When Should You Consider Psychological Testing?

The psychologists at Roth Associates in Psychology and Counselling in Halifax understand that identifying problems and issues is the key to any solution. Psychological testing is an important component in this process. You may decide that psychological testing is necessary because of a recommendation made by school personnel, medical professionals or human resources personnel. Occasionally, one’s own feelings that ‘something’ needs to be identified in order to get to the root of a problem is what prompts a request for testing.

Usefulness Of Testing

Psychological assessment is most useful when there is concern or some confusion about how someone is behaving, learning or feeling. Having objective measures of these factors can often help with providing a clear direction for treatment or remediation. When general adaptations or modifications are not enough and questions remain unanswered, further investigation into the difficulties may be necessary.

Advantages of psychological assessment are that it can clarify the reasons for the difficulties and will help in providing a foundation for an effective treatment plan. It is important to keep in mind that psychological testing is only one part of a complete assessment process which may include information provided by physicians, teachers, parents and counsellors.

Testing may also be helpful when there is ongoing discrepancy between parents and the school regarding the reason for a child’s difficulties and behavior. Testing can provide a new understanding about why a child is experiencing difficulties in school.

Stages Of Testing

The process of testing usually involves three stages: an information gathering stage, a one-on-one testing stage, and an information feedback stage including a written report.

Information Gathering

Gathering information is very important in the first stage of an assessment in order to be clear about the questions an assessment is to address. Therefore, an initial meeting will be requested in order to understand your specific concerns. Occasionally, information is also gathered from outside sources, such as other professionals or school personnel. This information may be necessary in order to provide an objective answer to the assessment question.

One-on-one Testing

In the testing stage, the individual comes to the agency to complete the assessment measures with the psychologist. Depending on the referral question, the types of possible assessments include: cognitive/intellectual evaluation, academic achievement levels, personality assessment, supplementary attention deficit disorder measures (along with physician’s collaboration), receptive language skills, visual-motor skills or developmental concerns.

Information Feedback

Once all the information is gathered and interpreted, a meeting is planned to discuss results and address concerns. At this time a report is provided with detailed recommendation about how to best meet the person’s individual needs.

Types Of Testing

Intellectual Testing

There has been much confusion regarding intellectual testing. When we perform this kind of testing as part of a complete assessment, we are not concerned with knowing how “smart” an individual is, but rather the person’s strengths and weaknesses in how they process information. Knowing the specific pattern of learning is an important starting point for making useful recommendations that are helpful for the person.

Academic/Achievement Testing

Many people, both adults and children, face challenges when it comes to learning. The difficulties may be specific to reading, spelling, writing, mathematical calculations, short-term memory, retrieving information from long-term memory, or fine motor skills. We carry up-to-date assessment tools to examine learning skills. Once this information is gathered, a plan for accommodations and skill-building strategies will be provided through the recommendations in the written report.

Personality Testing

At times, people can experience emotional difficulties that are hard to discern. For example, symptoms of panic, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and hyperactivity can be very similar, but treatments can differ greatly. Personality assessment with clinical interviews can help with understanding the dynamics of an individual’s emotional difficulties.

Attention Deficits

We have all heard about attention deficit disorder in children. However, attention deficits can also be experienced by adults. What is important to know when examining attention deficit disorders is exactly how does the condition affect the individual. For some, impulsivity is the greatest problem while for others, difficulties with focus and attention makes learning and organizing a challenge. In collaboration with medical professionals, an assessment for characteristics of attention deficits will not only help in a diagnosis, but also examine exactly how difficulties in attention and concentration affect how a person functions with regard to processing information. This knowledge can be important for both school and work.

Call Today

Please take a moment to call us. We would be happy to speak with you in confidence, answer any questions you may have about our Psychological Testing services.