Laurie Anne Pearlman, Ph.D.
Previously known as the Traumatic Stress Institute, (TSI) Belief Scale, this highly useful new instrument assesses the long-lasting psychological impact of traumatic life events. The TABS helps clinicians design the most effective therapeutic approach for individual trauma survivors as well as important themes that characterise the client's relationships, often including the therapeutic relationship.
The TABS Assesses 5 areas sensitive to the effects of trauma. Composed of 84 items, the TABS is a self-report, paper-and-pencil test. It assesses beliefs, about self and others, that are related to five needs commonly affected by traumatic experience:
For each of these dimensions, the TABS produces 10 scale scores reflecting "beliefs about self" and "beliefs about others." A Total Score is also provided.
The client rates each item on a 6-point scale. Adult norms are based on a heterogeneous sample of 1,743 individuals ages 18 years and older. Youth norms are derived from a sample of 1,242 students, ages 9 to 18 years, from public schools throughout the United States. They are separated by age (9 to 13 years and 14 to 18 years). Test items require only a third-grade reading level.
Because the effects of trauma are so pervasive, often involving defences, coping styles, view of self and others, ego resources, psychological needs, world view, and identity, the TABS has a wide range of clinical applications. It may be used even when a client does not meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD since it addresses issues that frequently come up in therapy for other problems. Items do not focus on trauma-related symptoms per se, but rather on an individual's relationship history. They do not stigmatise or pathologise, making the TABS helpful in any therapeutic endeavour that is focused on relationship disruptions.
Brief, easy to read, non-threatening, and highly sensitive to the specific effects of traumatic experience, the TABS gives clinicians a valuable tool in assessing trauma survivors, clients with PTSD, individuals with vicarious, and those with other psychological problems.
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