d like to try, and [00:19:00] get on the podcast, please reach out and let me know. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and shoot me some ideas. I would love to hear what y’all want to hear and I will do my best to continue to bring some excellent content to you folks about testing and assessment.
There you have it. That’s the 2018 wrap-up. I am pushing it down to the wire. I think I mentioned before that I typically record mostly in real-time, so this is absolutely in real-time. It’s going to be released probably around noon Eastern time, maybe a little bit later. So on New Year’s Day. So here we are last day of 2018.
I hope it was a good one for y’all. This is also a time for me when I like to reflect back and just look at the practice run the numbers, but really think about what worked for me this year. What was an [00:20:00] improvement? What do I still want to accomplish in 2019? What do I want to change?
In my case, I’m focusing more and more energy on running our group practice. And a big part of that is cutting back my clinical load even more. So I’ll be doing less clinical work, more administrative work with our practice and really trying to build that. I’m also going to be dedicating a lot more time here to the podcast and consulting.
One of the things that is on the horizon down the road is a Testing Psychologist Membership Community where for a relatively low monthly fee, you’re going to have access to tons of good information, very specific testing-related resources, paperwork, interviews, case consultations, training,[00:21:00] all sorts of good stuff. So keep that on the back burner. That’s going to be where I’m putting a lot of my energy in the coming months. I will keep you posted as things develop with that.
Like I said at the beginning, if you are interested in the Beginner Practice Mastermind Group, I would love to have you. We have 3 spots left out of 6, and it starts in three weeks. So, if you’re interested, you can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting, scroll down, and just hit Apply now, you’ll fill out a short questionnaire, I will schedule a call and then we will figure out if the mastermind could be a good fit for you.
All right, y’all. That’s it. That is a wrap. We are wrapping up 2018. I wish y’all the best. I hope you have a great holiday season, a great break. I hope you’re taking some time off, rejuvenating, relaxing. [00:22:00] I will look forward to seeing you in 2019 with more awesome guests and great content.
Alright y’all, thanks so much to all the listeners for all the downloads, for all the support, and for all the positive words. I really appreciate it. It really keeps me going. I love doing this and I look forward to doing more. Take care, y’all.