Psychological Assessment

Psychology Testing and Assessment with NSG

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. For some, symptoms may be mild or moderate and easily overlooked, but for many others symptoms may be more severe and concerning as they begin to interfere with daily life. If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms of a mental health disorder, you may be referred to a psychologist for a professional psychological assessment. Through our evaluation process, we assess cognitive functioning (testing memory, attention, executive functioning, and more) for signs of mood and personality disorders, learning disabilities, and other mental health conditions.

What is a psychological assessment?

Psychological testing or assessments often include various evaluation components, including:

  • A review of your medical and other records,
  • An interview with you and/or another person who knows you well (such as a family member, close friend, or caregiver),
  • Administration of a battery of “norm-referenced” tests that measure your abilities and mood, and
  • Administration of self-report surveys and questionnaires.

Through the different measuring components of the psychological assessment and standards set forth by the DSM-5, the mental health professionals of NSG assess for mental health disorders, such as mood disorders and anxiety disorders, and other cognitive conditions including learning disabilities and ADHD.

A psychological assessment should provide you with:

  • A better understanding of your brain’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Information for your doctor and care team that will guide your treatment plan and help them to better treat the problems you are experiencing
  • Recommendations for your day‐to‐day life that will help you and your family members with managing your mental health and wellness
  • Recommendations to help you succeed in school or work or to live independently.

Psychological assessments are typically done by a clinical psychologist who will use pencil-and-paper tests and self-reporting questionnaires to better understand how the patient’s brain is working. Specialized technicians or “psychometrists” may also be involved and are mental health care professionals with advanced training on how to administer the tests.

The results of the evaluation are normally presented in a comprehensive report. A copy of the report explaining the test results will be provided to you if requested. The report will typically include:

  • A summary of the tests you were given,
  • A summary of important medical and personal history,
  • Current problems you are experiencing,
  • Test results and performance,
  • A comparison of your results to other people your age, and
  • Recommendations that will help you and your family move forward in getting better.

We recommend that you take some time to read over the report, think about questions you have, and review the report with your referring or treating doctor. If you would like to discuss the results and recommendations in your report, you may also ask your neuropsychologist about a feedback session. During the feedback session you will be given a chance to ask questions directly and discuss any concerns you may have.

Your psychological assessment results are written into a confidential report. Typically, the only people who can read the report are you (the patient) and the provider who made the referral (i.e., physician, rehabilitation specialist, or lawyer). You may choose to give the results to other people, or you can ask for them to be released to other people by signing a Release of Information form. We encourage patients to get and keep a copy of their report for their personal records.

The results can be used for a number of things, and will depend on your situation. In general, results can be used:

  • To understand your current strengths and weaknesses. If you do more testing in the future, your neuropsychologist can see how your abilities change over time.
  • To help come up with the best treatment plan or accomodations for your current difficulties.
  • To help you be more successful at work or school.
  • To make recommendations for additional treatment that will help you with care management.
  • To refer you to other professionals who can help you.
  • To provide information if you are involved in a court case.
  • To provide you with some ways to cope with impairments and improve relationships.
  • To provide information, resources, or recommendations to your family as they help you with recovery.
  • To help document your disability (e.g., to receive testing accommodations in school).
  • To help determine if counseling could help you.

No, NSG does not prescribe medication for mental health disorders. As professional neuropsychologists, our team focuses on providing psychological testing and psychotherapy (or talk therapy) to patients struggling with mental illness or brain injuries. This should not be confused with psychiatry, which does involve the treatment of mental illness through prescription medication. Depending on the patient and condition, both psychological and psychiatric treatment may be needed.

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A mental health disorder or learning disability can impair your quality of life, but with proper treatment and management you can get better. Let us help you better understand your brain today!

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