You or a family member may have been referred for psychological testing, and you may be wondering what it is for and what to expect. It may sound intimidating, but psychological testing is merely another type of medical evaluation. When someone is exhibiting physical symptoms, medical tests can provide answers. When someone is experiencing social/emotional or behavioral symptoms, psychological testing may provide an understanding of possible causes for the symptoms to help develop a treatment plan.
There are a wide variety of reasons for administering psychological assessments. A child having difficulty in school could be helped by taking an aptitude test to determine whether they are struggling with a learning disability or experiencing attention difficulties. A neuropsychologist may administer reaction and memory tests to rule out brain injuries or dementia. Someone having problems at work or with personal relationships, may benefit from psychological testing to understand the nature of the problems, to determine how they could be addressed.
Psychological Testing & What to expect
Psychological testing consists of an initial evaluation and subsequent testing appointments. Standardized questionnaires or checklists are administered so that everyone is evaluated in the same way. These “norm-referenced tests” can be effective for measuring a particular trait or disorder. Psychological assessments include numerous components, such as standardized tests, medical records, personal interviews, and observational data. There is a lot of beneficial information that can be gained from the results of standardized tests, but it takes a comprehensive evaluation that includes information about the whole person to develop proper diagnostic conclusions.
Psychological Assessments Start with an Evaluation
Psychological assessments start with an evaluation. A clinical psychologist will meet with the client and discuss their immediate concerns as well as psychosocial history. This also allows them to observe how the client thinks, reasons, and interacts with others. They may also meet with others involved with the client, for example if it is a child their parents and teachers, or for adults maybe coworkers or family members, if the client approves. A combination of the initial evaluation and results of the assessments administered provides the psychologist with a clear picture of a person’s strengths and limitations.
Licensed clinical psychologists are the only ones who can perform most psychological tests. They are expertly trained to administer a specific set of assessments based on a patient’s specific symptoms and needs, and to interpret the results of those evaluations. At Psychiatric Wellness Center, our licensed clinical psychologists are expertly trained to administer psychological tests, reach a specific diagnosis, and then develop a personalized treatment plan with recommendations.
Psychological testing is not something to fear, it is merely an opportunity for you or your loved one to receive personalized recommendations from a licensed clinical psychologist. Contact Psychiatric Wellness Center today to schedule your psychiatric evaluation.