Thursday, September 11, 2008

Slaying Dr. Dragon!

I've mentioned before that I am a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (none of whom, by the way, took up my advocacy suggestion). Yesterday one member posted a question:

Does anyone know if you need permission to use the Y-BOCS in a study? I’ve written what I thought was Wayne Goodman’s email to ask but have gotten no response yet.

"Y-BOCS" stands for "Yale-Brown obsessive-compulsive scale." It's in the public domain, so a researcher should be able to use it in a study. Apparently Dr. Dragon agrees, because she responded:

Hi kevin, hope all is well. As far as I am aware if in the public domain
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director, Clinical Program
Director, CBT Training Program
The Bad Place
Founding Fellow, Academy of Cognitive Therapy
Executive Board, International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy

I get it, you're a big CBT cheese. But: As far as you're aware? Do your frickin' homework (and do a little proofreading while you're at it)! So I posted:

The Y-BOCS and Y-BOCS Symptom Checklist are in the public domain and available online:

Other excellent online resources for assessment instruments in the public domain (and some that require a license):

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington:

While I was in school I created a toolkit of public-domain assessment instruments appropriate for use by clinical social workers or psychiatrists, who aren't trained in more sophisticated testing. The toolkit covers mood and anxiety disorders, adult ADHD, substance abuse, trauma, and geriatric instruments, and includes a lit review of relevant validity studies. Backchannel me for a copy.

Ayelet Survivor, MA, MSW
(Title of my job)
(Name of my agency)

Then I started thinking this might not have been prudent. But what can she do to me? My brother-in-law sent The Bad Place a letter forbidding them from discussing me without my prior written consent. So she can't call my boss. Even if she did call my boss, I'm sure they'd listen to my side of the story and talk to my social work professors, none of whom thought nearly as poorly of me as The Bad Place did.

Fortunately, another psychologist on the list who posts all the time on all kinds of topics was impressed and posted to the list:

Hats off to you for your excellent work! I would love a copy.

Awesome. I sent it to her and she responded:

Very nice work. Thanks for sharing this.

It's possible she was just being nice and trying to encourage a new colleague, but hey -- that's more than anyone at The Bad Place ever did for me. So I guess not all psychologists are evil and unethical.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. I knew he would - he had no choice. People generally respect others when they stand their ground, as you did.

  2. I guess. I'm also pleased that 3 PhD-level psychologists have asked for a copy of the toolkit.