Psychological Assessment and Therapy

The first a definition. An Assessment is a procedure in which a doctor evaluates a person in terms of the physical, psychological, and social factors conditions that influence on the individual.

Clinicians take the tasks of assessment with several goals in mind. These goals can try to establish a diagnosis for a person with a psychological disorder, or can try to determine a person’s intellectual capacity. Variations on the questions to be answered, the clinician selects the most appropriate tests.

The different kinds of techniques used in assessment can vary in focus and in degree of structure. There are tools that focus on brain and its functioning, and others that focus on personality, and still others that focus on intellectual performing. These tools can range from those that follow carefully defined instructions to those that allow more flexibility.

Many psychological disorders may occur in the presence of physiological disturbances that contribute to exhibit the problem. Sometimes the disturbance is in the brain, perhaps due to a structural abnormality. Or perhaps the person has a physical disorder, such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes that causes the experience altered psychological functioning. So the first thing in a Psychological Assessment is to know if there are abnormalities of physiological functioning.

Since the initial days of behavior therapy, many psychologists and researchers have been interested in knowing changes in the body that are related to psychological or emotional experiences, such as changes in a person’s cardiovascular system, brain, skin, etc… To measure these changes, they use physiological assessment procedures.

The growth of powerful computer technology led to the development of a new generation of physiological tools to measure brain structure and activity. These techniques have made it possible for neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists obtain greater understanding of the brain’s changes as a function of various physical and psychological disorders.

The physical assessment techniques are very useful in pinpointing certain kinds of abnormalities in the brain or other parts of the body, but they have limitations. Often the psychologist needs information about the kind of cognitive disability that has resulted from a brain abnormality, such as a tumor. Neuropsychological Assessment is the complementary process of gathering information about a person’s brain functioning on the basis of performance on psychological tests.

At the end of the assessment period, the doctor would be able to define a therapy and should have a broad-based knowledge of the client as a total individual, as well as a comprehension of the client’s specific areas of concern. The clinician gathers together the information that describes the client’s current situation and the historical background in a comprehensive, detailed fashion. Using a combined psychosocial and a physical model, the clinician would evaluate the complete biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that have driven to the person’s problem.


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