What is psychological testing & how can it help me? Perhaps an analogy may be useful here: Sometimes, when you go to a doctor's appointment, your physician will order tests to help diagnose your symptoms and/or to ensure your body is working as it should. Your physician cannot always make a diagnosis or tell if your bodily systems are functioning properly simply by looking at you or having you stick out your tongue. Often, your physician will run not just one, but a series of tests to diagnose what is going on, and to rule out other sources of problems as well. I don't know about you, but I expect my physician to use the most accurate, sophisticated tests possible, and to really take her time in reviewing the results.
Similarly, psychologists make use of tests to help diagnose difficulties, identify areas of strength/weakness, or assess mental functions (like personality or memory). These are things that you cannot fully understand simply by talking to someone or looking at them. As we expect of our physicians, you should expect your psychologist to utilize the most up-to-date tests, proven by research to be the best tools for the job. This is something I take very seriously, which is why I will never rush through an evaluation with substandard instruments simply to get it done faster or cheaper. You deserve the very best.
I offer evaluations to help answer questions like the following:
Do I have ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)?
Do I have an intellectual or learning disability?
Are my lapses in memory normal signs of aging?
What are my unique personality attributes & how can I use them to succeed in the workplace?
Why do I feel so anxious sometimes?
My doctor wants to know if I am ready to have surgery for weight loss.
Is this "just a phase" my child is going through, or something more?
What is my learning style?
I have trouble maintaining my relationships...why?
Typically, the assessment process begins with a thorough interview in order to gather background information and gain a sense of how you are doing presently. The actual testing may take from 1 to 3 sessions, depending on the question(s) being asked. Once completed, all tests are scored and interpreted, and then the results are written up into a report. The evaluation process concludes with a feedback session in which I will explain your results, and provide you with thorough, tailored recommendations that are specifically designed with you and your needs in mind.
Testing services available for school-aged children through adults.
Why is psychological testing so expensive? This is a question that I get asked a lot, and it's a reasonable one. While it may seem like a large sum of money, I like to encourage clients to look at an evaluation as an investment...in yourself. What might it be worth to you to finally understand your learning style and be equipped to excel in your classes, rather than struggling and feeling stressed or anxious? What value do you ascribe to being deemed ready for that surgery that will drastically improve your quality of life? What is peace of mind worth to finally know and understand your diagnosis, and to learn what treatments exist to help?
Psychological testing is a specialized service that can only be performed by a licensed clinical psychologist or psychometrician. Testing, in part, is expensive because you are paying for the expertise of the professional. In addition, psychological testing, unlike blood work or medical labs, usually involves hours of scoring, interpretation, and report writing, beyond the time spent during the actual administration. While you may only spend an hour completing a particular instrument, your clinician may spend upwards of several hours doing work behind-the-scenes.
When you consider the expertise and hours involved in performing a psychological evaluation, and consider all you have to gain, is it really so expensive after all? After all, youare your own best investment.