We have a fantastic guest today. Dr. Tracy Zemansky is here to speak about the fascinating topic of psychological assessment, and how it can help you or your client on a journey of healing.
What is a psychological assessment? It’s not what we typically see in the movies. It is a way of evaluating a particular part of an individual and trying to understand it more. To get as much information as possible psychological tests, interviews, questionnaires, behavioral observations, and sometimes collateral interviews, which are interviews with people that know the individual well, are used.
Tracy explains how this process is like being a detective looking into someone’s personality. Searching with the client, and possibly their therapist, at any concerns that may be getting in the way of their goals.
We give the example of a client that is stuck and may not be able to gain long-term sobriety, or they may not be able to form the long-term relationships they want. Going through the process of psychological assessment may help to find more details that can be helpful.
The tests Tracy uses differ significantly from client to client. A psychological assessment for a client that is working on their relationship difficulties would look very different from a client that is, for instance, struggling with alcohol addiction. Each assessment is created for the individual client.
These tests can be anything from true or false or multiple choice questions which are scored by mathematical algorithms, to Rorschach style inkblot tests to observe how the client reacts to the unknown, and it is also scored in a particular way. How the client interacts in the room during the test is helpful as well.
The results of these tests, the behavior of the client during testing, and what they and their therapist says are all used to getting a broad and revealing picture for the assessment.
Psychological testing cannot predict the future and cannot tell us what caused our pasts. But testing can help us make links which can be useful in therapy. Setting concrete goals and asking questions that can be answered is essential.
Going through a psychological assessment and getting this level of detail can help you set out a roadmap to pursue the life you want in recovery. It can speed up the therapeutic process by pointing out the roadblocks that have been in your way.