One of the specialties I’ve developed through dual licensure as both School Psychologist and Professional Counselor, is that of conducting and interpreting formal assessments.
Psychological Evaluations: This is a way to understand how a person sees the world and to identify his/her characteristic traits and attitudes. It’s a bit like going to the doctor for a physical, to see if all is healthy and working well. A twenty-minute assessment can provide an amazingly insightful understanding for yourself, and help us both of us plan an effective counseling approach for the concern you
Psychological evaluations are useful to plan an effective counseling approach, and I often employ them to gain rapid insight into the interpersonal dynamics of a client. I provide more thorough assessments when requested by agencies (e.g., probation department, Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation). Sometimes evaluations are provided to employers for matching people to jobs or to evaluate personnel problems.
Learning Evaluations: Not everyone “processes” in the same way. When learning is more difficult than it should be, there’s probably a reason we can identify and address. Learning problems can be neurological. intellectual, or even based on previous learning. They show up as poor reading, memory difficulties, attention problems, and more. Too often, students struggle with classroom instruction without understanding why it comes so much easier to others. Often, this leads to diminished self-esteem and possibly negative directions in life.
I provide complete learning assessments not only for school-aged children, but also for adults who have never understood their processing difficulties or who are recognizing a problem for the first time in work or life. When additional testing is indicated (e.g., language impairment, neurological injury), I work closely with others in our area with such specialties.