Is Psychological Testing For Me?
What is Psychological Testing?
Also called a psychological evaluation, the tests we use allow us to assess a client’s abilities and overall functioning, including areas that need special attention and areas of great potential. The evaluation actually consists of multiple tests, designed to gather information to plan for developmental, educational, vocational, social or emotional needs, and to assess a client’s overall functioning and make recommendations.
Why should someone be tested?
Psychological testing can:
provide a measure of intellectual functioning and potential
identify learning styles and/or learning disorders
clarify diagnosis when complex symptoms and behaviors are present
assess for giftedness, developmental delays or Autism Spectrum Disorder
identify underlying factors that may be impacting one’s interpersonal relationships, motivation, functioning at school or work, social-emotional functioning or challenges managing impulses and behavior
How do I rule out other factors?
Before beginning the psychological evaluation, it’s recommended that you rule out all medical or physical factors that may be affecting you (or your child). For example, you should have your vision and hearing tested if there is an indication that this could be part of the problem.
What are Types of Psychological Tests?
COGNITIVE ASSESSMENTS – collecting a sample of a person’s knowledge, skills, and memory when one of the following is indicated:
a. Childhood Indications
When a child is experiencing significant difficulties academically or behaviorally, testing can determine if either the problem is related to learning, attention, concentration, and/or emotional factors.
When adults are considering career changes or experiencing changes in their ability to pay attention, concentrate, or remember, ability testing may be warranted.
c. Older Adults
When a person is experiencing frustration with apparent loss of memory, testing can measure cognitive strengths and weaknesses and provide an objective measure to assess daily living skills, such as driving ability and independent living.
PERSONALITY ASSESSMENTS – assessing a person’s emotions, thinking, behaviors, and character styles in order to:
a. Answer diagnostic questions and to provide treatment recommendations.
b. Identify important issues, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings that may impact counseling or other therapeutic treatments.
c. Identify possible impairment in a person’s perceptual processes.
d. Address legal questions related to the degree of psychological distress a person is experiencing and possible causes of distress.
VOCATIONAL ASSESSMENTS – assist individuals with decisions to be made in the selection of a career, including:
a. High school junior and seniors in the process of selecting a college or trade school.
b. College students having difficulty selecting an appropriate major or having difficulty maintaining the necessary grade point average.
c. Adults who are not satisfied with their present position.
d. Adults who have lost a job and would like to explore other career alternatives.
e. Adults considering further education or training to begin a new career.
What is Testing Like?
Starting the Test
Remember, this isn’t a test for which you study…it’s an evaluation of where you are now. That said, there are things that can help you feel more relaxed as you begin the process.
What is my role in the testing process?
Never underestimate that you are the expert on you and/or your child. While the examiner will focus on providing the best possible assessment, the information that you provide is equally important. You can best participate in the testing process by offering insight, honesty and your best effort throughout. Outlining specific concerns prior to testing will aid in the assessment process.
How can I do my best during testing?
If you (or your child) take medication, make sure that it has been taken according to instructions on the day of testing. If you (or your child) have not taken them as prescribed, please tell us.
If your (or your child’s) physical condition or emotional state is somehow compromised on the day of testing, please inform the examiner. For example: feeling under the weather; taking medication that would make one drowsy; a poor night’s sleep prior; a death in the family, etc. These types of things can affect performance on some of the tests used for psychological evaluations.
Get a good night’s sleep prior to testing. Being sleepy during testing can affect overall concentration on timed tasks in particular.
Eat well before testing. It is also fine to bring a snack if testing is going to last for a prolonged period of time.
Take breaks when offered and ask for breaks if needed. Testing can feel tiresome. We will offer scheduled breaks during long appointments. Breaks are a good time to eat a snack, use the restroom, or, for children, spend time playing with a favorite game or toy.
Can I go back to work or school after I’m done?
The testing process can take anywhere from 4-12 hours, which may occur over several sessions. Many people feel tired after testing and need time to rest. For both of these reasons, you may have to miss work or school in order to complete testing or you may want to adjust your schedule to allow for resting after the exam.
What Happens After Testing?
What happens when testing is complete?
Our team will analyze the data and write a comprehensive psychological report. We will create a well-integrated explanation of results and develop individualized and evidence-based recommendations. Typically, reports include:
A list of tests administered
The reason for testing
Pertinent background information
School observation, when indicated
Interpretation of test scores
Diagnostic impressions (if applicable)
Once the report is complete, we will schedule a feedback session with you, during which we will review the final report and answer any of your questions. You will also receive a copy of the full report.
Depending on the reason for testing, with your permission, we will sometimes meet with others, such as school officials or treatment providers, to review the report as well.
What is Psychotherapy?
Is Psychotherapy for me?
Psychotherapy seems like a catch-all phase. What kind is right for me?
Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior. The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul”, and the Greek word logia meaning the study of something. According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, psychotherapy is “Treatment of emotional, behavioral, personality, and psychiatric disorders based primarily on verbal or nonverbal communication and interventions with the patient, in contrast to treatments using chemical and physical measures.” Simply put, psychotherapy aims to alleviate psychological distress through communication between a patient and therapist, rather than drugs.
Psychotherapy is often sought for problems that have built up over years. It is effective if a client (or patient) and therapist can develop a rapport and a trusting relationship. Psychotherapy begins with developing a new, unique type of relationship, which grows over time as you and your therapist get to know each other and work together to address your concerns. As the relationship progresses you will feel increasingly safe and secure, understood, and respected for your perspective and goals, and will develop greater trust in your therapist and the process.
Psychotherapy can be for individuals, groups, couples or families. Usually psychotherapy sessions occur about once a week and last from 45 minutes to one hour, although there are some types of therapy that require more frequent treatment and longer sessions. Psychotherapy can continue for months or years, depending on a client’s progress, what he or she sill wishes to address, and what the client and therapist decide together
There are many types of psychotherapy, each based on its own theoretical premise. To find out which may be the right kind of therapy for you, it is worthwhile to do your own research on therapies and therapists, and to interview therapists, much as they would interview you.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around forty five minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective, you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
What is your therapeutic orientation?
I draw from several different theoretical backgrounds in order to create a flexible approach tailor to client needs. For example, if someone is seeking personal growth therapy, then I may be less inclined to take a skills-based approach, and rather opt for insight-based psychodynamic traditions. Within all of my work, I take a person-centered approach that looks at the client in the broader familial and cultural context. Below are theoretical frameworks that I am trained in, and integrate into my work.
- Cognitive Behavioral.
- Acceptance Commitment Therapy
- Behavioral Therapy
- Stress Inoculation Therapy
- Object Relations (Contemporary)
- Time-Limited Dynamic (TLDP)
- Rogerian person-center approach
- Structural Family Systems
- Multicultural Systems framework
Is medication a substitute for therapy?
In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. By working with your medical doctor or psychiatrist, you can determine what is best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. However, research supports that medication and therapy in conjunction have strong outcomes. We can decide together if you could benefit from a medication evaluation. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
What are your rates?
For information on my psychotherapy rates, please visit the [RATES] sections of my site.
Do you accept insurance?
At this time, I do not accept insurance. However, I may be able to provide you with documentation as an out-of-network provider for you to seek some type of reimbursement from your insurance.
Areas of expertise