Psychological evaluations cover a broad range of assessments that can be requested by clients, their families, attorneys, physicians, the court, and employers. An evaluation most frequently consists of a clinical interview and a series of tests that help determine the cause of psychological symptoms and disorders. The psychologist may also consult with the client’s family and other collateral sources to develop supportable hypotheses and relevant diagnoses. The products of a psychological evaluation usually include a set of diagnoses and recommendations, and a treatment plan if indicated.
Psychological evaluations with adults can help determine the extent of a brain injury, the progress of memory disorder. Specific evaluations are used to decide if a person is mentally competent to stand trial, or if the personal is competent to make medical and estate decisions. Businesses can use psychological evaluations as part of their assessment about a job candidate’s fit for a position. Many clients seek information from evaluations about their tendencies to develop emotional blocks in relationships or career pursuits.
With younger clients, psychological evaluations can help children and their parents investigate the causes of the child’s academic, behavioral, or social problems. The findings of the evaluation may sort out whether the problems are due to attention deficits, emotional problems such as trauma, anxiety, or depression, or a learning disorder. The psychologist uses observation, interviews, and testing to more clearly diagnose the most relevant conditions.