Psychological evaluations, also called psychological assessments, are an area of expertise and particular interest for me.
My underlying goal when conducting psychological assessments is to identify an individual’s areas of strength and weakness in order to provide recommendations for therapy, psychiatric medication, work and/or school, interpersonal relationships, and daily living.
I do provide psychological diagnoses, which can help in guiding treatment and implementing appropriate accommodations. A diagnosis is only one aspect of the process, and in my psychological practice I emphasize understanding underlying cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal processes, and how these combine and manifest in daily life.
I begin each assessment by asking clients what they want to learn or better understand about themselves. I take an extensive personal history and, if the client is comfortable with my doing so, I also interview others who may have helpful input or additional perspectives (e.g., family members, coworkers, teachers, therapists).
Types of Psychological Assessments Available
Psychoeducational assessments evaluate cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as current academic skills.
These assessments can be used to document giftedness, identify learning disorders or attention problems, and provide recommendations for accommodations under a Section 504 or Individualized Education Plan.
My psychoeducational assessments also include insights and guidance on learning styles and strategies.
Neuropsychological assessments evaluate cognitive strengths and weaknesses, attention, impulse regulation and inhibition, language abilities, auditory and visual processing, problem solving, reasoning, and memory.
These evaluations are often conducted when attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dementia is suspected, and they also provide a window to the processes that may be leading to academic, work, and/or interpersonal problems.
Developmental Assessments for Children
Developmental assessments are generally conducted on younger children, usually aged 2 to 7, for whom autism spectrum disorder or language, social, or emotional delays are suspected.
I use gold-standard observational and interactive evaluation methods for developmental assessments which are engaging and even fun for young children. In-depth parent and observer interviews are also an essential aspect of these assessments.
Social/emotional assessments are generally conducted to clarify diagnoses and make targeted recommendations for therapy. These evaluations include structured interviews, questionnaires, and projective measures, such as the Rorschach test.
Results provide insight into personal strengths and challenges, the nature and expression of past and present psychological symptoms, the potential impact of trauma or negative life experiences, subconscious drives, and characterological ways of coping.
These assessments are often, though not always, combined with neuropsychological testing.
I conduct gender-affirming assessments for individuals seeking gender-affirming services, such as hormone therapy or surgical interventions.
These evaluations can provide documentation of gender dysphoria and an individual’s capacity to provide informed consent for treatment, as is often required by physicians. Recommendations can also be provided for obtaining support in the processes of psychological, social, and/or medical transition.
Private School Admissions Testing
Admissions testing is conducted for placement in private or independent schools. These evaluations consist primarily of cognitive testing.