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This month at the Kid Clinic: How a psychological assessment helps a counselor help you

This month at the Kid Clinic: How a psychological assessment helps a counselor help you

What do the Hippocrates, Wilhelm Wundt and Sigmund Freud have in common? All of them have been involved with developing psychological assessments many patients may experience when they meet with a counselor or psychologist/psychiatrist.

For those who don’t know, psychological assessments help counselors better understand an individual, and provide valuable insights into the individual’s behavior, skills, thoughts and personality. In many ways, psychological assessments are similar to medical tests your family doctor may perform. For example, if a patient has physical symptoms, a primary care provider may order X-rays or blood tests to understand what's causing those symptoms. The results of the tests will help inform develop a treatment plan. Psychological assessments serve the same purpose. Psychologists use these as tools to measure and observe a client's behavior, and to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment.

According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists administer tests and assessments for a wide variety of reasons and can include numerous components such as informal tests or surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation and observational data. Assessments can be used to determine if a person has a learning disorder, is competent to stand trial or has a traumatic brain injury. They can also be used to determine if a person would be a good manager or how well they may work with a team. When used wisely and in a cautious manner, psychological assessment can help an individual learn more about themselves and gain valuable insights.

Please take note: psychological assessments aren’t like taking a multiple-choice exam with a pass or fail “grade”. Rather, psychologists use information from the various assessments to reach a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan specific to the individual. These assessments are nothing to fear, they are simply giving the psychologist an opportunity to determine the best way to help you.

Through training and learning from giving assessments, counselors have evolved their practice; much of this is based on the testing and assessments that they do. So, the testing is not only useful for a patient’s treatment plans, they are also help mental health professionals change their techniques to help more patients.

The Campbell County Medical Group Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic offering medical care and counseling services for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings ages 2 weeks and up. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic. The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District.

This blog was written by Troy Akins, PPC, Kid Clinic Counselor