There are a variety of benefits from participating in a comprehensive evaluation. Developmental, psychiatric, and neurocognitive disorders are not easily determined in a brief 30-60 minute session. Through the course of psychiatric interviews or brief psychotherapy, sometimes important information is not revealed or addressed. Our evaluation process is designed to assess functioning in several areas through in-depth interviews, behavioral observations, review of records, and the completion of standardized assessments.
Our evaluations are used to guide treatment and education decisions. Diagnostic clarification helps therapists and medication prescribers to more effectively address client's symptoms. This diagnostic clarification also assists educators in the identification of supports and services through a 504 plan or Individualized Education Program. Identifying an accurate diagnosis can help adolescents or adults with psychiatric disorders by uncovering emotional and relational issues that contribute to dysfunctional behaviors. Recognizing the impact of traumatic brain injury or dementia can help individuals, caregivers, and treatment providers identify the most appropriate supports to optimize independence. Our patients have often shared that the evaluation process provides relief and feelings of validation. Individuals and families often feel empowered as they discover the reasons they have always struggled as well as ways they can strengthen areas of weakness.
Some of the benefits available from assessment include:
- Attain a better understanding of yourself or your child
- Identify individual strengths and ways to build on those strengths
- Identify areas for growth and strategies to address weaknesses
- Develop specific recommendations that will promote success
- Improve academic, social, and emotional functioning
A psychological and neuropsychological evaluation is different than a pass or fail test that you would typically study for. Rather it is a variety of relatively brief activities designed to provide an understanding of an individual's cognitive abilities, academic skills, language, executive functioning, fine and gross motor skills, social development, behavior, and emotional functioning. A comprehensive assessment typically include the following components:
- In-depth clinical interview with individual or parents to learn about history, strengths, symptoms, previous treatment attempts, etc.
- Observations of an individual's communication, social interactions, attention, and behavior throughout the assessment process.
- Completion of a variety of standardized assessments that are tailored to the individual's specific needs. Assessments are selected based on the individual's age, history, and specific referral question. Each test has been normed to allow the comparison of an individual's scores to other people of the same age.
- Review of medical, school, and legal records as necessary.
- Parents, teachers, or significant others are asked to complete rating forms to help provide a picture of an individual's functioning at home.
It takes about two weeks after the final testing appointment to score all of the assessments, compile the data, and prepare a report summarizing the results. A review appointment will be scheduled with the individual or the child's parents to explain the results. We will discuss the test findings, strengths and areas for growth, and diagnosis if one is appropriate. After a thorough discussion of the assessment results, we will review recommendations that will promote growth and facilitate success. You will leave this appointment with suggestions, resources, and next steps.
The final report is given to you at the review appointment. You are welcome to share the report with whomever you like. We will keep a copy archived in a locked storage area. We cannot share any of your information without your permission due to strict rules of confidentiality. We can only share a copy of the evaluation if you give us written permission to do so. The only exception is if a judge makes a court order to obtain a copy of the evaluation.
Yes, we are in network with Tricare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my mental health benefits?
- What is the coverage amount for assessment?
- How many assessment units does my plan cover?
- How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
- Is pre-authorization required prior to beginning services?
We will also verify your benefits for you and submit claims on your behalf.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychologist. Successful assessment and therapy require a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is not discussed anywhere but the psychologist's or counselor's office. We provide a written copy of our confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss during the assessment will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. However, it is important to remember that information you share may be written in the final assessment report if it is relevant to the overall clinical picture. It is then your decision whom you share the report with.
It is often beneficial for us to gather collateral information or speak with a third party such as a teacher, primary care physician, psychiatrist, or therapist. This enables us to obtain more information about an individual's functioning or treatment from other professionals. If you would like us to contact a third party, you can sign an authorization form, by which you grant us permission to contact a specific individual. By law we cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission in advance.
State law and professional ethics require psychologists and counselors to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders.
* The psychologist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
In the above situations, we will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our client and others, including contacting law enforcement when appropriate.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based therapy that helps individuals find lasting change through targeting specific thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been found to be one of the most successful treatments for Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Chronic Stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and many other disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also helpful if you are going through a life change that involves grief or loss, a career change, divorce, or any big life transition.
Through CBT you will:
- Learn to recognize unhelpful thought patterns and change them.
- Learn coping and problem solving skills and how to apply them.
- Learn to tune into your body, thoughts, and emotions through mindfulness and relaxation.
- Learn about your past and present belief systems and how they may be influencing your thought patterns.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for Insomnia Disorder. Research shows that CBT-I can also result in improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. CBT-I uses evidence based interventions to improve your sleep quality. This therapy often begins to produce results within two sessions.
Through CBT-I you will:
- Learn to recognize unhelpful thought patterns surrounding sleep and change them.
- Learn effective behavioral strategies to address the underlying reasons contributing to your insomnia.
- Learn how to tune into your mind, body and emotions with mindfulness and relaxation.
- Address and treat sleep-related anxiety.
Why should I choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)?
Research suggests that clients who are treated with CBT and CBT-I often experience long term results and lasting success. CBT and CBT-I provide you with strategies and techniques that have been proven to be effective in addressing a variety of common struggles and help you to move forward with positive lasting change. You may have heard that with CBT and CBT-I you will have some homework; this is true. Whether you attend CBT or CBT-I, you will spend some time every week practicing strategies or completing self-reflection exercises. However, over time this will pay off as you will learn to independently identify your unhelpful thought patterns and reconstruct them without the support of ongoing therapy.
Literature suggests Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful after 5-20 sessions depending on your level of commitment. CBT is meant to be a lasting solution as your therapist helps you change your thought patterns. If you invest time in the tasks your therapist presents you with, you will begin to think differently and find yourself applying what you have learned on your own. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) often produces results in as few as 1-4 sessions if you follow treatment recommendations.