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Psychological Testing & Assessment

What is it?

Psychological testing is the process of administering research-validated clinical tests that were designed to provide additional information about the psychological functioning and personality characteristics of an individual.  Occasionally a single-purpose test is administered, but more frequently, a battery of several tests is designed to shed light on the cause of symptoms and guide the treatment. Assessment is the process of integrating the raw results from all the tests administered, synthesizing these results, and providing an integrated interpretation of their meaning, that takes into account all the results, and the potential limitations of each test.  A proper assessment is always done within the context of the question being asked.

How can it help me?

Although therapy clients occasionally request and pay for their own psychological testing and assessment, more frequently, the assessment process is initiated by a mental health professional or institution engaged in providing services to the client. The assessment process can contribute to the therapy process, primarily in two ways: it can provide diagnostic clarification where the nature of the problem and course of action seem unclear it can immeasurably aid the treatment planning process and shorten the time necessary for treatment, or get treatment back on track when it's not working.

What's required in a competent provider of these services?

Most states require that a trained clinical psychologist provide these services, or at least supervise and take responsibility for their provision.  There has been some controversy about this requirement in the mental health profession, which stems primarily from a misunderstanding of the sophistication and experience required. Among mental health professionals, only psychologists are provided the training necessary as part of their doctoral training.  Other mental health professionals receive specialized training in certain areas, just as psychologists do. A testing technician can often be quickly trained via a manual or class to administer a particular test.  But what becomes of the results?  The synthesis and interpretation  of the results, in a way that will be clinically helpful to the client, requires years of training, experience and a broad context of psychological experience not available to a testing technician.

What services does Dr. Windstrom provide?

I provide a full range of psychological assessment services primarily aimed at informing the diagnostic and treatment planning process.  Normally, I provide these services to mental health professionals or institutions on behalf of their clients, along with the consultation required to utilize the results. Although I occasionally provide these services directly to the client, I only do so when I determine it is in the interest of the client and will not cause harm through misunderstanding or misuse.  If the client is in treatment, I will normally request permission to communicate with and involve the therapist in the process.  Usually, it is in the best interest of the client to have the therapist involved in utilization of the information obtained.  This maximizes the benefit, and minimizes any risk of harm to the client. Whether you are a mental health professional or a therapy client, I am always happy to answer any questions you might have, without charge.  Feel free to "Contact Me" at any time.
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Licensed Clinical Psychologist Testing & Assessment