Psychological assessment is aimed at identifying a person’s unique skillset 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 identify 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.
“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 may focus on identifying an emotional difficulty that a person might be struggling with, assisting in the formulation of an accurate psychiatric diagnosis, or determining a person’s current level of intellectual or neurocognitive skill. 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
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.
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 careers. Psychological assessment may also assist in contributing to an accurate psychiatric diagnosis, such as bipolar mood disorder, depression, anxiety, phobias and others.
Sessions can be claimed from the medical aid on your behalf at the tariffs prescribed by the medical aids and no excess is payable if there are funds available in your medical saving account. If your fund is depleted, you remain responsible for the account. The medical aid will not cover the cost of report writing that may be involved with the assessment.
An assessment usually consists of 1 hour for a clinical interview and between 2 and 4 hours for the completion of the assessment. Additional costs may be incurred for the review of records, collateral information and the completion of a psychological report.
Medical aids do, however, not cover the cost of psycho-legal assessment and a different fee structure applies.
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.