and it's place in therapy.
What happens when you go to a physician's office for the first time? Generally the physician will take what is called "vital signs"; which means they will measure your heart rate, your blood pressure, your rate of respiration, your height, and weight. They may also give you additional tests. Like a cardiologist may give your stress test, an echo cardiogram, or a angiogram to determine the level of health of your cardiovascular system. He does this so he can give you a diagnosis and then a treatment plan. It would be useless for him or her to begin treatment of you without first taking your "vital signs" and giving the necessary tests to discover what may need to be treated. Likewise a good psychologist will require certain tests of your to give you an accurate diagnosis and then develop a treatment plan for you. Many of you have asked me if psychological testing is necessary. The answer is that it is good treatment to do testing even if your psychologist is well experienced and feels relatively confident that his diagnosis is accurate without treatment.
The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 4th Edition (WAIS-IV). This measures the intelligence of adults, it takes between 90-150 minutes and gives a great many details about your intellectual strengths and weaknesses. This test is given in person by a psychologist and then hand scored to give information on several areas of intellectual functioning.
The Wechsler Memory Scale 4th Edition (WMS-IV) is a test for assessing short-term memory functioning. This is often done along with the WAIS-IV to test for memory problems that are often associated with a diagnosis of various forms of dementia, brain damage, and traumatic brain injury. This test is given in person by a psychologist and then hand scored to give information on several areas of memory functioning.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-II (MMPI-II) is a version of the famous MMPI which began in 1945 and has gone through numerous revisions. This test is a general personality inventory that gives an excellent diagnosis and takes 60-120 minutes. The MMPI-II-RF version, with approximately 350 questions, was recently developed to take the place of the MMPI-II because many clients suffered from extreme fatigue having to answer the 567 true/false questions on the MMPI-II. The MMPI-II-RF (Restructured Form) has an updated vocabulary and is more culturally sensitive to diverse populations.
The Millon Multi-Axial Clinical Inventory Third Edition (MCMI-III) is a shorter personality inventory that can be completed in 20-30 minutes. It gives data to begin the diagnostic process that includes such topics as self-defeating behavior, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and personality disorders. This is a shorter test than the MMPI family with only 175 true/false questions.
We also do the Millon Behavioral Medicine Disorder test that screens specifically for those individuals who are candidates for Bariatric Surgery. This is a test that provides detailed information about the candidates coping skills, their attitudes toward dieting, and their prognosis for successful weight reduction after the surgery. The total time required is approximately 120 minutes.
The Parenting Stress Inventory (PSI) is a test given to parents who are being interviewed to assess their skills in providing appropriate parenting to their children. This is a test that questions the client as to what their attitudes toward the children are and how they view their role as a parent. In addition there are scales to measure the stress level at the time of the testing as well as questions regarding how well they feel supported by the other parent. This test is particularly useful in evaluating the possible need for parenting skills classes to help families establish healthy environments for children.
Other evaluation instruments that we offer include the following: Beck Depression Inventory II, Beck Anxiety Inventory, A.D.H.D. Behavior Checklist for Adults, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Test (ADHDT), Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test Second Edition (KBIT-II), Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Inventory (FIRO-B), Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (MFAST), Adult Incomplete Sentence Test, Child Incomplete Sentence Test, Mental Status Examination, and Thematic Apperception Test for Adults, Substance Abuse Symptom Inventory Fourth Edition (SASI-IV).
All written psychological evaluations include three important elements in order to make an adequate diagnosis: testing, a clinical interview and a comprehensive psychobiosocial history. With this information the psychologist can look for patterns in the behavior that help to establish the proper diagnosis.