Psychological Assessment of Adult Survivors of Interpersonal Violence: Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Evaluation and Treatment Planning


Van Buren, B. R., & Liebman, R. E. (2021). Psychological assessment of adult survivors of interpersonal violence: guidelines for trauma-informed evaluation and treatment planning.Journal of Health Service Psychology.


It is estimated that 50–75% of adults have been exposed to one re more forms of interpersonal violence (IV), defined as violence directed between family members, intimate partners, acquaintances, strangers, or members of a community. IV often involves repeated exposure to traumatic stressors and other forms of adversity, particularly when it is first experienced during childhood. The experience of IV is also associated with negative effects across domains of functioning that can be varied and complex. Accordingly, psychological assessment of IV and its impact will be most beneficial if it is approached multidimensionally and takes into account the diversity of diagnostic categories and psychosocial domains that are impacted by exposure to IV. In this article we provide practical strategies and recommendations for assessing IV and its impact, including guidance on how to conduct a comprehensive assessment with an emphasis on involving clients collaboratively in the process. Specific recommendations are provided for setting the assessment frame, assessing strengths and needs, and providing feedback on results.

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