What are Some Reasons why People Book for an Assessment?
People refer themselves or their children for psychological assessment when there are concerns about:
- poor academic progress;
- difficulty with attention, behaviour at home, school, or elsewhere, that has not responded to the provision of typical interventions or support;
- feelings of distress, sadness, anxiety, fearfulness, low motivation, poor self-esteem, or difficulty with friendships;
- specific queries about developmental or mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, OCD, bi-polar disorder, PDD, Asperger Syndrome, developmental delays).
Who Conducts the Assessment?
Only a licensed Psychologist or Psychological Associate can complete a psychological assessment.
Psychological assessments are different from other assessments, such as educational testing completed by a Special Education & Resource Teacher in a school, or an assessment completed by a Psychiatrist in a crisis clinic, or an assessment for services by an intake worker at a therapy clinic, or a Social Worker at a Family Health Team.
What is Involved in a Psychological Assessment?
Most psychological assessments will include some combination of:
- cognitive ability tests (referred to as intelligence testing in some contexts) used to assess processing of information, executive functioning, memory, and ability to reason and problem-solve efficiently;
- behaviour check-lists completed by self or others to assess behaviour, self-control, well-being, coping, or other specific areas of functioning (e.g., anger management, self-esteem);
- some assessments will include projective tests, which are used to help understand underlying emotional concerns and beliefs;
- some assessments will include tests related to mental health in combinations with clinical interviews and possibly observations, to assess specific disorders, such as depression, anxiety, OCD, etc.;
- some assessments will focus on assessing one’s personality, looking at the learned and acquired behavioural and emotional patterns in a person’s life, and the strengths and potential problems arising from those patterns.
All of these assessments can be obtained for children, adolescents, young adults, and adults.
How Long Does an Assessment Take?
Assessments are conducted over many sessions to ensure accuracy and thoroughness. The process includes:
- an intake interview to discuss the reason for referral and to plan the assessment;
- a school observation might be completed before proceeding with assessment sessions;
- three to six sessions, about 1 ½ to 2 hours each, to complete testing;
- scoring and interpretation of the findings, and compiling the results;
- a feedback interview with the client and/or family, and feedback to others at the client’s request; and,
- a written report summarizing the assessment, its findings and recommendations.
How Much Does a Psychological Assessment Cost?
For the 2018-2019 year, the cost of a psychological assessment is between $2,600.00 and $3,000.00.; This cost includes all components of the assessment, including all interviews, meetings, observations (if required), feedback meetings, and consultation with schools (if appropriate).
Who Pays for a Psychological Service?
Services are paid by clients. The services of registered psychological service providers are covered by most extended health benefit plans. Because different insurers offer different coverage, you should find out, in advance, what your insurer offers and requires from you in order to access benefits. Psychological services are not covered by OHIP.
How Can I Make An Appointment for an Assessment?
To make a referral for assessment or any other CPS service, contact the CPS intake team at (519) 824-4120 extension 52601.