Gain Insight Into Your Mind With A Psych Evaluation

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated March 15, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Gaining insight into your mental health may be a valuable way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A psychological evaluation, often referred to as a psych evaluation, may allow you to receive answers on your mental well-being. Whether you're seeking treatment for a mental health condition or seeking insight into your personality, a psych evaluation can allow you to find effective treatment options. 

Psychologists conduct psych assessments to diagnose mental health conditions and provide treatment options. These tests might help individuals clarify their symptoms and behaviors, identify any underlying psychological concerns, and develop strategies to manage them. Psych evaluations might also help identify potential risk factors, allowing for early intervention and treatment. Learning how a psych test might benefit you can be a first step in the process of understanding your mental health.

Unlock The Secrets Of Your Mind With A Psych Evaluation

Types Of Psychological Evaluations

Below are a few different types of psychological examinations and how they are performed. 

Clinical Interviews

A clinical interview may involve a conversation between a mental health professional and a client. It could occur during a therapy session or as a standalone appointment. Often, clinical psychologists perform these interviews. 

During the interview, the professional may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and behavior. This information might be used to form a diagnosis and treatment options. Individuals may sometimes attend several interviews or sessions before receiving a diagnosis. 

Psychological Tests

Psychological tests are a standardized method of measuring certain aspects of an individual's mental health and behavior. These tests might include self-report measures, projective tests, and objective tests. Self-report measures are questionnaires asking the individual to rate their symptoms and behaviors. 

Projective tests involve presenting the individual with ambiguous stimuli and asking them to interpret or describe them. The Rorschach inkblot test is an example of a projective test. Objective tests include tests of intelligence, memory, and other cognitive abilities. The IQ test is an objective test. 

Neuropsychological Assessments

Neuropsychological testing may be used to evaluate the relationship between the brain and behavior. These assessments may include tests of cognitive abilities, such as tests on memory, attention, language, motor skills, and coordination. They might also include a brain scan. In some cases, neuropsychological assessments are provided along with psychological testing to check for common mental health conditions. 

Behavioral Observation

Behavioral observation assesses an individual's behavior in a naturalistic setting. This testing might include observing an individual in their home, school, or work environment. Observation could provide insight into how an individual's behavior may impact their daily lives and relationships.

Each type of evaluation may be unique and has its strengths and limitations. Mental health professionals may often use a combination of these methods to gather a complete understanding of an individual's mental health.

How Much Does A Psychological Evaluation Cost? 

The cost of a psych evaluation can vary depending on which type you utilize, how many sessions you attend, and what conditions you are testing for. Some tests, like neuropsychological testing, may not be covered by insurance and can be costly. Diagnostic testing or interviewing by a counselor or therapist may be covered. However, reach out to your insurance plan to learn more. 

According to Forbes, regular therapy sessions in an in-person setting range from $100 to $200 per session. Official neuropsychological testing or psychological testing can cost from $100 to a few thousand dollars. The price can depend on the institution or provider you visit and your location. Pricing may be cheaper if you sign up for psychological testing through a university's clinical student psychological program. 

The Benefits Of Psych Evaluations

A psychological evaluation may provide a few benefits. By gaining more significant insight into your mental health, you may be able to make any necessary changes to inspire a healthier lifestyle.

A few benefits of psych evaluations might include the following:

  • An improved understanding and awareness of mental health issues
  • The option to identify and treat any underlying psychological issues 
  • Enhanced ability to manage symptoms or behaviors more effectively
  • The ability to identify risk factors to prevent future problems from arising
  • The development of strategies for coping and problem-solving
  • More significant self-awareness and insight into one's thoughts, feelings, and behavior

Understanding The Results Of A Psych Evaluation

If you have received the results of a psychological evaluation, you may wonder how to interpret them. Below are some tips. 

Interpreting Psych Evaluations

The results of a psychological evaluation may be difficult to interpret on your own. A mental health professional might guide you in interpreting the results to aid personal growth and development. Often, they use the MMPI test to assess if you have a mental disorder. You can also perform research on the form of test you completed and the mental health conditions or symptoms you have been diagnosed with. The DSM-5 can tell you more about how each condition's diagnostic criteria work. 

Using Psych Evaluations For Self-Improvement

Psychological evaluations may be used to understand your strengths and weaknesses, set goals, create strategies for progress, and monitor progress over time. They may also help identify areas where additional support or treatment may be needed. Psych evaluations may help clients understand mental health issues and be used as part of a self-improvement plan. With appropriate resources and guidance, psychological evaluations might provide valuable insight into your mental health and behavior and support personal growth and development.

Disclaimer On Psychological Evaluations 

A psychological evaluation should be completed by a licensed mental health provider or doctor like a psychiatrist. Online tests and casual testing does not replace the advice of one of these professionals. Additionally, reading your results on your own may result in confusion or misinterpretation.

Consider speaking to a mental health professional who can provide you with guidance and support as you work toward your goals. If you are struggling with mental health issues or seeking self-improvement, it may be best to consult a qualified mental health provider to discuss your treatment options. 

Counseling Options 

Psychological evaluations can be valuable tools for learning more about your mental health. However, they can be expensive, and some individuals may prefer to find support through counseling, with or without a diagnosis. You can try counseling in person or online. 

Online therapy can allow individuals to talk about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a safe and discreet setting. You can attend video, phone, or live chat sessions with a licensed therapist through online counseling. Research has shown that online therapy may be an effective method of addressing symptoms of mental health conditions. One Knechtel study found that individuals who used online therapy reported feelings of self-efficacy regarding their mental health, as well as improved satisfaction with the quality of care received

Online therapy can be a beneficial resource for individuals seeking to understand their mental health and behavior and gain coping mechanisms to use in the future. If you're interested in learning more, consider signing up for a platform like BetterHelp, which offers over 30,000 licensed counselors and mental health providers. Note that BetterHelp does not offer psychological evaluations, diagnosis, or medication support. However, you can discuss your symptoms with a therapist and work through a treatment plan. 

Unlock The Secrets Of Your Mind With A Psych Evaluation

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Although the act of seeking out therapy and getting an initial diagnosis can seem daunting, letting your mental health symptoms go untreated may have a negative impact. Taking the first steps and connecting with a counselor could open the path to treatment and self-sufficiency. If you're interested in learning more, consider reaching out to a therapist or psychological professional for further guidance and support. 

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