Let's Talk Teens and Mental Health: Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis
I have been getting more and more questions from parents regarding psychological assessments, such as: Would My Child Benefit from a Psychological Assessment? What is the importance of psychological assessments? What does a psychological test measure? What are the various uses of psychological testing?
In fact, we are building a whole learning and development program at Blake Psychological to support parents who have children and teens that need additional assessment and academic support, and we have one of the best up and coming assessment specialists in the business working with us! Meet Kassie Magyar here.
Counseling is very effective, but only if it is on the right track. If you bring your car into a mechanic, and the mechanic focuses on your transmission, when it is actually your engine that is in trouble, no amount of work on the transmission is going to fix your car.
Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more counseling attempts fail, especially with Children and Teens due to poor assessment and diagnosis. There are many factors that are affecting these outcomes, but much of it relates to misinformation on social media platforms, the “monkey see, monkey do” effect, poorly trained and informed professionals making diagnosis outside of their professional competence, and perhaps most of all, lack of access to highly trained and motivated professionals in this area. Well look no further!!
Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and Borderline Personality Disorder, are becoming diagnosed more commonly than ever before. Many of these diagnoses are made based on self-reports of the client, observations from parents and teachers, and based on “screens”, such as a self-report 20-question questionnaire, including “does your child have difficulty focusing?” Always, Sometimes, Never. If I choose Always, then it must be ADHD, right? Or “How often is my Child sad?” Always, Sometimes, Never. If I choose Always, then it must be Depression, right? Without additional evidence, these may intuitively seem like the correct responses.
However, they are actually both symptoms of Learning Disorders. And no matter how much work you do with your child for ADHD or Depression, they will not get better, because the wrong area is being focused on, just like the car example.
Assessment and Diagnosis is a complex evidence-based practice that takes years of training and development. When exploring treatment options for your child, make sure it is based on sound diagnostic evaluations, and not just a “best guess” strategy.
As we said on the farm, “we never want to “assume” because that will just make an “ass out of u and me”.
Building a stable healthy connected environment with those around us, has a huge impact in overall mental health and well-being. The key to any happy life is to create a comprehensive support system that addresses emotional, social, and psychological well-being.
Come heal, grow and create together
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