I dedicated the first 15 years of my professional career to treating patients who had mental illness with counseling techniques that utilized various theoretical orientations. I quickly learned that counseling alone is frequently not enough to treat many of my patients to the high degree of success that they deserve. After receiving my master’s degree, I went back to school for a doctorate where I studied psychological and medical assessments, biology, human development, pharmacology and whole mind body spirit treatment planning. It was through these studies that I learned the importance of creating tailored treatment plans for my patients not only using the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), but matching those diagnoses with evidence-based plans.
To some, psychological testing may sound intimidating, but the tests are designed to measure and observe symptoms to arrive at a diagnosis. That diagnosis will be the basis for a patient’s treatment plan. In many ways, psychological testing is similar to a medical doctor sending a patient for bloodwork and Xray’s. The results help inform the clinician about a person’s baseline to determine if the plan is working or if the plan needs to be re-evaluated.
Psychological testing is not a one size fits all approach. During the intake, the psychologist will pick and choose a specific set of assessments designed to answer the presenting problem. Licensed clinical psychologists are expertly trained to score and interpret the results of the assessments. It is very important to use assessments that have reliability and validity. There are many different types of assessments that I regularly use at my practice: Neuropsychological, Personality, Academic, Behavioral, Career, Cognitive, Intelligence and Biopsychosocial.
If you are having problems at work or school, or in personal relationships, tests can help a psychologist develop a greater understanding of the issues at hand. Through those assessments, the psychologist will come to realize if there are any contributing underlying issues, such as anger, difficulty with interpersonal skills, or certain emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression.
At KPS and ET, we encourage a tailored baseline psychological assessment to develop a data driven treatment plan based on the diagnosis. Most mental health conditions are treatable and some are curable with the right holistic treatment plan with periodic re-assessments to determine if the plan is still working at an optimal level. We believe in mind, body, and spirit healing and are very judicious with the use of medications.
Since our mental health is often tied closely to our physical health, we work in tandem with your medical doctor to rule out medical issues that could mimic mental health symptoms/diagnoses.