Psychological testing (also called an “assessment” or “evaluation”) is a series of tests conducted by Dr. Ervin to determine the cause of behavioral, social, or academic problems. A psychological assessment can clarify a diagnosis (if warranted), but more importantly, it can help Dr. Ervin suggest and develop an appropriate treatment plan. While often times an employer, social worker, or school official refers a person for psychological testing, a professional referral isn’t necessary to complete testing with Dr. Ervin.
If you were referred for testing, you probably have some questions about what to expect. Your session will take place in a private setting with Dr. Ervin. Testing techniques will depend on the client, presenting concerns, and if applicable, the client’s referral.
As a general matter, the client can expect to take a series of standardized tests. For adults, this can include interviews, questionnaires, checklists, ability ranking lists, and surveys. For children, techniques may include interviews, games, artwork, and possibly some academic activities.
Generally, psychological testing aims to provide diagnostic clarity and then a suggested treatment plan. Other reasons for testing include employment and legal matters. An employer may use psychological testing when making internal or external hiring decisions. In legal actions, psychological testing can determine if someone is competent to stand trial.
Following a car accident or recovery from a neurological illness, testing can determine the extent of a brain injury. Children are often referred for testing because they are struggling with school or having behavioral issues. Testing allows parents, teachers, and other stakeholders to provide appropriate therapeutic interventions and accommodations allowing your child maximize his or her potential.
Testing may seem intimidating, but keep it mind, it’s meant to help. If you have any additional questions about your upcoming assessment with Dr. Ervin, feel free to contact her office.
Dr. Ervin will use the information from the tests and interviews to prepare a written evaluation, a diagnosis (if found), and a recommended treatment plan. Dr. Ervin will arrange to meet with you during a follow-up session where she’ll discuss testing results and recommendations with you.
Note that psychological testing is not like a traditional exam where you either pass or fail. In that sense, it’s not really possible to “study” for psychological testing. Still, you’ll want to feel comfortable, relaxed, and motivated during your evaluation. If your child has an upcoming assessment, try to be as open and honest as possible about the process. It may be helpful to remind your child that assessments are meant to support him or her—the goal is to help your child reach his or her potential.