PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS AND TESTING
Psychological assessment refers to a battery of tests that evaluates an individual’s emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral functioning. Psychological assessment is also referred to as psychological evaluation or testing. In many ways, psychological assessment is similar to medical tests. If a patient has physical symptoms, a physician may order a variety of scans or blood work to better understand the cause of those symptoms. Similarly, if a patient is exhibiting psychiatric/behavioral symptoms, a mental health provider may use assessments and tests to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.
Psychologists administer tests and assessments for a wide variety of reasons. Children who are experiencing difficulty in school, for example, may undergo intelligence testing for learning disabilities. Neurocognitive evaluations test skills such as concentration, problem solving, motor functions, and memory, which can help to diagnose conditions such as brain injuries or dementia. If a person is having problems at work or school, or in personal relationships, personality tests can help your provider understand whether he or she might have issues with anger management or interpersonal skills, or certain personality traits that contribute to the problem. Other tests evaluate whether clients are experiencing emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression. Additionally, primary care physicians will often require evaluations prior to prescribing their patients’ psychotropic medications.