What is Psychological Testing?
Psychological testing is when a professional psychologist gives you a series of tests designed to measure your cognitive skills. Cognitive skills refer to different mental skills that you use on a daily basis but probably never think about. Examples of such skills include:
- Attention and Concentration
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
- Ability to Organize
- And many, many, others
Who can benefit from psychological testing?
Anyone who is interested in learning more about his or her mental life can benefit. Most adults seek testing for any of the following reasons:
- Difficulty paying attention, focusing, concentrating, and organizing that is creating significant disruption in life or personal goals.
- Memory problems that other people have noticed and have caused you to be less efficient in work, school, or home life.
- For older adults, a significant change in memory and your ability to learn new things that has affected your ability to carry out normal daily tasks and routines.
What can I expect during a psychological testing session?
1. A licensed psychologist will conduct an initial, confidential interview to assess your concerns and difficulties. It may help to have a trusted significant other present to provide additional information but that will be your choice.
2. After the interview, the psychologist will schedule a date to conduct the testing.
3. The day of testing you may be asked to fill out some pencil and paper forms that ask you questions about your mood, feelings, behavior and others.
4. After completing the forms the psychologist will conduct the testing session with you. The session can take anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours or more depending on the nature of the concerns. Testing will be all paper and pencil or question and answer. It feels a little bit like being in school.
5. After the testing is completed a report will be generated within 1-2 weeks. This may be sent to you or another provider who referred you. The report will contain a brief synopsis of your personal history, the test results, and any recommendations for future care or treatment.
What are the benefits of psychological testing?
The benefits are highly individualized and depend in part on the issue being addressed. Experience suggests clients can receive the following benefits:
- An explanation of their cognitive (thinking) strengths and weaknesses that may explain certain difficulties in meeting life goals
- Gain clarity on a mental health diagnosis for a more individualized treatment plan
- Learn possible reasons why they are having difficulties in their cognitive abilities
- If there are problems with their cognitive abilities, clients can learn what they might need for further evaluation or treatment
- Clients can receive referrals to other specialists as needed if the results of the testing suggest this to be the best course of action