Problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many others can get in the way of you living your life to the fullest. When these problems arise, you may go see a psychiatrist first, while some will go to a priest or a rabbi, and others will seek out the services of a psychologist, therapist, or counselor. One crucial step, which many people tend to skip over, is undergoing psychological tests. Without these tests, it can be very difficult to determine exactly what you are suffering from, since many psychological disorders have overlapping symptoms.
We get medical tests for the body. Why not get psychological tests for the mind?
Whenever a physician or primary care doctor requests medical testing, we undergo these, without question. They are just part of the process that we have grown so used to. Well, Psychological testing is very similar to, and just as important, as these medical tests. Physicians will send you for x-rays or blood tests in order to help determine an accurate diagnosis. The same can be said for psychologists. Psychologists will utilize psychological testing in order to determine an accurate diagnosis, and subsequently, the best treatment possible for you, your child, or your loved ones.
What can psychological testing identify?
Psychological testing can be used to diagnose and treat: depression, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, cognitive or developmental delay, anxiety, behavioral problems, memory problems, sensory-related issues, learning disabilities, executive functioning difficulties, vocational problems, communication disorders, dementia, memory problems, visual and auditory learning disorders, and giftedness.
Psychological and Neuropsychological tests include assessments that measure:
- Intellectual functioning (e.g. intellectual disability and giftedness)
- Attention and executive functioning (e.g. ADHD)
- Achievement abilities (e.g. learning disorders and giftedness)
- Memory and learning abilities (e.g. dementia)
- Behavior concerns (e.g. Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder)
- Reality testing and psychological disturbances (e.g. Schizophrenia)
- Social-emotional functioning (e.g. personality disorders, anxiety, and depression).
- Developmental disabilities (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Personality tests attempt to measure your basic personality style and are often used to help formulate a clinical diagnosis and assess a person’s character for healthy and potentially unhealthy qualities. These tests can provide powerful information about one’s self and support new insights into one’s functioning/character.
Neuropsychological tests attempt to measure deficits in cognitive functioning (i.e., your ability to think, speak, reason, etc.) that may result from some sort of brain damage, such as a stroke. Neuropsychological tests are used to examine brain function and impairment.
Forensic Testing is the application of psychological and/or neuropsychological testing towards providing information about a person that often is related or connected to some type of legal issue, work-related problem, disability dispute, etc. Typically a third paty such as an attorney, judge/court, or employer is requesting the evaluation. Examples include Workers’ Compensation, Disability, Personal Injury, Criminal Law, and Child Custody.
Intelligence testing can be used to determine eligibility or admission to gifted programs in school, testing to diagnose mental retardation or delayed development, to help with disability determination and/or recommendation for appropriate accommodations in work or school situations, and vocational assessment, to fit your abilities, personality, and interests with an appropriate career path.
What to do now…
Every person is unique, so each psychological assessment will be custom fit to that person and their specific needs. Psychological testing may sound daunting, but, in order to find the root cause of your difficulty, and subsequently the best course of treatment, psychological tests are an indispensable tool. Just as your primary care doctor would use those medical tests to put together a treatment plan to help you feel better, psychologists do the same to help a wide range of mental, emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems. The best thing you can do is find a qualified licensed clinical psychologist that you feel comfortable with and start your journey to recovery.
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Contact Lighthouse Health Group at 561-249-7400 to schedule your testing with Dr. Lisa Smalheiser today!