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woman walking in river thinking about psychological assessmentsA correct diagnosis and correct treatment lead to progress. Psychological testing is helpful in understanding in a systematic way (based on well-researched evaluation instruments) a person’s intellectual, educational, and emotional functioning. It is often used in situations where it is difficult to determine the underpinnings of intellectual, educational, or emotional problems and challenges. Psychological assessments are a valuable tool used at Columbia Associates to create personalized treatment plans for every client.

Learn more about our mental health assessments and mental health treatment services by calling 703.682.8208 today.

How Psychological Assessments Support Growth

Especially for children and adolescents, psychological assessments can be an invaluable tool. Young people can often tell you that they hurt, but they might have a hard time pinpointing why they hurt and what is hurting.

Even for adults, psychological assessments can help bring clarity to the root of their mental health issues. Adults in crisis also may struggle in terms of understanding the factors leading up to and contributing to the crisis situation. Psychological testing involves obtaining knowledge and understanding to identify specific treatment goals targeting the presenting problems.

What Are the Benefits of Psychological Assessments?

person balancing while thinking about psychological assessmentsIn complex situations, assessments can provide clarity. They can:

  • Help identify reasons why intellectual potential may not have been realized and demonstrated in the educational setting
  • Determine progress and chart additional areas that need to be addressed in order to attain treatment goals
  • Offer valuable information to treating physicians about mental health and medication management
  • Help treatment providers understand the functions that are involved in intellectual thought, management of intellect, educational achievement, emotional problem-solving, and regulation of feelings
  • Identify subtle differences in the diagnostic presentation to initiate the right treatment

When to Consider Mental Health Assessments

You might consider psychological testing if you or your child are experiencing any of the following:

  • Complex diagnostic questions
  • An unclear diagnosis or concerns about a possibly developing diagnosis
  • Difficulties that present in the school situation
  • Suspicion of a learning disability
  • Difficult emotional behaviors that are hard to manage
  • Problems with emotional regulation
  • Problems with impulsivity, aggression, and behavioral dyscontrol
  • Problems getting along with others
  • When clarification of treatment goals is needed
  • When problems persist even with treatment

Types of Psychological Assessments

Intellectual assessments, educational assessments, executive functioning skills assessments, and emotional and personality assessments can all be beneficial. The type of assessment that is most suitable for any particular situation is determined by a mental health professional based on information from the psychological history, interviews with the client, parents, or teachers, and other relevant factors.

Intellectual Assessments

These psychological assessments measure intelligence and cognitive functioning, including abilities such as problem-solving, abstract thinking, and language skills. They look at:

  • Determination of overall level of cognitive functioning and potential
  • Delineation of cognitive strengths and weaknesses
  • Analysis of intellectual problem-solving
  • Role of attention in demonstrations of intellectual potential

Educational Assessments

These psychological assessments measure a student’s academic abilities, including the ability to read and comprehend, solve math problems, and spell words. They assess:

  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Academic fluency
  • Written language

Executive Functioning Skills

These psychological assessments measure skills related to planning, organizing, problem-solving, and goal-setting. They involve looking at:

  • Organization
  • Attention
  • Behavioral and emotional control
  • Initiation
  • Time management
  • Task completion
  • Having full and consistent access to true intellectual abilities

Emotional and Personality Assessments

These psychological assessments measure emotions, behavior, and personality traits. They involve looking at:

  • Analysis of the inner emotional world
  • Emotional problem-solving and decision-making
  • Quality of thinking/reality testing and accuracy of judgment
  • Current stress levels and whether issues reflect more ongoing or situational-based concerns
  • Evaluation of stress management skills and coping strategies
  • Underpinnings of internal emotional states (e.g., depression, anger, anxiety)
  • Evaluation of emotional regulation and behavioral dyscontrol
  • Self-esteem
  • Identity issues
  • Quality of interpersonal interactions
  • Level of social skills

Contact Columbia Associates to Learn More

Ready to learn more about psychological assessments and how we can help? Call us at 703.682.8208 today to get started.