Psychological Testing and Diagnostic Evaluations
When indicated, the clinicians offer comprehensive psychological evaluation and assessment services. Among the evaluations offered are psychological evaluation and testing, diagnosis of mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, assessment for behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, conduct disorder, personality strengths/weaknesses, and mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Why participate in psychological evaluation and testing? Psychological evaluations are intended to provide a structured, organized, and succinct description of current psychological functioning, including cognitive abilities and emotional experience.
Psychological evaluation offers insight as to the severity of a particular disturbance and of the individual's capacity to adequately function. It is a formal and structured way of gathering objective information about a person for the purpose of making decisions and sorting out questions about the particular child, adolescent, or adult. In addition, a psychological evaluation may be used to confirm or modify the impressions formed by referring therapists or educators through less-structured interactions in therapy or in the classroom. A comprehensive evaluation can identify needs in therapy, highlight issues that may come up in treatment, recommend particular forms of intervention, and offer guidance about potential outcomes of treatment.
A good psychological assessment can not only clarify diagnosis and assist in developing treatment goals, but it can also answer specific questions. Such questions may include:
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What areas should you focus on in treatment?
What treatment plan would be most effective in addressing your problems?
What is the motivation or function of certain maladaptive behaviors?
How do your weaknesses or deficits affect your functioning at work, in school, or at home?
What is involved in a psychological evaluation? A comprehensive psychological evaluation begins with a clinical interview, and includes any number of psychological tests depending on the nature of the questions posed about the client. However, more tests administered during an evaluation does not necessarily mean a better assessment. Testing generally takes several hours to complete and usually requires separate appointments. Psychological tests can include assessments of personality styles, tests of emotional well-being, intellectual (or IQ) tests, tests of academic achievement, tests for possible neurological damage, and tests for specific psychological disturbances and their severity. A good psychological assessment should be comprehensive, yet answer the initial relevant questions posed. We conduct evaluations that utilize only research-validated testing instruments. An evaluation may also include interviews with significant others (such as parents, spouses, or teachers), as well as a review of past records and relevant documents. Finally, in an interactive feedback meeting, a formal integrated written report of findings is presented.
The use of psychological tests requires years of training that involves not only learning how to administer the tests, but also how to integrate all the results from a variety of tests with background information, interviews, with the clinical knowledge of theories, of research, of the nature of psychological problems, of personality styles, and of human development. Psychologists are the only mental health professionals who are fully trained and qualified to use psychological tests. It is the professional gathering and integration of all this material about a person that is the process of a psychological evaluation.
How to Make an Appointment Complete an intake online or call 609-844-0452, extension 713 to schedule an intake. Most insurances are accepted.