Psychological Testing and Assessment
Table of Contents
Have you or a loved one been referred for psychological testing and evaluation? For many people, the idea of having their mind tested for any reason can be extremely frightening and nerve-wracking. You might imagine electrodes, test tubes, and other types of laboratory equipment designed to pinpoint the very things that you are struggling with. Fortunately, these stereotypes about psychological testing couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re ready to learn more about psychological testing and how it can benefit you, let’s start by taking a closer look at what you can expect.
What is Psychological Testing?
Imagine what might happen if you went to your doctor and complained of having frequent headaches that just don’t go away. A thorough doctor will order a battery of tests to help you pinpoint the underlying issues that are causing your headache. They might order blood work, an MRI, and any number of other tests to help you get to the bottom of things. Similarly, a psychological evaluation consists of a series of tests that are designed to help you identify the underlying causes for why you might be struggling in a particular area. They can be used to help accurately diagnose conditions that are causing you major problems with your daily life. These diagnoses can range from brain damage to anxiety disorders to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. A good psychological evaluation provides the framework for your clinician to make an accurate diagnosis, allowing you to take the first steps toward addressing the real issue.
What’s Tested During A Psychological Evaluation?
During your psychological evaluation, you will be given a series of tasks that are designed to test almost every aspect of your person. Here are the primary categories that your clinician will be addressing:
• Intelligence: Some tests are designed to test your IQ and determine if you have any impairments with your intellectual, cognitive, or executive functioning. They can help to identify attention-deficit disorders, learning disabilities, brain damage, and more.
• Memory: Memory tests are given to assess how well your brain is able to encode information and recall it when given simple tasks.
• Language: The way that you express yourself can determine a lot when it comes to any issues that you might be facing in your daily life. Language tests are given to assess both your verbal and written expression.
• Perception: Perception tests are given to measure how well you can understand and process information that is put in front of you. These assessments can also help to pinpoint issues with attention or concentration.
• Emotion: Many people have difficulty functioning well in their daily life due to an underlying emotional issue such as anxiety or depression. Emotion can also play a role in other areas of your functioning including your attention span, memory, and executive functioning. Psychological testing can help to identify emotional issues so that you can begin to seek treatment.
• Attention: When tests are administered to measure attention, your psychologist is attempting to gain a sense of how well you can focus on something and for how long. This is crucial for identifying attention-deficit disorders.
Benefits of Psychological Testing.
The major benefit of psychological testing is gaining insight into the underlying causes of your concerns. Many different types of situations can be resolved with an appropriate psychological assessment. For example, it may help you to pinpoint a child’s learning disability that is leading to classroom disruptions. Alternatively, you may experience relief from knowing that your difficulties with relationships stem from an underlying emotional issue that needs to be resolved. No matter what the problem, psychological testing gives you more insight into why you behave the way you do. Once you have that knowledge, the second benefit becomes significantly clearer. Understanding and labeling the issue is the first step toward receiving appropriate and adequate treatment. Your psychologist can now help you formulate a treatment plan that addresses your issues thoroughly so that you can find some relief from your concerns.
Psychological Test Examples and Purpose.
Neuropsychological tests need to be completely thorough in order to give you the most accurate results at the end of your session. As a result, clinicians often draw their data from a number of different sources and tests. Some of them will be completed with you while others might require the cooperation of other professionals such as doctors and therapists. Let’s take a closer look at some examples of the psychological tests that your clinician might use to conduct your evaluation:
• Standardized Tests: A standardized test is a quick way for psychologists to understand where you fall in comparison to the rest of the population. You will answer a series of questions or perform basic tasks that are measured and scored. This notifies the psychologist if you are struggling in any one particular area.
•Interviews: Sitting and talking with your psychologist is a great way for them to gather more data about your mannerisms, emotions, and verbal expression. They may interview you, your therapist, your doctor, and any other professional who works with you closely on a regular basis.
• Observations: While you are performing your tasks, the psychologist may choose to observe you from a distance. This may also take place for a child who needs to be observed in the school setting to determine the underlying cause of an academic issue. Observation allows them to see the concern firsthand and collect data on what triggers the issue, what the response is, and what the best treatment option could be.
• Diagnostic Checklists: Some psychologists may choose to use diagnostic checklists in order to gain a better sense of the symptoms you are struggling with. These contain a number of different symptoms or struggles you might be facing along with the frequency you experience them.
What is a Psychological Battery?
If you hear your psychologist refer to a neuropsychological battery, you have no reason to fear. This is simply a collection of tests that are designed to give the psychologist a comprehensive glimpse of the issues you might be facing. There are several different batteries that your clinician can choose from based on the needs that they believe you have and the issues you could be facing. Each battery is formed to take a look at multiple areas of functioning in order to gain a clearer picture of your overall functioning. They can be used to identify issues that stand out from the general population in these areas.
What to Expect During Your Psychological Evaluation.
One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of having psychological testing completed is not knowing what to expect beforehand. Fortunately, there isn’t anything that you need to do in order to prepare for your testing session. Simply get a good night’s rest the night before and show up at your appointment ready to answer questions honestly and perform tasks to the best of your ability.
You will spend some of the time working on standardized testing with worksheets, memory games, and other written work. Other parts will require you to sit one-on-one with the psychologist for further conversation. During this time, you may review other medical history and psychological information from previous testing. Be prepared to spend several hours at the psychologist’s office on the day of your testing. Between interviews, standardized testing, and other assessments, you may even need to schedule multiple appointments to complete your full evaluation. However, you should remember to pack a few snacks in case you plan to complete all of the evaluations on the same day.
Psychological Testing and Assessment Service Offered at our Clarkston and West Bloomfield, Michigan Locations.
It’s our job to make sure that your psychological evaluation is going to be extremely thorough. Here are some common issues that someone may schedule a psychological test for;
A complete list of psychological testing that we can provide you with is also located on our home page under the Psychological Testing section. Knowing what to expect from your neuropsychological evaluation is a great way to put your mind at ease and help you to confidently take your next steps. Don’t hesitate to take the first steps toward creating better treatment for your concerns today. We’re local and trusted professionals and are here to help!