What is psychological testing?
Psychological testing is a comprehensive assessment of an individual comprised of a clinical interview and various psychological tests that reveal various cognitive and emotional characteristics of the person. The purpose of psychological testing is to gain more insight into how a person views his or her world as well as identify key stressors with which the individual is struggling. Results of the testing are helpful in identifying areas of focus during individual therapy.
Who is eligible for testing?
Children, adolescents, and adults can benefit from psychological testing. Children and adolescents tend to be referred for testing by their school, parents or pediatricians, especially if they seem to be having difficulties at school and/or at home. Adults tend to be referred by their treating therapist or psychiatrist if there are questions regarding their diagnosis. Adults may also receive requests for testing from their place of employment if serious issues occur that are impacting their work performance. Testing can also be mandated by the court system for various reasons.
Who performs the testing at Nowell and Associates?
Dr. Anjali Soni, a licensed clinical psychologist, conducts the testing. Dr. Soni has performed psychological testing with people of all ages in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings.
What is the process?
The testing process begins with a clinical interview that typically lasts one hour. (For children and adolescents who are getting tested, we ask that a parent or primary care provider is present for the interview as well). Following completion of the interview, you will schedule a block of time to complete a series of psychological tests. Once testing is completed, you will set an appointment for a feedback session. (The appointment is usually set three weeks after test completion). At the feedback appointment, you will receive a copy of your test report. The results, including diagnoses and recommendations, will be discussed during the feedback session. Please note a copy of your test report will also be placed in your chart for your therapist and/or psychiatrist to review.
What kinds of tests will I have to take?
The tests administered may vary depending on the person’s age and the testing referral question. Generally, the test battery is comprised of tests measuring your cognitive abilities and emotional and personality characteristics. Some of the tests are interactive with Dr. Soni in which she will ask you different questions, while other tests are questionnaires completed by you while Dr. Soni is in the room. Please note that for children, we ask that the parents are not present in the room as their presence may affect the child’s test performance. Dr. Levinsky may have the parents complete some questionnaires regarding their children’s behavior, and a schoolteacher may also need to complete a questionnaire.
How long does it take and do I have to complete all the testing at one time?
The average length of testing is approximately four hours including the clinical interview, but the amount of time varies depending on the individual and the tests that are administered. Testing can be completed in one session or divided up among multiple sessions depending on the individual’s preference. You are welcome to take breaks during the sessions as needed. Dr. Soni will complete the testing at your pace. Please keep in mind though that each test session is considered a separate office visit and may require a co-pay or coinsurance based on your benefit plan.
What if the results say that I am crazy?
The test results will never say that an individual is “crazy!” Sometimes people are concerned that the tests will “get inside a person’s head.” This concern is a myth. The tests are not designed to trick you, but are designed to examine your attitudes, stressors, and perceptions of the world. Dr. Soni bases the test results on what you tell her and how you answer the test questions. The more honest and forthright you are, the more accurate and helpful the results will be. The diagnoses and recommendations that Dr. Soni provides in the test report are strictly based on the clinical interview and the test results.
Will my insurance cover it?
Preapproval is required for testing. Testing will not begin until we have received approval from the insurance provider. It is recommended that you check with your insurance company prior to the start of testing to inquire about copays and deductibles as psychological testing is considered to be a separate service from individual therapy or appointments with your psychiatrist.