Psychological Evaluations 101
"Psychological evaluation" is an intimidating phrase to many people. You may have been referred for an evaluation by a doctor, school, or your therapist and are curious about what you are in for. Is it going to hurt? Is it going to be boring? Will the psychologist think I am crazy? The good news is that a psychological evaluation is a painless, often fun process for getting to know yourself or your child better. Let's talk more about what to expect.
A psychological evaluation is a series of tasks that are tailored to your unique situation. Evaluations are recommended for getting a better diagnosis, determining learning disabilities, learning more about your strengths and weaknesses, as well as insight into personality functioning. If you are interested in accommodations for school, you would be given specific tasks to complete that will give us information on exactly what accommodations may help you. Does your child need more time when completing tests? Maybe they would benefit from a separate testing room. Some tasks are fun, like doing puzzles or drawing, while other tasks involve answering true/false questions. No two psychological evaluations are the same!
Depending on the age of the person, testing can often be completed in one long appointment, although it can take a few hours. You will be given breaks as needed, especially to eat. Being hungry is very distracting! I am able to break up the testing session into a few shorter sessions for younger children, although normally they have fun and can make it through one long testing session too.
After testing is done, you will get your report a few weeks later. Reports are typically 5-15 pages, depending on the purpose of the evaluation. Then we sit down and review the findings. You get to keep the report for your own records and provide it to your doctor, teacher, therapist, or even friends and family if you wanted! I find that people are often very interested in the results and say, "this really is me!"
A psychological evaluation can be a really valuable tool for getting the help you need. If you would like to learn more about this process, please reach out.