ABSTRACT

Positive psychology researchers have thus concluded that comprehensive psychological assessments should include attention to traditional psychological "symptom" data as well as positive psychological "strengths" data, which includes PQOL reports. For example, Wright and Lopez (2002) propose a four-front approach that includes assessment of (a) individual strengths (e.g., strong self-satisfaction), (b) individual weakness (e.g., symptoms), (c) environmental assets and resources (e.g., strong quality of family life), and (d) environmental stressors and deficits (e.g., poor peer relations). Applying the fourfold model to DSM, Wright and Lopez suggest intriguing modifications of Axes IV and V (along with the introduction of an Axis VI) to guide clinicians in identifying strengths-based data to include "what is working in the client's life" (p. 40), in addition to data related to what is not working. Wright and Lopez argue that such a framework increases intervention possibilities by encouraging the discovery of personal and environmental resources that can enhance intervention efficacy and prevent future problems and/or relapses. Frisch (1998) also discusses the shortcomings of psychological assessments based exclusively on symptom-based measures, concluding that both symptom-based and PQOL measures are essential first-order components of comprehensive assessment plans that provide the strongest foundation for case conceptualization and treatment plans. He further speculates that "in the future, psychological and medical 'checkups' may routinely involve QOL assessments" (p. 36), given their potential costeffectiveness and predictive validity.