When you visit a podiatrist to address an issue with your foot and/or ankle, the podiatrist completes several tests to determine the extent of the damage. Understanding the extent of the damage helps the podiatrist develop an effective treatment program to get you back on your feet again. The same principle applies if you meet with a therapist to discuss one or more possible mental health issues. Instead of running diagnostic tests that involve using advanced equipment, the therapist administers one or more types of psychological testing techniques to complete the first step to achieving good mental health.
What Are Psychological Assessments?
Psychological assessments represent a series of tests conducted by a therapist that collects information concerning how patients feel, think, and react to different situations. The results of a psychological assessment help a therapist devise a comprehensive plan to help a patient address one or more mental health issues. Psychological assessments are not just used as the first step for the treatment strategies implemented during child and adult therapy sessions. Other professionals use psychological assessments, such as career counselors who provide advice for young adults on how to achieve career goals.
The procedures used to complete a psychological assessment include interviews, observations, written tests, and consultations with other therapists.
What Are the Most Common Types of Psychological Testing?
Psychological testing covers a wide variety of topics that provide therapists with insight into the thoughts and feelings of a client.
Mental Health Assessment
As one of the most common types of psychological testing used by therapists, a mental health assessment presents information concerning a client’s family history, medical history, and current status of mental health. The comprehensive assessment involves several tests that unveil the presence of one or more mental health issues such as acute anxiety and severe depression. From reviewing the results of a mental health assessment, a therapist can devise an effective treatment program.
Adaptive Behavior Assessment
An adaptive behavior assessment takes an in-depth look into how well a client functions on a daily basis. The psychological testing that happens during an adaptive behavior assessment focuses on tasks completed at home, work, and/or school. Many therapists like to combine the results of an adaptive behavior assessment with the results of a cognitive assessment to develop a game plan for functioning in different environments.
A cognitive assessment represents several tests that measure a client’s cognitive abilities, such as memory, reasoning, comprehension, and problem-solving skills. Cognitive assessments are often called intelligence tests, which are frequently used by educators to identify strengths and weaknesses. For example, a therapist might refer a client to an educator who is certified to conduct a cognitive assessment to determine the client’s knowledge about a wide variety of subjects.
A personality assessment represents psychological testing that defines the traits of an individual. This type of assessment defines whether a client is an extrovert or introvert, as well as measures how well a client handles stress and negative emotions. Personality assessments can determine whether someone is cautious or responds spontaneously to certain stimuli.