Everything You Need to Know About Psychological Assessments

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by Dr. Hilda Wong
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Psychologists utilize psychological assessments as a standard method to learn more about you and your mental health. A psychological assessment is a powerful tool to create a personalized mental health plan to address any disorders, issues, or challenges.

We’ll explain everything to know about psychological assessments, how they differ from evaluations, and what to expect at your assessment appointment. Getting an assessment is vital to determining an accurate view of the patient and their challenges.

What is a Psychological Assessment?

A psychologist or psychiatrist will often want to do a psychological assessment to help diagnose and treat various mental health issues. The psychological assessment refers to a collection of standardized tests that can give the psychologist a deeper understanding of a patient’s symptoms and the severity of their mental health issue.

A psychological assessment is different from an evaluation in that an evaluation will be tailored to a particular condition. A psychological assessment is broader and it can include informal testing that measures progress or improvement.

Want to learn more about mental health treatment options? Check out Interpersonal Psychiatry’s quality treatment services.

Related Link: Interpersonal Psychiatry Partners With Athelas

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Common Elements of a Psych Assessment

A psychologist can use any of these testing forms to assess a person’s mental health:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Tests
  • Psychological tests
  • Observational data
  • Medical history
  • Medical evaluation

The most common tests given during an assessment include:

Aptitude Test

Aptitude tests determine a person’s strengths and weaknesses for specific skill sets. An employer or university can also give aptitude tests to evaluate an employee’s/student potential.

Behavior Test

A behavior test evaluates how a patient would react to specific situations. This test can determine interests, values, attitudes, and personalities. A behavior test gives your psychologist a broader picture of who you are.

Emotional Intelligence Test

This test challenges a person’s ability to regulate and control their emotions. The test will challenge various emotions through different situations. Understanding your emotional intelligence helps a person become more aware of their actions and allows them to correct the issue.

Neuropsychological Test

This test challenges cognitive abilities such as memory, viso-spatial function, language, and executive function. A neuropsychological test helps to diagnosis Alzheimer’s, emotional disorders, and brain injuries.

Personality Test

Personality tests assess emotions, behaviors, and environmental influences. The tests are designed to evaluate specific variables that can identify emotional issues or disorders. Projective tests also fit under this category because they test how the patient will react to a stimulus.

Intellectual Functioning (IQ) Test

The intellectual Tests can evaluate a person’s intelligence. The IQ test is a common intellectual test given as well as the standard US Stanford-Binet test. Intellectual tests can determine disability status, presence of dementia, and other age-related cognitive issues.

Medical Exam

If you see a psychiatrist, they may want to conduct a medical exam or learn more about your medical history. This can include learning what medications you currently take.

Do you need a psych assessment and live in Kansas or Missouri? Contact Interpersonal Psychiatry to make an appointment to be tested. 

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Why Do Patients Need Psychological Testing and Assessment?

The psychologist may have the patient take one or all of the tests to diagnose the problem, ranging from a learning disability to bipolar disorder. These tests evaluate your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and can identify the best treatment option.

The tests are designed to pinpoint symptoms and determine possible causes and influences for the mental health issue. The sooner you are assessed, the faster the psychologist can identify and treat the problem.

Symptoms that May Warrant the Need for a Psych Assessment

A psychologist may recommend having an assessment if they notice:

  • Mood changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Nervousness
  • Changes in diet and sleep habits
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Difficulty doing usual tasks
  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities

Many of these symptoms are common triggers for several different mental health issues. Some people may only notice one or two symptoms, while others may have all the symptoms depending on their mental health.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or signs, you may want to talk to a psychologist about being assessed. Contact Interpersonal Psychiatry to set up a psych assessment.

Related Link: Meet Interpersonal Psychiatry’s Team of Mental Health Professionals

What to Expect at a Psych Evaluation Test

While the tests are standard, your psychologist will tailor which tests they want you to complete based on symptoms or possible causes. An assessment will generally take between 30-90 minutes, depending on the situation.

The more honest you answer during the assessment will help accurately pinpoint your symptoms and mental health issues.

The Clinical Interview

The assessment may also include a clinical interview, where the psychologist will spend 1-2 hours to get an accurate picture of your history, symptoms, and challenges. There is no judgment in the clinical interview, so the more honest you are, your answers will provide a more accurate diagnosis.

Why Psychological Assessments are Valuable

Psychological assessments and tests paint a clearer picture of a person’s character, behavior, strengths, and weaknesses. By getting an assessment, you’ll be able to create a customized treatment plan with your psychologist to start healing and live a happier life.

Interpersonal Psychiatry can give psychological assessments to individuals living in Lawrence, Topeka, or Kansas City. Interpersonal Psychiatry will customize a treatment plan to help overcome your mental health issues by leveraging cutting-edge treatment options. Our licensed team of experienced psychiatrists, therapists, and psychologists provide exceptional personal care for each of their patients.

If you live in Kansas or Missouri and need a mental health professional, call (785) 393-6167 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our treatment options.

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