In clinical work, psychological evaluations are utilized to answer specific questions concerning diagnosis, origin of problems, learning disabilities, vocational interest and aptitude, and personality functioning. The evaluations serve as valuable tools enabling an increased understanding of the problem for individuals and the professionals treating them. Psychological evaluations of children with school-related problems often provide critical information for the child's teacher that enables the teacher to facilitate superlative performance from the child.

Dr. Winick's approach to conducting psychological evaluations in clinical work can be illustrated with the example of a child with school-related problems. Dr. Winick's involvement with the child usually begins with a phone interview with one of the child's parents. In this interview, Dr. Winick strives to both find out the basic problems to be addressed through psychological testing and to provide the parent with an overview on the procedures involved in conducting the evaluation. Once the parent indicates understanding and agreement with the procedures, Dr. Winick schedules an initial appointment for the child.

Dr. Winick attempts to accomplish several goals during the initial appointment. First, rapport with the child is built through direct interaction. The early establishment of rapport is critical so that the child will give his/her best effort during the evaluation. Second, a thorough history of the current problem and background information pertaining to the child are obtained from the child's parent. Historical information is necessary in order to place psychological test results within the proper context. Third, the rationale related to the specific tests that Dr. Winick deems necessary to utilize with the child is discussed with the parent. Psychological testing for a child with school-related problems usually consists of intellectual tests, achievement tests, and personality tests. At the conclusion of the initial session, the parent is asked to sign a release of information form which authorizes Dr. Winick to contact the child's teacher. Dr. Winick attempts to establish contact with the child's teacher at some point prior to the completion of the psychological evaluation report. In this manner, the teacher's feedback can be incorporated into the rest of the information gathered about the child. In addition, an appointment for the child to return for psychological testing is arranged with the child's parent.

After the child has completed psychological testing, Dr. Winick provides some general observations to the parent about the child's test behavior and performance. An agreement is made that Dr. Winick will call the parent once the psychological evaluation report is completed. Dr. Winick typically completes the psychological evaluation report one to two weeks from the completion of the psychological testing. At the appointment to discuss the psychological evaluation report, Dr. Winick provides an overview of the test results and answers questions asked by the parents. Specific attention is given to recommendations geared toward helping the child with the particular school-related problems. If deemed necessary, Dr. Winick agrees to contact the child's teacher to discuss the results and/or send a copy of the psychological evaluation report to the child's teacher. In addition, if deemed warranted, Dr. Winick makes arrangements with the child's parent for the child to return for psychotherapy. Dr. Winick remains available to consult with various professionals about the psychological evaluation report whenever necessary.

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© 2014 Dr. Charles B. Winick, Psy.D.