When we say the word ‘testing’, the first thing that comes to mind could be anything from a white-coated scientist in a laboratory to a Junior in High School urgently cramming for their first ACT exam. There are many different places where tests and evaluations of some sort are given – from schools to the workplace and beyond. Most of the time, those tests are being used to prove or discover something, test a person’s knowledge or skills, rate their performance, or show them where they could improve. So how does testing fit into the world of counseling and therapy?
In order for us to be as effective and helpful as we can, we first have to understand what the issue is. Just like a doctor does blood tests, X-Rays, and other examinations to make sure they understand your condition, we also do tests, interviews, and evaluations to make sure that our therapies will get you the best results. This also helps us if we need to partner with another professional to get you the help you need.
When working with people, there are a lot of things we consider as counselors. What is your background? Your experiences? What are your characteristics? Your personality? How do you view the world? Why? How are your relationships? All of those questions and more are things we think about when working with clients. Sometimes, the hardest part can be sharing our knowledge with other professionals who are also helping our client – such as doctors (if undergoing Pain Therapy after surgery for example), teachers (if the client is a child), or social workers, legal professionals, and others involved in substance abuse treatment, domestic violence, and addiction recovery. That’s where psychological tests and evaluations come in very handy. They help us communicate our findings and things that have already been helpful so that we can work together to help you even more. They also help us know which form of psychotherapy will best suit your needs.
Evaluation and testing takes different forms depending on what your initial problem is. For example, psycho-sexual problems are handled differently than depression. All of your interviews, tests, evaluations, and their results will be kept completely confidential. We will never share any of your personal information (including the contents of therapy sessions), and will only share useful test and evaluation results with trusted professionals after you have given us your permission.