Writing to Clients and Referring Professionals about Psychological Assessment Results
A Handbook of Style and Grammar
By J. B. Allyn
Foreword by Stephen E. Finn, Constance T. Fischer
Routledge – 2012 – 248 pages
This book is the first on the craft of effective writing structured expressly for the psychologist-assessor. Author J. B. Allyn, a professional writer who specializes in psychology, combines reference book with tutorial. She blends information on the qualities that create a writer’s unique presence on the page with illustrations of correct English grammar. All of the questions, answers, and illustrations evolved from the concerns of psychologist-assessors, as did the examples, which are grounded in their writing and communication needs. The result creates a guide for report writing that can be used by either practicing professionals or graduate psychology students.
The book divides into three sections: The first and third sections discuss various aspects of effective communication, while the second is a handbook of common grammar problems. Helpful elements guide the reader through the text, including frequent bullet lists, tables and graphs, and grammar and style examples that are framed around assessment reports. It is also written in a conversational tone, which creates the same style it proposes for effectively written reports, and is a key tool for clear and appropriate communication. Readers will refer back to this book, both for quick tips on style and grammar, which are appropriate for any mental health practitioner, and for more detailed advice on writing and communication in assessment reports.
"This book is a great desk reference for the emerging assessor-writer. It serves to build on existing skills in a manner that fosters clear and concise communication to other professionals and clients. As a clinician, it is a great reference to keep close by to always remind myself how to communicate effectively. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to teach report writing at any professional level." – Michelle Casarella Espinoza, Jennifer Kellogg, Matthew R. Baity, Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology
“Finally! A definitive guide for assessment psychologists and graduate students on how to write professionally and communicate effectively and therapeutically – through written and spoken word. This book will be on my assessment course syllabus and on my shelf!” - Deborah J. Tharinger, University of Texas at Austin, USA
“If you write, you will love this book. Allyn brings back to life all those writing rules and wisdom that rang faintly in the back of my head. Beyond that it clarifies the cutting edge of psychological report writing, including children’s stories! It will be required reading for all my students!” - Hale Martin, University of Denver, Colorado, USA
Finn, Foreword. Fischer, Foreword. Part I: Building Blocks of the Report: Attitude, Tone, Style, and Voice. Attitude: The Writer's View. Tone: Words and More. Style: Content Plus Structure. Voice: What Is It and How Do I Find It? Part II: Mortar to Fortify the Building Blocks: Grammar and Editing. Big Picture, Small Details: Format, Write, Edit, Proof. Content that Communicates: Sentences and Paragraphs. Reaching Agreement: Subject-Verb, Pronoun, and Gender. Modifying the Main Idea: Adjectives and Adverbs. Precision: Right Word, Right Spelling. Guiding the Reader: Punctuate and Connect for Clarity. Part III: Beyond the Report: Extending Clear and Effective Communication. Continuing the Therapeutic Goals: Writing Letters and Stories. Richness, Texture, Safety, and Risk: Communicating Verbally. Glossary of Terms: Grammar, Style, and Communication.
J. B. Allyn specializes in creative and technical writing and editing in the field of psychology. She is affiliated with the Center for Collaborative Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine in the Bay Area of Northern California, USA