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  • Writer's pictureDr. Eric Powell

Do I need a Psychological Assessment, and what exactly is it?

Has your healthcare professional suggested that you undergo a psychological evaluation?

Maybe you have noticed symptoms such as poor concentration, mood changes, or even performance changes?

Or have you been engaged in treatment for some time managing mood or mental health symptoms but seem to have little to no improvement?

These are all valid reasons to consider completing a psychological assessment.

So, let’s go back and answer why someone would complete an

assessment. As already mentioned, there are several scenarios that would result

in someone seeking this service. For someone already engaging in

treatment, an assessment can be helpful if there has not been notable progress or

assess other factors that could be getting in the way of progress. This is often

referred to as “diagnostic clarification”. This can be helpful to you and to your

provider (if you currently have one) to better tailor your treatment to the

symptoms you are experiencing. For example, a common complaint is

poor focus, attention, or concentration. Although this is a common symptom of

ADHD, it can also be a symptom of some anxiety disorders, depression, poor

sleep, or other health problems. A psychological assessment can help dig a little

deeper to better clarify a diagnosis, which can lead to better-targeted treatment.

“what is involved in a psychological assessment and

how long does it take”?

This answer will depend on what is being assessed, but typically there are three key steps and three visits to an assessment. The first step and visit involve clarifying the assessment's reason and ensuring you understand and consent to the process. The remainder of the first session usually involves a detailed interview with the provider to get your history, which includes your presenting complaint/symptoms and how these have been affecting you, your medical and mental health history, medications, sleep history, and social history (family, education, occupation).

The second step or visit involves the actual testing, which again will vary depending on the presenting complaint.

These tests could assess anything from intellectual functioning, memory, and concentration to assessments for different mental health conditions.

Finally, and maybe the most important step is the last visit, the feedback session. This session is when you and your provider go through the results together, discuss how these results relate to your experiences and symptoms, and what treatments could be most helpful to you.

If you would like more information about the assessment process, feel free to

contact me!

Dr. Powell

Contact: (210) 549-7227 /

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