What is the purpose of a Psychological Assessment?
Psychological Assessments provide a structured way of gathering information on your current psychological functioning, including strengths and challenges in cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and interpersonal domains. We believe that it is extremely important for you to have a way to label your struggles that makes sense to you, and have a solid understanding of what we are targeting in treatment and why. The general goal of a psychological evaluation is to:
- Provide a diagnosis or differentiate between diagnoses
- Confirm or modify impressions formed by referring providers
- Assess frequency, intensity, duration of symptoms and associated impairments
- Clarify symptoms and their interrelationships
- Develop treatment recommendations and guide treatment planning and decision-making
Assessments are conducted in collaborative way and are followed by a “feedback session” in which we share our impressions and recommendations and give you the opportunity to share your reactions and ask questions.
We routinely conduct Psychological Assessments in the initial phase of therapy to highlight areas of strength and concern and for treatment planning purposes. We also assess your symptoms on a regular basis throughout therapy to monitor progress and inform treatment planning. If you are interested in a more comprehensive evaluation process, or would like a formal, written, integrated report, you can make arrangements for those services with your individual therapist. Reports are generally available within 3-4 weeks of the final assessment session.
We are also able to provide Psychological Assessments to clients who are not interested in pursuing therapy following the evaluation. Typically, clients who are interested exclusively in psychological assessments have specific questions they would like answered, such as, “Do I meet criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?” or, “What kind of personality disorder do I have, if any?” or “How problematic is my substance use? Does it warrant treatment, and if so, what would be a good fit for me?”
What are some examples of domains covered by Psychological Assessments?
- Posttraumatic stress
- Depression and anxiety
- Substance use
- Personality disorders
- Grief, loss and complicated bereavement
- Eating disorders
- Perinatal (e.g., antenatal, postpartum) functioning
- Sexual functioning (e.g., difficulties related to pain, orgasm, arousal, desire, and satisfaction)
- Interpersonal functioning (e.g., relationship history, interpersonal skills)
- Cognitive functioning (e.g., memory, attention, concentration)
- Distressing, repetitive, or intrusive thoughts
- Important aspects of development and life history (e.g., family of origin, life stressors)
What does the assessment process involve?
- Depending on the reason for the assessment (e.g., initial assessment for treatment planning purposes vs. comprehensive assessment requested for a specific purpose), it can take anywhere from one session to several.
- Typically, assessments are comprised of a combination of interview questions and self-report measures. Other assessment tools may also be utilized.
- In a feedback session following the conclusion of the assessment, we share our impressions and recommendations with you, and invite you to share your reactions and ask questions.