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Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Psychological testing is generally designed to help a person gain insight into why they may be experiencing various symptoms and to help specialists determine a diagnosis. In many ways, psychological testing and assessments are like standard medical tests. While a medical doctor may test your blood, a therapist may test your social skills, for instance. Thus, these psychological assessments usually test for the presence or absence of certain traits, signs, and symptoms of various mental health disorders. You can take psychological assessments by working with a licensed mental health professional in person or online.
Reasons For Mental Health Evaluations
Psychological tests, also known as assessments or evaluations, can be administered for many reasons, including to identify a mental health disorder or diagnose a disability. They typically involve the evaluation of a person’s mental health and behavioral function through standardized tests.
Tests are often administered to determine whether an individual has certain conditions. Psychological tests can reveal a great deal about an individual’s diagnosis, personality type, relationships, and more. The testing can also offer an individual answers to any questions they may have about their mental health status. The results can contribute to a diagnosis that offers not only an explanation for any symptoms they are experiencing, but also a path to treatment.
Types Of Mental Health Evaluations
One of the most common types of tests you might be familiar with is the IQ (intelligence quotient) test. IQ and achievement tests were generally first introduced in the early 1900s and have become quite prevalent around the world. According to the American Psychological Association, one sign of IQ test validity may be how this type of test is consistently being refined and improved. Currently, these tests may go beyond intelligence measures to include emotional intelligence and other types of intelligence.
Another common type of psychological test may be a personality test. Personality tests tend to be useful in therapy and have even been used in the workplace. These types of tests are often useful in psychology, as they can help individuals express and learn more about their own emotions, traits, and personal development.
What To Expect During A Mental Health Evaluation
A mental health evaluation is usually not like taking the SAT, an emotional IQ test, or a regular multiple-choice exam. Some psychological assessments do contain multiple-choice questions, but there is usually no right or wrong answer. Mental health evaluations are often taken on paper or online and frequently ask questions that you can answer with options like "Never," "Sometimes,” “A lot of the time,” or “All the time.”
The Importance Of Honesty
There are generally no correct answers when it comes to a psychological assessment. Some people might want to look at a psychological test ahead of time to determine what they view to be the “right” answers. Doing this may compromise your test results.
If you want to get an accurate idea of your diagnosis, it can be crucial to remain honest and transparent about your experiences. Your test results can help mental health professionals create an effective treatment plan for you, so it’s best to answer each question accurately and to the best of your ability.
Don’t Be Afraid
When you hear that you may need psychological testing, it can be scary. Your fears may be natural and understandable, but try to keep in mind that these kinds of tests are generally here to help you. Completing mental health testing can ultimately help you on your journey toward improved mental health.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
Online therapy can be a great choice for those who are interested in seeking professional help with mental health challenges. An online therapist may be able to discuss your symptoms and develop an effective treatment plan for you over the internet. You may schedule sessions at a time that works for you and choose between video conference, phone call, or online chat.
Effectiveness Of Online Therapy
In general, online therapy tends to have the same level of efficacy as face-to-face therapy. It can be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental health disorders and concerns.
Psychological testing may sound intimidating, but it is generally a tool meant to determine what your symptoms and experiences may indicate and form an effective treatment plan. For this reason, it can be crucial to be as honest as possible when completing this type of testing. If you have any questions or concerns, consider speaking to a licensed therapist online or in person.