You probably know enough about what’s going on to be frustrated and not enough to know how to get help. You may have been to many doctors who contradicted each other or seemed to lose steam when the answers weren’t clear. You may be a self-researcher: studying Dr. Google or watching TikTok/YouTube explanations of diagnoses that totally resonate with you.
Many themes of your questions may be related to:
You and your counselor could keep guessing at your diagnosis together. You could fill out a checklist and be told that’s enough information to know how to get better. You could go to your primary care doctor or psychiatrist for medication and try on different ones to see what fits. You could even sign up with a large tech-mental health company that will get you a prescription and some click-bait support. Honestly, these all aren’t bad options and for a lot of people, they satisfy the need with the resources available. But there is an option for more personalized care using research-backed tools, highly specialized expertise, and a deeply integrative psychological approach. We call it comprehensive psychological assessment.
We approach psychological testing with a mix of the medical model of diagnosing (DSM-5 and coming soon, DSM-5-TR), identity-affirming validation, and psychoanalytic theories of personality functioning. We are not magicians - we don’t always have a perfect answer for “what,” “why,” or “how.” But we spend a lot of time with you listening to your concerns, conducting different types of testing, interpreting the results, summarizing them in plain language in a written report, and recommending next steps. The hope is with this investment you will have some (if not all) your questions answered, you’ll better understand your strengths, weaknesses, diagnoses, patterns of personality functioning, experience of self and relationships, and know what to do next to get help.
If you have trouble focusing, setting goals, or staying on task, you may have wondered if you have ADHD (formerly also known as ADD). This can be especially common for people struggling in a work-from-home setting or for people who coped well enough in high school and have become progressively overwhelmed by adult responsibilities. A comprehensive psych evaluation can identify what symptoms are actually consistent with ADHD while showing how other information about you (your mood, your thinking, your relationships) interacts. Learn more about adult ADHD here.
Also called “psychoeducational,” these types of assessments are for those interested in possible learning disabilities (mathematics, writing, reading) or giftedness.
People are so complex. When we have unanswered questions about ourselves, our loved ones, or our patients, we can struggle to know what the best course of action is. Psychologists are trained in the complexity. We use empirically validated, norm-referenced measures to supplement our interviewing skills to accurately diagnosis and provide recommendations.
The assessment process is individualized per client based on the presenting concerns. Psychodiagnostic assessments typically require 5 hours of testing and include an interview and feedback session. Cognitive assessments (e.g., ADHD or learning disability) typically require 5 to 15 hours of testing and an additional 5 to 6 hours of scoring, interpreting, and integrating into a comprehensive report.
The whole process can take anywhere between 10 days and 4 weeks from the first session to the feedback session. You will receive a signed copy of the report. See current fee schedule. Fees may be reimbursed by insurance.
Assessment measures can be incorporated in individual psychotherapy or couples therapy without participating in a comprehensive assessment. This can be a very effective in treatment and we may suggest this as a part of our initial work together. Please let us know if you are interested in these services.
Prior to your first appointment, you will have a consultation call with our intake specialist and then receive an digital packet of intake paperwork to complete. You may also be asked to provide us with records from previous treatments, testing, or schooling. The intake documents must be completed before your first appointment, as we use this information to create your personalized testing process.
In the second step of the assessment process, we obtain objective and qualitative data about you, your behavior, and your functioning. We may also request to speak with one person who knows you well (i.e., your informant) to get another perspective on some of your concerns. The objective data compares your behavior to other people your age to determine your reported symptoms and behavioral functioning styles. It also assesses your cognitive strengths/weaknesses and your personality functioning so we get a comprehensive understanding of you as an individual. Depending on your referal question, this can include several testing sessions to evaluate your mood, personality functioning, cognitive ability (i.e., IQ testing), neuropsychological functioning (i.e., attention, memory, and impulsivity), and/or academic functioning (reading, writing, mathematics).
During the third step, we evaluate all assessment and testing data to develop a profile for you that highlights your functioning in the following areas: mood, cognition, and interpersonal. This will help determine if your profile meets criteria for a specific mental health disorder while providing a descriptive conceptualization of how you think, feel, and interact with others. While developing your profile, we review all testing data gathered from the clinical interview, behavioral observation, objective and performance data gathered from you, and the objective data from your informant. The information gathered will be developed into an written report of assessment findings along with diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Upon finalizing your profile and report, we will meet with you to deliver a written report of findings and explain your testing results. You will have time to ask questions and gain insight into the conceptualization of your results. You will be provided with several recommendations and resources to gain specialized support. Recommendations may include pursuing individual or group therapy, meeting with a psychiatrist to determine suitability for medication services, and employing healthy lifestyle behaviors. We can also discuss how to seek support from your school or employer, and how to discuss what you learned about yourself with friends and family. This feedback session is typically 45 minutes and you receive a digital copy of the report. Your remaining balance is due prior to your feedback session.