A Psychological Evaluation is a way to quickly determine the nature and extent of emotional issues and concerns, help clarify diagnoses, determine abilities and limitations, and make decisions about coping abilities. A thorough psychological evaluation can also provide information needed to help develop an effective therapeutic treatment program or intervention plan, or determine appropriateness for certain programs.
A psychological evaluation may be required by a therapist or psychiatrist to help clarify a diagnosis as many psychological conditions have overlapping symptoms or may mimic each other, and may be complicated by life circumstances or experiences.
A psychological evaluation can help determine the exact nature of a psychological condition so that an effective treatment plan or intervention can be implemented. This will help ensure a successful therapy outcome or the most effective medication management of symptoms.
Areas of evaluation include the following:
- Behavioral Problems
- Social Problems
- Emotional Problems (Depression, Anxiety, Social Anxiety, etc.)
- Parent-Child Relational Problems
- Psychological Factors Associated with Medical Conditions
Insurance companies usually require a psychological evaluation prior to some surgeries to help determine emotional readiness. These surgeries are expensive, and research has shown that their success or failure rate depends heavily on psychological factors. To help with the best possible outcome of the surgery, it helps to identify any psychological barriers to success. The results of the presurgical evaluation can help determine if psychotherapy or a psychiatric consultation for medication is needed prior to having surgery, including but not limited to:
- Pain Management Procedures (e.g., Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation, Spinal Fusion, Catheter Implantation)
- Bariatric Surgery
- Surrogate Parent Screening
- Cosmetic Surgery
Diagnostic evaluations to help determine mental health appropriateness or requirements for a variety of government programs, such as the following:
- Katie Beckett Deeming Waiver
- SSI Applications
- Vocational Rehabilitation
Diagnostic evaluations conducted when an immigrant is seeking a waiver for citizenship for mental health reasons (e.g., PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Parental Issues, Learning Disabilities and Cognitive Impairments), as well as in cases of political asylum, extreme hardship, or spousal abuse cases when psychological factors may be significant.