Psychological Evaluation 101: What Is A Psych Eval?

One of the tricky things about getting help with your mental health is that many people don’t know where to start or what to ask for. We don’t get educated about psychology unless we specifically go to school for it (but thank God I memorized all 50 state capitals and only remember 10 of them!).

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A psychological evaluation refers, essentially, to any group of tests that give providers information about your mental health. There are thousands of different measures in existence, and the measures you take depend on why you are being evaluated.

I want to create a series of posts to help the average, non-psychologist person understand what a psychological evaluation is, what it entails, and what to ask for when seeking services. I can’t tell you how many times someone has called me saying they need a “full psychological evaluation,” and when I ask for more information, they don’t know what to tell me.

It’s understandable! Like I said, unless you went to years of graduate school, you don’t learn this information. But the thing is, there are so many different kinds of psychological evaluations. Do you need to know your diagnosis so your physician can prescribe the right medication? I can help you with that! Did you commit a crime, and your lawyer wants to know if you’re competent to stand trail? I don’t have training in forensic evaluations and need to refer you somewhere else.

You deserve to understand your health care, and knowing this information can help you advocate for the right services. Through this series, I will break down different kinds of evaluations and what you can expect when you’re referred.

Do you have a specific question about psychological evaluations? Let me know, and I will try to include it.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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