What Is Psychological Testing and Evaluation?
Often the symptoms of a psychological disorder are obvious, such as when a child experiences academic and social problems at school, or an adult struggles to maintain personal and professional relationships due to anger issues, but the cause of the problem is not always clear. Psychological testing and evaluation consists of a series of tests that help determine the cause of psychological symptoms and disorders, to determine the correct diagnosis and follow up with the appropriate course of treatment. The methods used for the evaluation will depend on your teen’s needs. It may consist of a series of formal or structured psychological tests as well as clinical interviews designed to identify and describe the emotional, behavioral or learning problems that may be contributing to the problems your teen is having.
What is the process?
The process takes several hours and is completed during several different sessions. A psychological evaluation should be considered in cases where there is uncertainty about the reasons your teen is having problems with mood, behavior, or learning.
Some reasons why you may seek psychological testing for your teen include:
- Psycho-diagnostic testing(e.g. anxiety, depression, self-harm, anger)
- Ruling out or ruling in a mental health disorder/diagnosis
- Testing to assess psychological, emotional, and/or behavioral functioning
- Risk Assessment(violence, sexual, suicide)
- Needs Assessment
- Substance Issues
- Other evaluations: please contact office
What are the benefits for psychologists and patients for conducting psychological evaluations?
Psychological evaluations offer many benefits for both psychologists and patients. Some of the benefits of conducting evaluations include:
- Honest engagement with one another to get to the root of any psychological problems
- Health professionals can check and challenge their own diagnoses in collaboration with clinical psychologists
- Easier to evaluate more complex patient cases and prescribe more personalized treatments
- Interviews and one-on-one testing help determine the appropriate level of clinical intervention
- Patients and psychologists can collaborate on a treatment plan, making treatment more likely to have a better outcome
Our psychological evaluations also offer many benefits to the patient. Some of the most important benefits of a psychological assessment include:
- The interview and testing engages and empowers the patient by making him or her an active part of the evaluation and decision-making process.
- The psychologist communicates genuine respect for the patient and builds rapport by not making the patient feel like no more than a “subject.”
- Health professionals, psychologists, and the patient can all come to a joint understanding of what interventions and treatments may be needed.
- The evaluations have a similar clinical impact as other therapeutic therapy or counseling.
What are the signs that a psychological evaluation may be needed?
Warning signs aren’t always as dramatic as fire-setting, self-harm or the other indications listed above. Sometimes they are a lot more subtle, which is why it’s important to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. This way, it’s easier to proactively seek out help of mental health professionals and prevent problems from becoming much worse.
Here are several early warning signs that a psychological evaluation may be needed:
- Anxiety or paranoia with no basis in reality
- Concentration problems and other cognitive issues
- Increased sensitivity to light, sound, or touch
- Seeming to feel disconnected or apathetic
- Social withdrawal, especially from family and close friends
- Struggles with routine tasks
- Inability to function at work, school, or social activities
- Unhealthy changes in sleep or appetite
- Unexplained and sudden behavioral or mood changes
- Other unusual and uncharacteristic behavior
Having one or two of these symptoms may not be enough cause for alarm. But, if your teen has more of these symptoms, especially if they impact daily functioning and social interactions, an evaluation should be made right away. A thorough psychological evaluation by experienced psychologist Dr. Tishanna Majette can help detect problems like anxiety, depression, and even learning disabilities so you can get help faster.
If your teen has thoughts of harming others or themselves, contact us for immediate attention.