“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Psychological assessment is aimed at identifying a person’s unique skill set by means of constructing a holistic and integrated picture of the person’s functioning. This is done by means of clinical and collateral interviews and the use of standardised or projective assessment techniques. This allows a psychologist not only to identifying the difficulties that a person may be struggling with but also the strengths and skills at their disposal that they may use to negotiate these difficulties.
Psychological assessment may focus on identifying an emotional difficulty that a person might be struggling with, assisting in the formulation of an accurate psychiatric diagnosis, and / or determining a person’s current level of intellectual or neurocognitive skills. The findings may then be used to make decisions regarding their school, work or family life and assist in formulating the most effective manner in which to address the areas for growth identified.
This information may then be used to guide occupational or scholastic interventions or for psycho-legal purposes. It is of utmost importance that the purpose of the assessment be clarified before the process is undertaken.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a psychological assessment?
Psychological assessment refers to a process by which a wide variety of information is obtained in order to compile a holistic picture of a person’s psychological functioning. One component of a psychological assessment is the use of projective techniques and/or standardised psychological tests. These psychological tests or assessment measures are tools that allow for the measurement of human behaviour in order for informed decisions to be made.
When is a psychological assessment indicated?
Psychological assessment may be useful in identifying areas of development or in creating self-awareness. These include learning, education, and work-related contexts. Specifically, such assessments can assist in determining scholastic difficulties or learning difficulties (such as dyslexia, ADHD, attention and memory difficulties amongst others), assisting in finding the most optimal style of learning and most appropriate course of action when a difficulty is identified. Psychological assessment can also assist in relation to career guidance for high school subject choices, school leavers, and persons considering making a change in their career.
Psychological assessment may also assist in contributing to an accurate psychiatric diagnosis, such as bipolar mood disorder, depression, anxiety, phobias and others.
What are the costs involved?
Will the medical aid pay for assessment?
The regulations from the respective medical schemes differ and it is recommended that clarity is obtained from the medical aid prior to confirming the psychological assessment.