Evaluation & Assessment
Due to being a small practice, our capacity for evaluations and assessments is very limited. They are currently available only to children and teens referred by agencies who contract us to provide these services.
What’s the Difference?
There is considerable overlap between mental health assessments and psychological evaluations. An assessment includes screening for mental health concerns and basic treatment recommendations. A psychological evaluation is typically more in-depth and includes record reviews, conversations with teachers and other providers, and sometimes psychological testing. It is most appropriate for youth with complex, chronic needs. A comprehensive report may be provided.
MENTAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
Trauma-Focused Mental Health Assessments
This mental health assessment is completed in one 2-3 hour appointment by a licensed psychologist or postdoctoral psychology resident. It includes trauma-specific screening tools and a general mental health measure. Goals including assessing the extent to which current symptoms and difficulties are trauma-related, assessing whether other areas of need should be prioritized in treatment, and providing service recommendations. A brief summary of the assessment is provided.
We can assess the need for home/community services such as a IBHS, Multisystemic Therapy, or Family-Based Mental Health Services. If services would be appropriate, we will provide a service prescription, which is required by insurance before authorizing these services.
On a case-by-case basis, we are happy to provide an autism screening. This typically includes completion of general and autism-specific rating scales, as well as meeting with parent and youth. If the screening suggests autism is a possibility, we will typically refer out for specialized evaluation to ensure the child receives accurate diagnosis. Therefore, if autism is the primary concern, we recommend starting with an evaluator who specializes in autism.
Psychological evaluations are most appropriate for youth with chronic or complex symptoms, where it is not clear what is going on or how best to address the issues. A psychological evaluation often requires more than one appointment including both the youth and their caregiver(s). The evaluator will obtain and review records and contact third parties, such as school, for input. Personality testing may be included (e.g., MMPI-A-RF, projective testing).
We will provide a one-page letter summarizing the results and, with client permission, provide the results to the referring party (e.g., pediatrician, school). There is an additional fee, if a full evaluation report is needed.
We do not provide the following types of evaluations:
- Formal psychological testing (e.g., testing for IQ, learning disabilities)
- Neuropsychological testing
- Full autism evaluation
The goals of an ADHD evaluation include:
- determining whether the youth meets the criteria for ADHD
- ruling out other possibilities
- providing recommendations for interventions and treatment
Evaluation for ADHD follows the process described above. Families and referral sources often wonder if psychological testing is necessary for ADHD evaluation. While testing can be helpful in some cases or offer extra support either for or against an ADHD diagnosis, there is no evidence that children with ADHD show a specific “profile” on psychological tests or that testing is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. Careful interviewing and gathering information from a range of sources is critical to a good ADHD evaluation.