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A psychological assessment typically includes an interview, observations, and the administration of various intellectual, personality, parenting tests, etc. The procedures used vary based on the referral need. Psychologists use instruments that are designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in multiple areas within an individual. Tests may be designed to identify a learning disorder, attention and impulsivity problems, mood difficulties, and personality style.
An assessment does not necessarily have to be in regards to a disorder, but may be used to identify if an individual is a good fit for an organization or how they will work within a team. Often times, psychological assessment is used to understand a person's difficulty within a specific role in his or her life. For example, if a relatively capable child is struggling in school, the assessment can identify which area of weakness is preventing the child from maximizing his or her potential. The child may have a weakness in attention, impulsivity, struggling with depression, or have a a specific learning difficulty.
After an assessment is completed, recommendations are made to offer strategies to maximize one's potential.
Jack Carney, Ph.D.
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