Children and Adolescents

Psychological Evaluations: What Are They and What Should You Know

There are some interesting things to know about psychological evaluations.

Psychological and neuropsychological assessments can cover a broad range of areas, including cognitive functioning, intellectual functioning, attention, learning, social skills, personality, career, and psychological health and well-being. Concerns in these areas can surface at home, school, or work, and sometimes in all three. While these concerns are sometimes identified early in children, assessments can be valuable tools for individuals across the lifespan. An “assessment” will vary based on what areas you are looking at, but often includes paper-and-pencil questionnaires, interviews, and activities that you would do with your psychologist provider to gather information and help answer your questions.

Here are a few things that an assessment can provide:

Psychological Evaluations can use computers.
Psychological Evaluations can use computers.

Data: Completing an assessment can provide you with a lot of data about yourself (or your child), including strengths, areas of difficulty, and information about the way your brain works. Your provider can explain to you what the tests found, and help you understand what that means for you and your life.

Resources: Upon completing an assessment, you are provided with information and resources based on the assessment findings. This may be in the form of book recommendations, online resources, or individuals that may be helpful for either support or guidance. Additionally, there may be helpful behavioral strategies that you can try to help manage areas of difficulty and maximize on your areas of strength.

Treatment Recommendations: Based on assessment findings, your provider can help you understand what some helpful next steps might be. These may include pursuing psychotherapy, implementing behavioral strategies, consulting with a psychiatric provider about medication options, or other treatment options based on your needs. Remember that each assessment is unique – because you are unique. Your recommendations will be catered to you specifically, and you can speak with your provider about what your options are and what might be the best fit for you in moving forward.

If you or someone you know are interested in being assessed, here are a few things that might be helpful to know:

Psychological Evaluations can also use paper and pencils.
Psychological Evaluations can also use paper and pencils.

Appointments: Expect that you will likely need to schedule multiple appointments with your provider to complete the testing. It is very unlikely that you would be given answers, diagnoses, or results on your first visit – your provider wants to make sure that they collect the necessary data to give you valid and helpful information.

What to expect: Assessment tools will vary across providers, but one thing is almost certain: it will take quite a bit of mental energy! Try to get good sleep before appointments, stay hydrated, make sure to eat well, and let your provider know if you’re needing a stretch break.

Cost: Make sure to check with your insurance provider about your mental health coverage – specifically with regard to testing and assessment. If you’re confused about what costs will be, ask your provider at your first appointment.

Always bring or wear your glasses if you are completing an evaluation
Always bring or wear your glasses if you are completing an evaluation

For further information about the types of assessment offered at Hope Springs Behavioral Consultants, please visit our website at https://hopespringsbc.com

Mollie Burke

Author: Mollie Burke

Dr. Burke is a Psychologist at Hope Springs Behavioral Consultants. Her theoretical orientation is Existential-Humanistic. She acknowledges the inherent struggles, difficulties, and hardships of life. However, her approach also emphasizes the incredible ability of human beings to endure these issues to lead purposeful and intentional lives. Basically, she believes that life is hard, but humans are amazing. (We think she is pretty amazing too.)

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