What is psychological assessment?
Psychological assessment refers to scientific methods psychologists often use to understand the human personality. When combined with information from interviews, observations, and other sources, assessment can help clients explore new and more effective ways of resolving problems and overcoming challenges.
After the completion of psychological assessment, the test-taker is often given a feedback of the findings and their use in therapy. The goal is to promote greater self-understanding and more ability to help plan appropriate treatment.
Psychological assessment provides accurate and objective information to help answer questions posed by other healthcare professionals and entities such as the courts, school system, and social agencies.
The need for psychological assessment often includes the following:
A patient's pre-treatment functioning is often described at the onset of therapy and may be helpful in discerning treatment efficacy.
Most importantly, psychological assessment is designed to provide detailed portrayal of subtle individual characteristics, personality traits, and symptoms that brought a person to the psychologist's office.
Psychological assessment is often of great import when decisions about a client's condition and functioning are scrutinized in order to render personalized services and to determine eligibility of benefits.
What does psychological assessment provide that typical interviews do not?
Psychological assessment provides more objective measures of personal characteristics. Provide important treatment-related information that may be difficult for the client to express directly in interviews.
Provide reliable and valid information about the client based on comparisons with research data gathered from large groups of people (normative group).
Psychological assessment are based on comparing the individual's variables to those of the normative group. Hence the conclusions will allow test results that are objectively derived.
Psychological evaluation integrates a large body of information from different sources, including self-reports, performance tasks, and other assessment strategies.
It also helps guiding the selection of appropriate treatment methods, particularly for clients who have not sufficiently benefited from previous treatment or whose treatment needs are complex.
Highlight potential obstacles in treatment and suggest alternatives.
Identify client's strengths that can be utilized to facilitate and accelerate treatment.
Clarify goals and focus of treatment.
Provide a baseline to measure the progress of treatment and to evaluate the effects of treatment.