What Does a Psychological Evaluation Consist Of

The reason for any form of psychological testing is for the doctor to carry out a full evaluation of psychological problems, to asses the intensity, and make recommendations based in the assessment.

What does the psychological evaluation consist of? Typically such an evaluation will consist of five main parts as follows. –

-          Problem Presentation. In the first instance the doctor has to ascertain the reason the patient has visited. The patient may be showing signs of depression or anxiety. Maybe the patient has been referred involuntarily to the psychologist. This can often be the case in extreme cases of depression, when suicidal thoughts are present, and the patient has not responded to other treatments or counseling.

-          Interview. The psychologist will want to gather a complete medical history and lifestyle of the patient. Many searching questions will be asked about his/her immediate family and social behavior.

It is possible that the interview will be carried out over several sessions, each one devoted to a different aspect of the patients life. The main reason of course for the interview is to get a complete insight into the patient’s mind.

-          Psychological Testing. Based on the information gathered the patient will be asked to participate in several tests. These tests are designed to gain measurements relating to the patient’s mood, personality, intelligence and pathology.

-          Summary of Results. All of the information obtained from the interview and tests will be collated by the doctor resulting in a clinical picture of the patient. The diagnosis will be classified into four areas.

- Identifiable psychiatric problems.

Personality disorders.

-  Medical conditions affecting the patient’s mental health.

-  Social or environmental problems.

When the condition is classified satisfactorily. The summary will then be adjusted to include a Global Index number. This is referred to as the patient’s multiaxial assessment which contains all recommendations and suggestions relevant to the patient.

-          Recommendations and Suggestions. A list of treatments which have been shown to be effective will be recommended in accordance with the patient’s multiaxial assessment. The patient will then be advised as to where such treatments can readily be obtained.

For example if the patient has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder then a suitable psychiatrist will be recommended for treatment and medication.

The psychologist during the evaluation may find that the patient does not suffer from a specific psychological problem. Such as would be the case if alcoholism was diagnosed. In this situation counseling would be recommended and that visits to Alcoholics Anonymous would be very beneficial.

Written by on March 1, 2011 under Health.

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