If you have followed this blog for a while, you will be familiar with various series I have written on the many facets of mental health. I have had some great feedback on my posts about psychological evaluations, figuring out what you want to learn from an evaluation, and various types of assessments.
I also received a question: “I know I could benefit from [type of psychological evaluation]. How do I get started?”
The short answer is, it depends. But here are some steps that you can take to get a referral for an evaluation.
Talk To Your Doctor.
Your primary physician is an excellent first point of contact if you think you would benefit from a psychological evaluation. They typically have a list of providers that they trust and refer to when a client needs an evaluation.
Tell your doctor your specific concerns and questions you hope to answer with an evaluation so that they can point you in the right direction.
Call Your Insurance Company.
Your insurance company should have information on services provided by their paneled providers. They can also tell you about your coverage and what out-of-pocket costs you might incur.
The benefit of going through your insurance company is you get more information about coverage, but they do not always have an accurate understanding of providers’ scopes of practice. A certain insurance company likes to tell clients that I do court ordered assessments (I don’t), even though I have specifically asked them to stop.
Search for Psychologists.
The trusty internet is a good resource for finding someone who can provide a psychological evaluation. Many providers have information posted on their websites or in various directories about what services they offer, so you can find out more about whether someone can meet your unique needs.
Remember, there is no minimum threshold to justify asking for help. An evaluation can help you get to know yourself better, understand a possible diagnosis, or provide information about what treatments might be a good fit for your needs.