What is a Psychological Evaluation?

Closeup of Female Therapist Writing Notes

‘Psychological evaluation’ is a rather broad term that can mean different things depending on who is requesting it. We often get calls from people asking for a ‘psychological evaluation’ for themselves, a child, or a family member.

It is typically helpful to ask the person who suggested the evaluation for more specific information as to why such an evaluation is requested. For example, asking them ‘what is the referral question?’ or ‘what type of information are you looking to obtain?’ can clarify this process. This helps us determine what type of evaluation is being requested and more importantly, what specific information is needed to best support you.

For example, some evaluations are to determine whether someone may have a learning disability, such as dyslexia, and/or an attentional disorder, such as ADHD. If that is the case, an evaluation will determine what services or accommodations a student may be eligible for given areas of disability.

Other evaluations are to explore the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disorder to explain why someone may be struggling to function at home, work, or school.

Sometimes, psychological evaluations are helpful to help differentiate between disorders that may look the same. For example, is someone struggling to focus because they have ADHD, or could it be due to depression, anxiety, etc.?

We also conduct evaluations that are aimed at obtaining a comprehensive assessment of a vulnerable person’s cognitive and adaptive living skills to help determine what types of support they will need to function as adults, and/or whether may need support in the form of a guardian.

There are also clients referred to our clinic for a psychological evaluation due to a history of neurological illness or injury, such as seizures, dementia, or a traumatic brain injury. We can help determine what aspects of thinking may be affected, such as memory, attention, etc., and what resources are available.

In summary, there can be many different reasons why someone is referred to our clinic! If you have questions about our services or about how we may be able to help you, please contact us at 248-644-9466.