The Power of Assessment: Unveiling the Benefits of Psych Evaluation Tests
Psych evaluation assessments may only take minutes out of your day, but their effects can be lifelong. Whether it’s an antidepressant prescribed by a general physician or an ADHD label handed down from a school counselor, subjective and simplistic assessments are instrumental in unlocking diagnoses.
Whether you’re concerned about emotional issues, learning challenges, or neurological responses, getting to the bottom of a situation and defining a useful and practical treatment plan starts with an objective, in-depth psych evaluation test plan.
What Is Psychological Evaluation?
Medical diagnosis typically combines observation, patient input, and a range of scientific tests. An orthopedic doctor doesn’t order a cast for a patient who says his leg hurts, but asks questions, looks at the limb, and orders an x-ray.
Similarly, determining the correct course of treatment for psychological needs requires careful diagnosis. Based on a patient’s presenting issues and concerns, a clinician will identify a test battery, or specific selection of tests and data collection, that will provide information leading to diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Testing often breaks into four main diagnostic categories:
Psychological – Mood, personality, behavioral, and psychotic disorders
Neuropsychological – Brain, memory, and cognition injuries and conditions
Psychoeducational – Learning disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia
Forensic – Legal diagnostics related to trials, defenses, judgments, custody, parole, etc.
The evaluation process designed for each patient is based on:
Jurisdictional testing requirements or regulations (school district, legal, etc.)
Specific needs such as pre-surgical evaluation or academic or workplace support
Presenting concerns and goals
Psych Evaluation Test Benefits
How can a battery of psych evaluation tests benefit you or your child? Key items on the pro side of testing include:
Stories abound of adults coming to a later-in-life understanding of learning or neurodevelopmental disorders that explain roadblocks, frustration, and self-doubt they encountered earlier in life.
A diagnosis doesn't need to be a label; it can be a key that unlocks understanding, modifications, and support that you need to thrive. Diagnostics informed by testing helps:
Identify multiple issues or conditions
Clarify underlying needs beyond current-day mood
Identify past misdiagnoses
School District Accommodation
Schools and universities typically require an evaluation and formal diagnosis before extending specific accommodations. Testing-based diagnoses can be used to pursue:
Individualized education plan (IEP)
504 plan, based on section 504 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Interpreters, captioning, and alternative exam, lecture, and communication models
Surgical Treatment Approval
Some surgical treatments, such as bariatric and spinal cord surgery, include a psych evaluation test as part of their preparation. Helping identify underlying issues can improve outcomes that align with client expectations, and identify co-treatment that may be useful.
Workplace and Other Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) along with related state laws and regulations have made strides in workplace accommodations, but assessment and diagnosis are the first step to identifying a plan forward. Many clients are uncertain of what can smooth professional obstacles, and assessment is a starting point to clarify what accommodations are useful, critical, and possible.
Beyond the office, psych evaluation test results can serve as evidence for accommodations and benefits related to:
Social Security disability benefits
Private disability benefits
A lack of thorough evaluation can lead to generic counseling approaches that provide limited assistance with no end in sight. Treatment plans that begin with evaluation-based diagnoses can be tailored to specific:
Adaptations to enhance communication
Blended care with issue-specific providers and treatment models
A good universal goal for adults in the workplace—and teens preparing for it—is to write your instruction manual. When you’re questioned in job interviews or performance reviews, can you answer:
What are your habits and challenges related to communication?
Both day-to-day and long-term, what motivates you?
How can a manager support you and help you flourish?
What do you need to stay focused? to switch between and manage multiple goals?
Psych evaluation helps you take a huge step forward in becoming the expert on your “operating system.” A psychological assessment team, test results, and the following diagnoses help you understand how your brain and nervous system perform and how past experiences and learned behavior have shaped you.
Partner with the Leader in Psych Evaluation Testing
Fairfax Mental Health & Wellness (FMHW) is the gold standard for testing in Northern Virginia, relying on a three-step neuropsychological model that identifies brain-behavior relationships.
We work with adults and children, testing for specific needs as well as comprehensive psych evaluation and diagnoses.
Ready to learn more? Fill out our online form or call us today to discuss your psych evaluation test needs with our intake team.