Newly Introduced Adaptational Etiologies


The reports from Caldwell Report now contain new, unique, and we believe revolutionary hypotheses as to the developmental origins of the patterns of psychopathology that are identified by the MMPI-2. These are emotionally shaping traumas and developmental experiences including rearing attitudes, histories and types of abuse, personal tragedies, more recent adult traumatic experiences and onsets, and for some patterns potential biologic dispositions that can make a person more vulnerable to the particular MMPI-2 codetype outcomes. The qualities of the attachments they form are considered in detail. As is explained in the website material, this is based in part on Dr. Caldwell’s belief that all behavior is survival adaptive when we sufficiently understand the individual in his or her experiential and constitutional contexts.


These developmental supplements are now included in about three-fourths of the narrative reports that we prepare; some code types occur so infrequently that sufficient etiologic data is not presently available. Some profiles, of course, have a single pair of scales that are distinctly the most elevated. Other profiles may have four, five, or six scales nearly equally elevated. These latter typically are clinically mixed cases with behavioral suggestions of several varied diagnoses. In the simple profiles, the etiologic and developmental information is expected to be a relatively good fit, sometimes even a bit uncanny. But the profiles with several scales nearly at the same elevations often have complex and mixed histories with diverse traumas if not many different painful and aversive experiences. In these cases the etiologic data is expected to fit only a part of the emotional history, a salient part but incomplete in the areas reflected in the secondary scales.


In forensic applications the etiologic Supplement has at times proven problematic. The developmental material - that can be so productive and save so much time in psychotherapy - is tangential to the determinations to be made by the trial court. The Supplement has in-depth information that in most cases could only be confirmed or disconfirmed in extended and intensive treatment sessions; we would almost never expect it to be covered within the time frame and focus of a forensic examination. Clients have alerted us to instances in forensic cases where cross-examining attorneys have taken to asking questions about the Adaptation Supplement. Their effort is to obscure the prior direct testimony with unanswerable questions, as if to suggest that the examiner’s work was incomplete or deficient. One colleague said his response is, "If you want to know about that material, you should call Dr. Caldwell as a Witness."


Therefore, this Adaptation Supplement is explicitly optional. It will normally be included in each report we send out where such information has been identified for the obtained pattern type. However, if you notify us that you do not want it to be included, we will not print it out, and we will not include it in your report nor in our file copy of the report. But you must notify us if you do not want it. This can be in an accompanying note or on the answer sheet, but in the latter case please make sure it is clearly visible and noticeable. If there are any additional ways we can help you in this regard, please contact us.


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