Psychology exam for seminarians


#1

Hello all,
I will be having my first psychological exam for entering seminary in the fall. I am just curious as to if anyone else has ever been through this before? Apparently there are three different sessions I have to go to. Just wondering what types of things will be done and what kind of questions will be asked. Thanks I would appreciate any responses.


#2

ohhh yes, the old psych eval! I had mine for seminary last november! It's nothing to be nervous about. unless you are crazy. lol. they ask EVERYTHING. how much do you masturbate? how many sexual partners? how often do you drink? how often do you smoke weed? in addition....you will have to do personality tests...like the myers-briggs. similar. they need to be sure you are stable, above normal...things like this. and don't let me freak you out.
if you're making the application...you're probably pretty normal. lol good luck brother!


#3

[quote="datritle, post:2, topic:332173"]
ohhh yes, the old psych eval! I had mine for seminary last november! It's nothing to be nervous about. unless you are crazy. lol. they ask EVERYTHING. how much do you masturbate? how many sexual partners? how often do you drink? how often do you smoke weed? in addition....you will have to do personality tests...like the myers-briggs. similar. they need to be sure you are stable, above normal...things like this. and don't let me freak you out.
if you're making the application...you're probably pretty normal. lol good luck brother!

[/quote]

less you think you are sane, and the personality test shows you have a bunch of underlying issues in which that will no doubt play a factor in the bishops' decision.

plus expect to be asked the same questions over an over in different ways, they want to make sure you are paying attention and not randomly throwing down answers. Plus if you think you can outsmart the test, you can try, but they are designed to determine if someone is lying, how I have no idea, just what I was told, but I mean why bother asking sexual questions if you answer honestly to those that you engage in it a lot or have in the past or still to do some degree that disqualifies the applicant right there more than likely,

plus there is no way to verify if someone is sexually active or engaging in pornography, at least not with a paper test that is simply asking questions. Then more over who ever comes out of those things with a clean bill of health ? I would imagine everyone has issues to some degree ranging in something so thus once again one size does not fit all and it is up to the bishop to decide how to act on the information given.

is the psyc exam anything to worry about , of course not, is it going to be very long, and very boring yes.

probably would be better off being hooked up with wires for one of those lie detector tests and it could be cheaper an quicker. * shrugs *

interesting fact

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment

if these people can fake mental illness and aggravate a bunch of people, how are we supposed to take any validity towards a psych exam or lie detector test ?

but I know , it is better than doing nothing. hence the discernment process, an not just allowing anyone in, time is the answer, well that an God.

Oh did anyone ask you to complete your medical exam or tell you when it should be completed ?


#4

It isn't that bad.

I only had one evaluation and it was on a snowy day back in February I believe.

I had built it up to be something to be nervous about but it really isn't. I enjoyed talking about some issues I've had and "getting it off my chest" so to speak. All in all, it was a good experience and it furthered my application process. I still keep in touch with the Doctor too.

Only advice I would give is BE HONEST and be consistent. Don't over think a response; just say the truth. Furthermore, once you say something, don't backtrack. The truth shall set you free. Be not afraid.

My evaluation was split into three sections all taking about four hours in total. The first was a verbal examination of my sexual past, family relationships, and social life. The second was, oddly enough, a Rorschach Test, which I thought was quite old fashioned. The third was done on the internet and was 175 multiple choice questionnaire.

Spoiler: I was accepted on May 1st :D

Best of luck pal! :thumbsup:


#5

good grief a Rorschach test... ? really ? how fruitloopy in the head does one have to be either make any sense out of it or come off as completely batty, if I ever had to take that test I would simply cycle through answering, a baseball bat, the animal bat , a variety of fish, varieties of food, then shapes consisting of circles , triangles, and rectangles, and I would finish it with saying something like, that looks like two kids fighting over an ice cream cone. or I could cycle through a bunch of subjective abstract answers.

that test should be moved into the category of a type of art style an just let it go.


#6

It seemed like a fun game to me :shrug:

I think it was to test creativity maybe? Imagination?

Either way the Doctor certainly knew his stuff, and I certainly defer to his judgement in doing the test or not.

By the way the Doctor utterly repudiated the notion of subjecting prospective Seminarians to lie detector tests. He said that would be treating them as criminals, and I must agree. Nothing would put me on edge more than a lie detector test. Even though I wouldn’t (and didn’t) lie, I would be nervous about putting my entire ecclesiastical vocation on the line with the gears and bolts of a lie detector test.


#7

[quote="Boston_Sem, post:6, topic:332173"]
It seemed like a fun game to me :shrug:

I think it was to test creativity maybe? Imagination?

Either way the Doctor certainly knew his stuff, and I certainly defer to his judgement in doing the test or not.

By the way the Doctor utterly repudiated the notion of subjecting prospective Seminarians to lie detector tests. He said that would be treating them as criminals, and I must agree. Nothing would put me on edge more than a lie detector test. Even though I wouldn't (and didn't) lie, I would be nervous about putting my entire ecclesiastical vocation on the line with the gears and bolts of a lie detector test.

[/quote]

hey don't get me wrong I think doctors do their best and do concede that they know what they are doing , until the prove me personally wrong, an I direct my comments thus to me alone or at least I should have if I did not.

though if such an odd test is going to be used I do not see how a lie detector test would be any worse, I can understand the pressure from being hooked up to a machine and wondering if I am being treated like a criminal, an surly for one like myself who deals with anxiety I have no doubt the machine would freak me out an I would probably register some false negatives.

I think psychological testing works really well for those with true mental issues, who want honest answers, or may be on trial do not know they have problems an the courts can use that information to better understand the one being prosecuted or defende... but for those who are not prepared to take one and may not realize they are dealing with problems it could come as a shock when the results come back, if they are allowed to know their results.

an I would finish with saying psychologists an psychiatrists can be really beneficial if one is willing to talk to one, an be open for help, an that like anything a person has to find the right one that they feel comfortable talking too.

so having to go into a psyc exam an talk to a psychologist whom one has never met before, and did not seek to talk to , to begin with, can be very a daunting task to a person, not everyone though, some people could be very comfortable... my worthless two cents is the psychological exam should be a slower and longer process probably started earlier in the discernment process when one is in communication with a vocations director, a preliminary psyc exam, that with permission of the applicant can be reviewed and discussed with the vocations director and in turn the vocations director could have a better understanding of the person he is talking to and how to advise the person on his journey.

instead of just basically tossing an applicant into a very long psyc exam and given a quick response to multiple things some which the applicant might just find to be a shock.

And then more over I wonder what would happen in terms of offering a candidate more psychological help if the psych exam determined the person is dealing with a lot of problems on various levels or would the board and bishop just tell the candidate thank you for applying but not right now an you may want to find help on your own.

Things that could or maybe even should be discussed at some level with a vocations director, bishop, board, and applicant, but alas there is no time for such things and everyone is granted doing the best they can with what they have, it is understandable.


#8

There are known abuses of psych evals, and the Vatican has strongly come out against them being used routinely for admission to the seminary. I wrote about some of these abuses in my canon law thesis which is available on Amazon. Bottom line is if a person is not allowed to review the report with the psychologist prior to giving a decision as to whether to send it on to the seminary or convent, their rights are being violated in an objectively gravely sinful manner.


#9

serrasemper thank you very much for the reply / input, I had no idea of the Vaticans’ stance on the matter,

let alone if that is the case why then are psy evals still being administered , are dioceses’ unaware of what is coming from the Vatican ,or is it no one cares, or is it a matter of information not getting to whom ever it needs to get to ,to put an end to the matter ?

an with your three sentences I bet your thesis was a stunner on the topic, if applicants are not even allowed to review the test with the psychologist, it just leaves the applicant wondering what he or she did wrong if anything if not accepted, or worse the applicant has a problem and that information of the findings is not discussed between the psychologist and the applicant.


#10

SerraSemper has a good point - access to psych reports in draft can be a bit of a thorny issue. One vocations director I know claimed that because the diocese paid for it they should be the only ones who had access to it. I had to tell him that that's not quite how the (civil) law works!

Returning to the OP, the purpose of the psych exam is basically two-fold: screening for any serious psychological / psychiatric disorders (sometimes I think a little paranoid schizophrenia could liven the place up but still...) and developing an understanding of the candidate's psychological make up (what makes them tick). Obviously you'd expect most major concerns to be identified long before that stage (a psychologist's time doesn't come cheap) but that's not always the case. The resulting report can also help to identify areas of development / attention for the future.

The problem with a lie detector test is that it suggests a right or wrong answer to a question (or at least a definitive response) which isn't overly helpful when it comes to identifying problems / needs, let alone understanding who a person thinks / why they do what they do.

My advice for a psych evaluation would be to be honest but also explain your answers - don't just take it as a given that the psychologist will understand.


#11

Mine had several tests written and oral (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, Personality Assessment Inventory, 16 Personality Factor Fifth Edition, Symptom Checklist-90-R, Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test) and an interview, touching upon different areas in life. Mine was only 2 sessions though.

We might do things a bit differently in Canada though.


#12

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