What happens during a psychological assessment?
During an assessment, you will meet with me to discuss areas of your life that are puzzling or troubling to you. I will help you form questions to be addressed by the assessment, and then will talk with you about these questions. I may also ask you for permission to talk to others (e.g., current or previous therapists) who can provide information about your situation. After the initial session, we will spend several sessions doing psychological tests and discussing your experience of the testing. At the end of the testing (usually within 4-6 weeks of the start), I will meet with you to discuss the results of your testing and how they relate to your questions. You may choose to have other people present at your feedback session (e.g., your therapist or spouse). Last, I will write you a letter summarizing your assessment results and the answers to your questions.
Why is this procedure called therapeutic assessment?
Stephen Finn, Constance Fischer, Leonard Handler spent years developing Therapeutic Assessment, a method in which assessors and clients work together on the joint venture of exploring clients’ problems in living. Many clients feel that therapeutic assessments affect them in a deep way, and that these effects persist long after an assessment is completed. Research has shown that this method of assessment helps many clients to feel better about themselves and less distressed, and that they work better in subsequent therapy. I understand what a vulnerable experience it is to be assessed, and I will do everything possible to make your assessment experience a good one. The more willing you are to explore during an assessment, the more you will benefit.
What kinds of questions can the assessment answer?
If you are in therapy, it usually is helpful to discuss possible questions with your therapist before your first appointment with me. If you are not sure if a question can be addressed by our assessment techniques, please jot it down anyway, and we’ll discuss it at the first meeting. I will help you form and refine your questions so they will be most useful to you, and I will certainly let you know if a question can not be answered though psychological assessment. Many clients ask about worries they have (e.g., “Am I likely to develop bipolar disorder like my brother did?”), or about parts of their life that are troubling and puzzling, (e.g., “Why do other people keep saying that I seem so angry?”). Other clients have questions related to career choices (e.g., “Am I smart enough to go to law school?”), or about strengths and weaknesses (e.g., “What parts of my personality are likely to get in the way of my professional development?”). I never begin an assessment until you and I agree about the goals of our working together.
Will you really tell me the results of the assessment?
My goal is to provide you with information about yourself that you can understand and make use of immediately. With few exceptions, I believe that if you ask a question, you are ready for an answer, even if that answer is difficult to hear. I pride myself on being able to 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. In some cases, clients have posed an assessment question, but asked that I provide the answer to their therapist, and not to them. I respect such limits and follow clients’ instructions in such a scenario.
Who else will have access to the results of my assessment?
Your assessment results are confidential. I do not divulge that you are a client or anything about you or your assessment to anyone, unless you have given me written permission to do so. The only exceptions are: 1) If you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or others; 2) if I have been appointed by the court to assess you; 3) if you are a minor, are elderly or disabled and I believe you are the victim of abuse, or if you divulge information about 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 consult with colleagues and specialists about my work, but this pursuit of quality improvement never involves your name or any other specifics through which you might be identified. If you have any questions about specific elements of confidentiality, please discuss these with me.
If I feel uncomfortable during the assessment, what should I do?
Tell me as soon as possible. Many clients have strong emotional reactions during assessment sessions, and if this happens to you, I want to know, so we can 1) support you in your experiences; and 2) explore your experience with you. Your feelings during the assessment are crucial pieces of information that help you and me to understand your test results.
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. Please call me at the number above for an estimate of the cost.
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 my website, www.drlarryfriedberg.com, or just Google Map or MapQuest my address.