How Do Psychological Assessments Work?

In order for psychologists to determine what type of treatment their patients need, they need to give them psychological assessments. A psychological assessment provides insight into what symptoms a patient suffers from and how severe and frequent these symptoms are. This information helps a doctor diagnose a patient and figure out the best way to treat them.

The most common type of psychological assessment is called a clinical interview. In a clinical interview, a psychologist asks a patient about how their symptoms are causing difficulty in their life.

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They’ll ask about your personality traits, behaviors, emotions, and personal relationships. This process usually takes approximately 50 minutes.

Sometimes a clinical interview will not be enough to provide a patient with an accurate diagnosis, as many different conditions can share similar symptoms. In these cases, a psychologist may request a more formal assessment. An in-depth assessment can range anywhere from two hours to four hours depending on a patient’s needs. The process involves giving a patient a structured clinical interview using the DSM as a guide.

Performing any type of psychological assessment will help a doctor give an accurate diagnosis and recommend options for treatment. If you suspect that you may be suffering from a mental health condition, ask your doctor about receiving a psychological assessment today.


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