The purpose of a comprehensive psychological evaluation is to provide an in-depth understanding of a person’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning to help clarify the diagnosis and assist in treatment planning. This type of evaluation is usually ordered by another provider (such as a neurologist, pediatrician, psychiatrist, or therapist) to assist in obtaining a better understanding of the patient, so that treatment can be appropriately tailored to his or her needs.
Such evaluations can be used to more accurately diagnose neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], Autism Spectrum Disorder, etc.), depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, as well as other conditions (such as eating disorders, trauma-related problems, impulse control disorders, etc.). As behavioral psychologists, we seek to understand not only the diagnosis, but also how these symptoms and behaviors contribute to problems in the person’s daily functioning, such as at school, work, home, socially, or in other important areas of his or her life. The recommendations are therefore focused on treatment targets and helping to minimize the impact the psychiatric condition has on the person’s functioning in different environments.