Psychological Evaluation

Psychological Evaluations

What is a Psychological Evaluation?

A psychological evaluation helps pinpoint what emotional factors in your life are preventing you from feeling and acting in more productive ways. It usually involves an interview with the psychologist, who will evaluate your mood, thoughts, behavior, social interactions, and overall daily functioning. Formal testing comprised of questionnaires, surveys, checklists, observations, are also employed to help determine specific behaviors and thinking processes that may be contributing to the issues that prompted the evaluation. The specific measures used depend on the person and the reason of the evaluation.  

How is it going to help me?

A psychological evaluation, often called, a diagnostic evaluation, guides your treatment as it assists the psychologist better understand you and give you valuable insight into your thoughts, behavior, skills, and your personality.

Who needs a psychological evaluation and when?

It is important to know the warning signs that threaten your mental health. The American Psychological Association indicates that by age 14, fifty percent of mental illnesses have already begun, and three-quarters begins by age 24. 

The following list of signs and symptoms identified by the American Psychiatric Association, may help you identify your need for a psychological evaluation. Please note that if several of these are occurring at once and are causing significant functioning challenges, it is recommended that you seek medical attention, including a psychological evaluation.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Sleep or appetite changes – Significant changes in your sleeping pattern and appetite. The latter causing significant weight gain or weight loss without trying.
  • Changes in your mood – fast changes in your emotions that may have no explanation.
  • Unusual thinking – irrational thinking pattern (i.e., believes about yourself and the world that are extreme) severe enough to disrupt daily activities.
  • Withdrawal from others – no interest in once enjoyable activities and social isolation.
  • Decreased Performance – usually reflected in a decline in your school, work, or social activities.
  • Thinking Problems- difficulty concentrating or remembering things, trouble with speech or overall thinking.
  • Heightened sensitivity – increased sensitivity of all your senses and avoiding situations that are over-stimulating.
  • Apathy – Lack of desire to participate in any activity.
  • Uneasiness- feeling nervous overall or suspicious of others.
  • Atypical behavior- conducting yourself in an odd manner.
  • Disengagement- feeling disconnected from others and or from yourself.

The presence of one or two signs alone many not indicate a significant mental condition, however, further assessment may be needed.