I provide cognitive, clinical, personality, and vocational testing. I also consider forensic evaluations on a limited basis. My general process for evaluations is to collaborate with the interested parties to develop an assessment strategy that is individually tailored to address the critical questions at stake. Rather than a "one size fits all" approach, I design efficient, yet thorough evaluations that lead to valid findings with specific recommendations. In addition to my clinical training, I draw upon my 25 year career in teaching and academic advising, as well as my extensive research on learning and motivation when conducting assessments for students. Common issues for which testing can be helpful include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cognitive Evaluation = This type of testing can be part of an assessment for learning disabilities, ADHD, and other neuro-developmental conditions that can impede a student's performance. Such testing often plays an important part in the creation of a strategy for improvement (e.g., learning intervention, IEP, 504 plan). The process begins with a comprehensive background interview to establish the goals and parameters of the testing. This type of evaluation can include home and school observations, intellectual and achievement tests, and surveys completed by parents and teachers. Commonly used tests include the Wechsler Scale of Intelligence, the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement, the Continuous Performance Test, and other neuropsychological assessments as needed. I provide a feedback session and produce a written report. In addition, with authorization I will release the results to a school or therapist and call them to address questions.
Clinical/Personality Evaluation = This type of testing is helpful when a client seeks diagnostic clarification for a mental health condition or is concerned that personality factors may be contributing to recurring problems. The process begins with a one-hour conversation to discuss the goals of the assessment. The process also includes a structured interview to ascertain relevant clinical and vocational histories. If relevant and authorized by the client, I will contact and solicit input from former and current therapists, psychiatrists, etc. to gather additional information and to coordinate with any referral source. Based on results of the intake process, specific tests then will be administered, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, and Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors. The tests I use have been developed and refined over decades, with hundreds of studies attesting to their validity and reliability. These tests help individuals learn their traits, strengths, weaknesses, and even “blind spots” that are out of their awareness. Clients typically find the results informative and helpful. Clinicians who refer clients for this testing often value the information gained because it helps them elucidate relevant personality factors that may be impacting the clinical symptoms experienced by their clients. It also can help delineate what might be considered “enduring characteristics” from more transitory symptoms. For example, someone might wonder, “To what extent is my anxiety in social situations a clinical symptom of an anxiety disorder, versus a personality trait of introversion or shyness?” Some companies even use these types of tests to learn more about applicants being considered for hire or promotion – so completing them confidentially with us can arm clients with self-knowledge that can be of use when they seek new employment. My standard process concludes with a one-hour feedback session that involves interpretation of the results, recommendations, and time for questions. I produce a written report for clients and, with authorization, I can release the results to your therapist or psychiatrist and call them to address questions.
Vocational Evaluation = This type of testing involves comprehensive assessments for students and professionals who are seeking assistance with academic and career direction. My process begins with a one-hour intake to discuss the goals of the assessment. The intake also includes a structured interview to ascertain relevant educational and vocational histories, as well as a values assessment. Based on results of the intake interview, specific tests will then be administered, such as the Career Assessment Inventory and 16PF. The tests I use have been developed and refined over decades, with hundreds of studies attesting to their validity and reliability. These tests help individuals learn their interests and personality traits that are important when making educational and career choices. They are particularly useful for students seeking input on types of colleges and majors, as well as professionals considering a career change or adults entering the job market after a period of unemployment. The standard process concludes with a one-hour feedback session that involves interpretation of the results, recommendations, and time for questions. For students applying to college, additional counseling and assistance is available if desired, including advice on different types of colleges that best fit the results of the assessment, assistance with writing application essays that showcase unique strengths and characteristics, and scholarship interview preparations.
Forensic Evaluations = This type of evaluation involves a variety of techniques to help attorney-clients answer questions of legal importance. My two-year postdoctoral training position was completed at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, a forensic mental hospital in Madison, WI (see more here: MMHI). While there, I received training in forensic evaluations. I later developed two university courses, Forensic Psychology and Psychology & The Law, which I taught for many years. I have presented a number of papers at professional conferences regarding psychological research pertinent to the legal system.