Many teens need mental health services and a significant number may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and not properly treated by mental health professionals. At Visions, we are committed to providing quality and personalized services. We do this by working closely as a highly skilled professional team. A comprehensive psychological evaluation is an important part of the Visions experience and an integral part of a personalized treatment plan.
Families come to Visions seeking help for their teens and wanting to understand and address the root causes of suffering and problems. Some teens come to Visions without ever having a comprehensive psychological evaluation. Some have prior evaluations, noting the majority have received educational evaluations. Educational evaluations can provide important information, but often do not include a comprehensive assessment of a teen’s personality and social-emotional functioning. Additionally, some teens and families come to Visions confused and frustrated by differing diagnostic impressions or diagnoses that have changed over the years.
Psychological evaluations and diagnosis may sound intimidating. Our psychological evaluation services are designed to help and serve several purposes. One purpose is identifying the root of an individual’s struggles and suffering and providing diagnostic clarity. A diagnosis is a guide for proper and more personalized treatment at Visions and for aftercare treatment. Psychological evaluations provide valuable and useful information for the individual therapists, group therapists, family therapists, staff, and teachers at Visions. Visions psychiatrists use information and diagnosis from a psychological evaluation as a guide for medication protocols when medication is deemed appropriate and helpful.
Typically, a teen is seen for a psychological evaluation one to two weeks after admission. This gives the teen time to transition and adjust to the Visions inpatient program. Sometimes, a teen may need more time to adjust. Evaluation start times are decided on a case by case basis by the treatment team. Testing is done at Visions so the teen does not have to be transported back and forth and miss valuable treatment experiences. Parents and the treatment team are provided a thorough debriefing regarding the results and recommendations by a licensed psychologist. A comprehensive written report is also given to parents and the Visions treatment team. Aftercare professionals can use the report as a guide for aftercare treatment.
Standard Psychological Evaluations at Visions include…
- A thorough history obtained from parents and allied professionals
- Review of available records (school, medical, prior evaluations)
- Observation of teen at Visions
- Consultation with Visions primary clinician, teacher, and treatment team staff
- Consultation with Visions psychiatrist
- Clinical Interview to learn about the teen’s concerns and history and to observe the teen’s thought processes and interactions
- Formal questionnaires and checklists
- Norm-referenced psychometric tests with validity scales that assess a wide-range of symptoms and mental health disorders. Validity scales give information about a teen’s response style and are sensitive to over- and under-reporting.
If our standard evaluation procedure does not provide enough information or leads to additional questions, the treatment team will discuss options with the family and can order and arrange for additional evaluation services. For more information about psychological evaluations at Visions, please contact us.