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.
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.
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.
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.