Assessments and Psychological Evaluations

Assessments and Psychological Evaluations

Getting the right help is a key element of successful treatment. It may not be clear what kind of help is needed, or would best compliment the needs, strengths and goals of the person, couple or family getting help. A comprehensive psychological evaluation test, psychosexual evaluation, substance abuse or addiction assessment, or psychological evaluation for couples can highlight a clear understanding of what is happening, the risks, protective factors and severity, as well as outline a succinct plan and list of options forward for symptom management, recovery from trauma or addictions, improved relationships, and an overall improvement in mental health and wellbeing.

Who Can Benefit From Assessments and Psychological Evaluations

A thorough psychological evaluation by a skilled and licensed psychologist can be a helpful addition for any person looking for more clarification on differential diagnoses, understand how to get started or change directions in their treatment, and what level of care is recommended.

Couples who want to work through difficulties but find themselves arriving at the same stalemate time and time again can benefit from a comprehensive psychological evaluation for couples, uniquely designed to help them understand their own complexities and how they are impacting the success of the relationship. With this information, a guided treatment plan can be developed to help couples work through the impediments that prevent them from having a content, secure functioning, sexually satisfying and mutually beneficial relationship.

Other professionals, such as physicians, other therapists, attorneys, sex educators, employers, often refer people for a psychological evaluation as part of a process to help them work more collaboratively and holistically, or to understand ways to support them legally or professionally.

What Specialty Topics Are Addressed?

A psychological evaluation or assessment involves a clinical interview, to get a sense of who you are and what your life has been like, and sometimes various objective assessment tools can help you and the licensed psychologist get more information. In some occasions, the psychologist may receive collateral information or request to speak with others on your behalf, as that can help fill in the gaps and provide a different perspective on what you have been experiencing. If this is the case, collateral information is only gathered with your explicit, written consent.

Mental Health Concerns

Psychosexual Assessments

Substance Abuse & Addiction

Dual Diagnosis

Forensic Evaluations

Disordered Eating

What Specialty Topics Are Addressed?

A psychological evaluation or assessment involves a clinical interview, to get a sense of who you are and what your life has been like, and sometimes various objective assessment tools can help you and the licensed psychologist get more information. In some occasions, the psychologist may receive collateral information or request to speak with others on your behalf, as that can help fill in the gaps and provide a different perspective on what you have been experiencing. If this is the case, collateral information is only gathered with your explicit, written consent.

Mental Health Concerns

Psychosexual Assessments

Substance Abuse & Addiction

Dual Diagnosis

Forensic Evaluations

Disordered Eating

Benefits Of Assessments and Psychological Evaluations

Get answers

Understanding your symptoms or diagnosis is the first step in making sure you find a provider who can help. Getting a psychological evaluation or assessment can offer you clarity on how to think about what you’re experiencing, the level of severity and how to approach feeling better.

Get an organized treatment plan, and referrals

The biggest hurdle to getting better is often not knowing where to start. Understanding which providers treat which kinds of symptoms can be a lot to sort through and learn when you’re already in pain. A thorough psychological evaluation can help you put together a plan with clear recommendations and a list of providers you can work with, if you don’t already have a team in place.

Rule out certain conditions

There are many conditions with overlapping symptoms, and it can be difficult to be clear on how to get the right kind of help, if the treatment recommendations vary. Getting clarity on differential diagnoses through psychological evaluation questions can provide you more information on whether or not medication is recommended, what kind of therapy is most effective, and how best to start your healing journey.

Decided if/how to start treatment

Sometimes it may not be clear if therapy is for you. A psychological evaluation can offer you a summary of the pros and cons of starting therapy, so you can decide if it makes sense to start individual therapy, couples therapy or group therapy, an online course, in-person workshop or a higher level of care, like an intensive outpatient program or residential care

Feel empowered

Taking control of your life can be overwhelming and having answers can offer relief and a sense of hope through the haze of uncertainty. With more information comes more options, and with more options, comes the ability to start feeling better, and live a life driven by your potential instead of pain.

Improve your relationships

Untreated mental health concerns often have unintended impacts on relationships. Irritability, anxiety, depression or trauma symptoms can hamper your willingness to connect, leave you feeling vulnerable or ashamed, and wreak havoc on your sex life. Getting help can help you feel like yourself again, be better equipped to thrive in your relationships, and more open to new ones. A psychological evaluation can help you get the help you need.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will a psychological evaluation or assessment help me?

An assessment can help you see your symptoms in a new light, so you can understand how they developed, create a vocabulary for aspects of your experience you have not been able to describe, learn how best to manage or treat your concerns, and develop a clear plan toward recovery and healing.

Who will have access to my psychological evaluation results?

When you seek out a psychological evaluation, generally you are the only person who has access to the results. In some cases, you may decide it would be helpful to release the report to another professional, like your therapist or doctor, residential facility or someone else on your treatment team. If that is the case, your written permission is given to the evaluating psychologist before any records are shared.

Couples who embark on a psychological evaluation together can decide how they would like their results shared. The pros and cons of receiving results together and separately are evaluated with the psychologist before testing begins, so each person can assess their level of comfort and the couple can decide how to proceed together.

In the event you are referred for testing as part of a legal case, all of your records are subject to review by anyone who is a part of the case, including your attorney, any judge assigned to your case, opposing counsel or the person/organization they represent. Your rights regarding the limits of confidentiality will be reviewed with you before any evaluation begins, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you wish to proceed. Your autonomy in the process is the number one priority.

If you use insurance to pay for part or all of your evaluation, or subsequent treatment, they may receive a diagnostic code or a copy of the full report.

What if I don’t like the results of my psychological evaluation?

There are times that people don’t agree with the findings because the psychological evaluation did not fully answer the questions they had, or because they do not want to hear the answers. In either event, it is recommended that you speak to the psychologist who conducted the psychological evaluation, to make sure your questions are answered, and the report is meaningful, even if it is still not what you want to hear. A second opinion may also be a savvy move, to ensure nothing is missed. When seeking out a second opinion, another psychologist can review the report and testing information, and come to different conclusions, or may recommend conducting a new psychological evaluation if warranted and feasible.

What if the results of my psychological evaluation are inconclusive?

In some cases, psychological testing may not provide the answers you are looking for. However, in those cases, the results of a psychological evaluation can help you get closer to answers and provide resources to pave the way.

How does a couples’ psychological evaluation work?

When couples have reached the end of their ability to work through concerns together, a couples’ psychological evaluation can help them see how they are each contributing to the problem (yes, they both play a role!), and examine how they can work on themselves to ultimately help them work it out together. Couples psychological evaluations can unearth undiagnosed anxiety, depression, trauma symptoms, personality disorders, addiction concerns and sexual dysfunctions, in a way that is respectful to both people in the coupleship. With this information, they will also receive a concrete plan they can enact together, with recommendations for what they can do on their own, and as a couple to curate a relationship that allows them to feel safe, loved, sexually satisfied and nurtured.

Do I have to follow the recommendations of my psychological evaluation?

No. Recommendations are recommendations, not requirements. Following them is likely to help you find relief, recovery, and resolve, but not every treatment model or intervention works for every person. If you don’t agree with the recommendations of your psychological evaluation, speak with the psychologist or your therapist to clear up questions, misconceptions, or hesitations about the recommendations that may be a deterrent. There may be other options that can help too, if the initial treatments recommended do not seem like a good fit for you. Discussing your concerns with the licensed psychologist can help you understand what may be a reluctance driven by fear, lack of resources, or uncertainty. Of course, the right to implement some, all or none of any recommendations provided is yours at any point throughout an evaluation or therapeutic process.

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