Post written by: Dr. Shelby Zavala-Barajas
Imagine this, you’re having stomach pains and lightheadedness. You schedule a visit with your doctor where she reviews your medical history, recent symptoms, and runs a number of tests. She may have some blood work done, do an ultrasound, or an MRI. All of this information would be used to help her determine what may be causing your discomfort and how best to proceed forward with treatment and symptom relief. Psychological assessment works the same way! If you notice difficulties or changes in your mental health, seeing a psychologist for assessment is the best way to get to the root of the issue and improve your quality of life.
Psychological assessment utilizes historical information, interview, observation, self-report measures, and standardized psychological tests to determine diagnoses, increase insight, and provide recommendations on how to best move forward in all areas of life, at any age.
The lists below are often the starting points for why someone might pursue a psychological assessment:
Some people come in with symptoms they would like to identify the root of, such as:
Individualization: Every assessment at The Mendery is developed specific to the person and what concerns/questions they have. There are NO one size fits all assessments at The Mendery. Five people with the same concerns/questions could come in, but they will have at least some variation in the tests administered due to their specific needs.
Customization: We can assess for as many or as few questions/concerns you have. We can look for just one specific thing, or we can cover a very wide range of possible etiologies of your concerns.
Therapeutically Focused: We approach assessment with a goal of working together with you to gather the most accurate information. This means that we take the time to really understand what you’re hoping to get out of the process, we use our expertise to select tests that will measure what you’re looking for, we utilize the testing sessions to see where your challenges lie and what might be helpful for you, we take our time to write a comprehensive report, and we spend time going over all the gathered information, diagnoses, and recommendations with you. Our assessment process can be more therapeutically valuable than short term therapy.
Consistency: You will work with one psychologist throughout the process. Some assessments are conducted by a mix of providers. This means that the psychologist misses out on incredibly valuable information in the form of observation and therapeutic interaction during testing. Here at The Mendery, you have the same psychologist with you or your child from start to finish!
Licensure: Psychologists are the ONLY professionals that can administer the FULL range of psychological tests. While other professionals (i.e., psychiatric nurses, school psychologists, and medical doctors) can administer and interpret select psychological tests, only a psychologist has specialized training and authority to administer and interpret the complete collection of psychological assessments. This is especially true for projective measures, which assess attachment status, personality, relational functioning, and mood disorders. Psychologists are the only people who can utilize these tests, which often lead to the most therapeutic information in an assessment.
Ready to get started? Or have more questions? Reach out to us!