A psychological evaluation is a formal assessment of a person's current functioning. Psychological evaluations are often requested in order to determine the extent to which a known or suspected mental illness or cognitive deficits affect a person's functioning. It usually includes an interview, review of records, one-on-one testing, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Psychological evaluations and psychological testing can clarify questions regarding learning impairments, personality structure, brain damage and intellectual capabilities. Most psychological evaluations include psychological testing with standardized test instruments. Personality tests are administered for a wide variety of reasons, from diagnosing psychopathology to screening job candidates. Tests designed to assess reading level and arithmetic skills help to identify academic or achievement problems. IQ testing is used to determine intellectual abilities.
APT has many psychologists experienced in performing psychological evaluations and assessments. To schedule an evaluation with a Licensed Psychologist, or for more information call APT at 304.302.0526.
Why would you be referred for a Psychological Evaluation?
Pediatricians often refer children, adolescents and teens to a psychologist for a psychological evaluation in order to determine if there are developmental delays, cognitive impairments or symptoms indicative of childhood mental illnesses such as Autism and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Physicians refer patients to psychologists in order to better understand how a person's psychological functioning affects their overall health and to assist in treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and Bipolar Disorder.
Children are sometimes referred for psychological evaluations through the court system. If a child is placed in the custody of the state due to behavioral problems or neglect and abuse, a psychological evaluation is requested in order to determine the level of services necessary to treat the child's impairments and improve functioning.
Sometimes psychological evaluations are requested in order to determine if a person is suffering from dementia or other impairments due to head injury or trauma.
Psychological evaluations may be requested by physicians or the legal system in order to determine the extent of drug or alcohol problems and to make recommendations regarding the level of intervention services necessary in order to treat drug and alcohol addiction.
How long does it take?
Psychological evaluations vary greatly depending upon the referral question. All psychological evaluations include a clinical interview, behavioral observations (usually during testing), a Mental Status Exam, test results (if testing was performed), a DSM-IV diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Collateral information from others and a review of records is also beneficial but not always available. Many take no more than one to two hours while some can take several hours over 2-3 sessions.
What can you do to prepare for your psychological evaluation?
Make note of symptoms and behaviors that concern you. Keep track of sleepless nights and changes in mood or functioning level. Bring any available records to the evaluation. If possible make a list of current medications you are taking including over-the-counter medications.