Psychological assessments—utilizing comprehensive psychometric measures and clinical interviewing—are often underrated and under-utilized elements within mental health care. Clients often comment about the high price of psychological assessments and worry that the clinician is just there to diagnose an individual without providing therapeutic care. However, there also exists a vast amount of positive feedback both from clients, clinicians, and psychiatrists who have found that psychological assessment presents an important tool for overall mental health.
What is a psychological assessment?
Google this question and you will may find an answer like, “A psychological assessment involves the planned use of interviews, objective psychometric tests, and complex personality inventories.” However, a psychological assessment is more than just simple interviewing and plugging-and-chugging data. At Grace Counseling, psychological testing is the combination of focused tests to create a holistic picture of the individual person and answer their questions. Testing incorporation theory, clinical observations and psychometric tests that allow clinicians to see the “whole individual.”
Benefits of Testing: Clarity, Diagnosis, Treatment Plan
The primary impact of testing is on the individual who was tested. Everyone has questions about themselves. Often clients may ask themselves questions about how they see the world (e.g., “Do I have a learning disorder?” “Why do I get angry so easily?” “What is going on with me?”“Why do I always feel stuck?”). Testing can provide answers to these questions and increase understanding and clarity.
Sometimes clients have tried a plethora of medications and have been in therapy for years but appear to not be progressing. It is in these situations where psychological assessments can help individuals and clinicians identify the challenges preventing forward momentum. Assessments have the power to provide a clear diagnosis and effective treatment recommendations. Assessments are not here to replace therapy, but to add to it; to create a more robust image of the person who comes in every week. Assessments are also beneficial to clinicians who want to gain greater perspective of their client, helping them to be more effective and more efficient in their work.
Additionally, testing further informs clinicians on treatment outcomes. For example, testing can help check and challenge a diagnosis, can help create specific treatment-recommendations, and allow doctors to gain a new perspective on their clients. These tests help clarify what intensity of intervention is required, as well as creating a new pathway for treatment. The insights from these assessments help build a collaborative formulation and treatment plan for you and your clinician.
The impact of psychological assessments on your overall health can be an extremely positive experience. These tests can not only bring you and your family insight, but testing is also a powerful tool to help you if you feel “stuck”. Our counselors often hear parents comment on “finding their child again” and children saying how much happier they have been as a result of testing. The benefits of psychological assessments and testing outweigh the costs, both literally and metaphorically.
For more information on psychological testing, or to schedule, call (720) 489-8555.