Lorna Smith Benjamin

The latest in SASB and IRT

Pictures and Uses of SASB models

Web based Audio interview that is a good introduction to  SASB

An interview with David Van Nuys, Ph.D. about SASB and what it has revealed about important aspects of mental disorder.

A description of that interview appears at


[Click the link within the introductory paragraph to get to the summary]

What do the SASB models look like?

Here is a file showing the models from the simplest to the most complex versions. All versions are copyrighted and may not be published without written permission from the various copyright holders shown in this file.

Link to Windows Slide show:

Link to iphone Slide show:

If you are an author who wants to include of copy of the SASB model in your paper, please use the cites shown for the respective models in this file. If you have questions please write me via the Contact tab and I will be happy to clarify and facilitate the process of fair use.  Thank you.

How are SASB models Used?

SASB assessments can be based on self ratings (SASB Intrex questionnaires) and/or by objective observer ratings (SASB coding).   They can be used in many contexts including helping individual patients in psychotherapy better apprehend their interpersonal patterns, where they came from, and what they are for.  In research and clinical practice, the assessments are useful in studies of individual, couples, families or groups, and whether identified as patients or other categories.  They also are useful in when studying human development, training psychotherapists and business managers.  Psychotherapists who are skilled in SASB coding and the predictive principles of the model have finely  tuned ears for recognition of interpersonal and intrapsychic process.  If a therapist wants to become an expert using the IRT case formulation and treatment models, it will help a lot to  learn to use the SASB model correctly.

SASB predictive principles.   

SASB- based measurements can generate useful predictions.  For example, using the simple cluster version of the model, here is an example of the predictive principle of complementarity: “If I take CONTROL, I am asking him/her to SUBMIT to me.Other principles might operate, depending on the person and the context. He or she might resist with the antithesis (SEPARATE). Another likely possibility is to engage in a power struggle (ATTACK).” So starting with a given point (CONTROL, for example) several predictions are made.  It is interesting to discuss which might apply for a given person in a given context.  A clinician learns that a particular patient will tend to respond with one of them more often than the others.  A dependent person might often SUBMIT.  A passive aggressive or avoidant person might withdraw.  An obsessive compulsive person might come back with and attempt greater control. An antisocial person might use aggression to assure counter control. These examples are only about one Starting point: CONTROL.  The principles apply to every point on the model. They are based in natural biology and are relevant at the dyadic, group or societal and other levels. After a while one learns about combinations of patterns that are likely to occur together and what kinds of early socialization likely has programmed them (Benjamin, 1996/2003).


Woman foraging


Example of SASB and its uses in IRT

What is Functional about Functional Autonomy?”  Klopfer Award speech invited by the Society for Assessment of Personality at the annual meeting in March, 2007. Because i already had a commitment to present a workshop in Denmark that day, the speech was given by DVD.  The substance of this speech appears in: Benjamin, L. S. (2008)  What is functional about functional autonomy? Psychological Assessment, 90,412-420.


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