Florida Psychological Associates LLC
What is a psychological assessment?
Psychological assessment refers to scientific methods psychologists often use to understand the human personality. When combined with information from interviews, observations, and other sources, assessments can help clients explore new and more effective ways of resolving human problems. After assessment procedures are completed and the results are obtained, the psychologist typically gives the client feedback about the results. The purpose is to promote great self-understanding and more ability to help plan appropriate treatment. In this way, psychological assessment can shorten treatment and reduce its cost when compared to treatment based solely on a clinical interview. Psychological assessment can also provide accurate and objective information to help answer questions posed by other health professionals and referring agencies such as school systems, the court, and social agencies.
We conduct psychoeducational, diagnostic and personality testing for children ages 5 through adult. Psychological testing services can evaluate an individual’s cognitive, academic, social, emotional and behavioral functioning. It helps understand an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in the above areas, clarifies diagnoses, assists in determining eligibility for educational and mental health services, and helps to guide future treatment. We offer assessments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, giftedness, and various developmental, psychiatric and personality issues. Testing will include a clinical interview, questionnaires, formal testing measures, review of past records, and substance use screen, as appropriate. After all testing is complete; we will present you with a comprehensive report including our findings and recommendations.
When decisions and plans need to be made about clients based in part on their psychological functioning, psychological assessment can offer referring agencies objective information that contributes to more personalized and rational planning and decision making. Generally, assessment is appropriate when there is a clinical rationale for using specific assessment instruments to address a specific set of referral questions about a particular client under a unique set of circumstances.
What does psychological assessment provide that typical interviews do not?
When is psychological assessment needed?
Often the goal of a pretreatment assessment is to describe current functioning, confirm or refute clinical impressions, identify treatment needs, suggest appropriate treatments, or aid in careful diagnosis. Pretreatment assessment is likely to yield the greatest overall benefit for clients when (a) there are a variety of treatment approaches to choose from and there is a body of knowledge linking treatment methods to patient characteristics, (b) the client has had limited success in prior treatment, or (c) the client has complex problems calling for treatment goals to be prioritized.
Evaluation of outcomes:
Because clients may have difficulty describing changes in their functioning over time, evaluation of treatment outcomes supplements the client's subjective reports with formal measures of current functioning. Psychological test data gathered at the beginning, end, and at various points throughout the treatment can accurately measure progress and treatment effectiveness.
When treatment efforts have stalled, psychological assessment may be used to review and modify treatment plans. Psychological assessment can identify the factors impeding therapeutic progress.
When clients are in great emotional distress but are reluctant or unable to engage in more lengthy treatments, psychological assessment approaches called Therapeutic Assessment or Collaborative Assessment can serve as a very effective brief therapy. These treatment models have been shown to decrease distressing symptoms, restore hope, and increase cooperation with other treatment. In settings where treatment demands are high and professional resources are limited, psychological assessment can be an efficient and effective form of brief therapy.