Psychiatric diagnoses can by difficult to determine. A well executed psychodiagnostic assessment can help to clarify diagnosis, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and provide specific recommendations to address problem areas.
At Ochester Psychological Services, LLC a psychodiagnostic evaluation begins with an Initial Assessment. This is a clinical interview with the client and/or guardian. Your clinician will ask questions about personal history, early development, symptoms, and current functioning. By the end of the Initial Assessment, a plan will be developed to address the client’s needs.
A comprehensive psychodiagnostic evaluation includes more than just psychological testing. The client and others who know them well (such as spouse, parents, teachers) may be asked to complete questionnaires, inventories and/or surveys to gather data about functioning in a variety of settings. Medical, academic and/or psychiatric treatment records will also be requested and reviewed.
Most clients will be administered an IQ test to determine overall cognitive abilities such as verbal and nonverbal reasoning, memory and processing. Tests measuring personality, mental health symptoms, effort and forthrightness are also typically given. An academic achievement test may be administered if there are questions about learning. Other specialized tests may also be administered as needed to provide more detailed information about specific concerns in various domains (memory, motor skills, executive functioning, attention, adaptive behavior, social skills, reading, writing, math, language, substance use).
A report will be generated integrating data from the interview, records, and the results of the testing, inventories and surveys. A feedback session is then scheduled to explain the results and recommendations and to answer any questions.
How Can Testing Help?
Many psychiatric disorders have symptoms that overlap and clients can bring with them a host of complicated health and environmental concerns that can make finding an accurate diagnosis difficult. An accurate diagnosis helps determine the best course of treatment and can assist in predicting and planning for potential challenges.
A well executed psychodiagnostic assessment can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and provide specific recommendations to address problem areas. This can be an empowering experience that increases hope and provides direction for moving forward. Appropriate psychiatric treatment and work or school accommodations can improve performance as well as boost self-esteem and social functioning.
If you have already been screened for dementia and your doctor has advised you to have a comprehensive neurological/neuropsychological evaluation, we recommend seeking out the services of an expert who specializes in dementia evaluations. You can see some local recommendations here.
If you are interested in a psychodiagnostic evaluation for yourself or your child, please schedule an initial assessment with Dr. Ochester using her secure, HIPAA compliant online scheduling system so you can discuss your concerns and determine whether an evaluation is the appropriate next step.