A – Adult assessment
Sometimes you may be asked to undergo a psychological assessment by a third party in order to qualify for long term disability and/or, disability benefit. You may require a psychological assessment if you have fled your country of origin due to torture and/or persecution. In other cases, you and your family may have applied to be granted an immigrant status based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. In all these cases, a psychological assessment can determine your present mental status and offer an informed opinion about your current psychological functioning. It is important to note that these assessments are fair and impartial evaluation of your psychological condition; the purpose of assessment is to gain a more in-depth understanding of your psychological needs and get you the support you need in order to live a more fulfilling life.
B - Child/adolescent Assessment
An important area of my work is the psychological and psycho-educational assessment of children and adolescents. Children and adolescents can experience various emotional difficulties that may manifest themselves in impulsive or aggressive behaviours, depressive thoughts and feelings and/or anxious avoidance of fearful situations. They may feel anxious in social situations or they may be afflicted by self-deprecatory thoughts and feelings. Anxiety and depression can be a source of many psychological issues including eating disorders, aggressive outbursts, suicidal ideation, self-harm behaviours (e.g. cutting), phobias, obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours.
In order to help ease the suffering of these youngsters, it is important to understand the nature of their problems by conducting a proper psychological assessment. The psychological assessment can identify the underlying causes of a child’s distress and offer appropriate recommendations to address the problem.
A typical psychological assessment includes the clinical interview with the child and his/her family and it usually involves the administration of a few questionnaires and psychological tests. The results of the assessment can be presented in a report.
C - Psycho-educational Assessment
Occasionally, learning problems may be the root cause of a child’s emotional distress. A psycho-educational assessment can determine specific areas of concern that interfere with a child’s ability to learn and it can offer recommendations for remedial support.
Working as a psycho-educational consultant, I have frequently used standard, dynamic or curriculum-based assessment methods in order to identify the instructional needs of children with learning disabilities and help them achieve their academic goals. Occasionally children with gifted abilities also need to undergo assessment in order to qualify for appropriate educational programs.
A typical psycho-educational assessment might take 10-12 hours. This process involves clinical interview with the child and the family and it includes the administration of a few standard batteries that could determine the child’s cognitive ability (memory, information processing skills, analytical thinking, etc) and achievement skills (reading and writing comprehension, Mathematics reasoning, etc). The assessment results will be presented in a comprehensive psycho-educational report.