What will happen during a psychological assessment of my child?
During an assessment, I will meet with you to discuss any concerns or worries you have about your child. I will help you to form questions to be addressed by the assessment, and then I will talk with you about these questions. I may also ask your permission to talk with others (e.g., teachers, previous therapists) who have information about your child’s situation, or to observe your child in the school or at home. Next, your child will spend several sessions with me doing psychological tests. In the latter part of the assessment, I typically schedule a session with everyone in the family present, so we can see how your child acts in this environment. At the end of the assessment (usually within 4-6 weeks of the start), I will meet with you to discuss the results of your child’s testing, and how they relate to your questions. I will provide you with a letter or a written report summarizing your child’s assessment results. I will also meet with your child to let him/her know the assessment findings. Last, if you wish, I will meet with personnel at your child’s school to explain the results.
What kinds of questions can an assessment answer?
If you’re not sure if a question can be addressed by an assessment, please jot it down anyway and ask me. I will help you to refine your questions so they will be most useful to you, and I will certainly let you know if a question cannot be answered though psychological assessment. In a typical child assessment I can handle up to 6 different questions. Many parents ask questions about their child (“Why is John so angry?”, “Does my child have a learning disability?). Other questions have to do with a child’s place in the family (“Why does Marie always get sick when we are having marital problems?”) I never begin an assessment until you and I agree about the goals of the assessment.
Why is your approach called therapeutic assessment?
My colleagues have spent many years developing this method of assessment, in which assessors and clients work together to learn about a child’s problems. Many clients find that these assessments affect them in a deep way, and research has shown that parents and children often have fewer problems after a therapeutic assessment, families have less conflict and feel more connected, and parents and children understand each other better and feel better about their relationships. These benefits seem to persist long after an assessment is completed.
Will you really tell me the results of the assessment?
My goal is to provide you with information about your child and your family that you can understand and make use of immediately. With few exceptions, I believe that if your ask a question about your child, you are ready for an answer, even if that answer is difficult to hear. I pride myself on begin able explain assessment results in plain, concise language that non-psychologists can understand. If you are unclear about anything said to you in the summary and discussion session, please let me know.
Who else will have access to the results of my child’s assessment?
Your child’s test results are confidential. I do not divulge that you and your child are clients or anything about you to anyone, unless you have given me written permission to do so. The only exceptions are: 1) if you or your child are in imminent danger of harming self or others; 2) if I was appointed by a court to assess your child; 3) as required by law, if I believe that your child has been abused, or if you or your child divulge information of such abuse; or 4) if you file suit against me for breach of duty. There are several other instances in legal proceedings that may require disclosure of confidential information. I do sometimes consult with colleagues and specialists about my work. This pursuit of quality assurance, however, never involves clients’ names or any specifics through which you or your child might be identified. If you have any questions about confidentiality, please ask.
How can I support my child through the assessment process?
It will help if you tell your child something about your concerns and why you requested the assessment. If you have questions about how to speak to your child about this, please ask me in the initial session. When you bring your child in the first time, please introduce your child to me, and be prepared to stay as long as your child needs to feel comfortable. Also, please make sure that your child gets enough sleep the night before and has a snack if she/he needs one after school. Some children prefer not to talk with their parents about what happens during a testing session; others need lots of attentive listening; it is best if you follow your child’s cues about this. If you notice any changes in your child’s behavior during an assessment, please let me know as soon as possible.
How much does an assessment cost?
The fees for a therapeutic assessment vary, depending on the complexity of the questions asked. After your first appointment, I will quote you a fee for the entire assessment. Often I can estimate this cost by talking with you on the phone about your assessment goals. I ask that half of the assessment fee be paid at the end of the first session, and half at the summary and discussion session. Please call me at the number above for an estimate of the cost to assess your child.
Where is your office?
My office is at 7457 Franklin Road, Suite 210, Bloomfield Hills MI 48301, one mile west of Telegraph Road, at the northeast corner of 14 Mile Road and Franklin Road. There is a map on this website, here, or just Google Map or MapQuest my address.