What are Psychological Assessments?

When you think of a psychologist, you may picture sitting or lying in a room answering stereotypical questions like, “how did that make you feel?”. Whilst therapy is at the heart of clinical psychology, all general and clinical psychologists have received training in psychological assessment. Many go on to have a keen interest in this area of practice through their careers.

Psychological assessment is a formal method of measuring an individual’s psychological, cognitive, or adaptive functioning. Validated, reliable measures that have been developed through rigorous research are used to assess a wide variety of strengths and difficulties. Dependent on the purpose for testing, individuals may be asked to complete questionnaires or solve more interactive puzzles. Combined with taking a comprehensive history, test scores enable psychologists to build a profile that can provide insight and recommendations for the individual, their family, and relevant organisations.

There are various forms of psychological assessment completed in a clinical space, including:

Achievement and educational testing aims to determine learning and academic ability, particularly if a child is not progressing as expected. Tests often focus on particular areas, such as reading, writing, or maths to identify Specific Learning Disorders like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia. They can also be used to identify giftedness if a child is excelling academically.

Developmental and adaptive behaviour testing comprehensively explores intellectual, language, social, and emotional development as well as an individual’s ability to function day-to-day. Tests are particularly relevant for assessing diagnoses like intellectual impairment, ASD, or ADHD.

Cognitive testing explores intellectual functioning by assessing abilities like problem-solving, reasoning, vocabulary, comprehension, processing, and memory. Cognitive assessment commonly includes intelligence tests, which are often used with other psychometric measures.

Vocational testing refers to assessing an individual’s suitability and capacity to work in a particular role. Tests often assist individuals to return to work or identify a well-matched occupation based on their abilities and personality in the first instance.

Understanding an individual’s abilities, strengths, and weaknesses is often the first step in supporting them to reach their potential. PsychMed have a large test library and can assess individuals for a wide range of referring concerns. Contact us on (08) 8232 2424 to find out more about how we can help.