What is a Therapeutic Assessment (TA)?
At the Minnesota Center for Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment, Dr. David specializes in conducting psychological evaluations that help people understand themselves better, and the approach typically leads to new insights and growth. Much like a traditional psychological evaluation, interviewing and testing occur, and the information is used for identifying diagnoses and planning treatment. However, following principles grounded in research, clients become active participants in the evaluation process and work with the evaluator in a highly collaborative relationship to make sense of the psychological test results. At the end of a Therapeutic Assessment (TA), clients often feel more prepared to take the next steps in their lives.
The process begins with a brief telephone discussion, during which some basic background information will be gathered and the approach will be further explained. Before a client begins a TA, it is important to ensure the timing is right and the approach is a good fit. In addition, payment and logistical questions can be discussed.
Currently, we are accepting referrals for adults (18+) or adolescent (13-17) aged clients.
How does it work?
Information for Adult ClientsAt the first meeting, we will help you form questions you want to have answered through testing. At times people have diagnostic questions, such as “Do I have ADHD?” or, “How severe is my depression?” However, often clients have very individualized questions about the areas of life where they are struggling, such as “What gets in the way of me creating an intimate relationship?” or, “How has my childhood impacted me?” Based on your questions, psychological tests are identified that will help us discover answers. Over the course of several sessions, you will complete a variety of psychological tests and we will explore the results together. At the end, we will meet to discuss the test results and answer your questions. A few weeks after this meeting, you will receive a personalized, jargon-free letter summarizing the results of the assessment. Typically, Therapeutic Assessments require 10-12 hours of time in the office for interviewing, testing and discussions. Appointments may occur a couple times a week over the course of a few weeks, or just once a week over a number of weeks. After the initial session during which questions are identified, we will be able to provide an overview of what will likely occur, and the time needed.
Information for Teen ClientsWhy am I being brought to see you? Someone in your life (for example your parents or a therapist) have asked me to do a psychological assessment with you. The type of evaluation is called a Therapeutic Assessment (TA), and they are designed to help you and your parents understand you better. The adults who thought this would be a good idea have some questions about you, and we hope that you will work with us to figure out the answers to these questions. If you have questions about yourself and your life, we want to help you answer those as well. (At the first appointment we’ll ask what questions you might have.) If you agree to participate, the assessment would include 6-8 appointments, talking about your life, filling out some forms, and completing some different psychological tests. At the end of the assessment, we’ll meet with you privately to talk about the results of the assessment and answer your questions. We will then meet with your parents to discuss the results. Finally, we will write you a letter that explains what we figured out. What will I get out of this? You might learn things about yourself that will help you get what you want from your relationships with friends, parents, and other people. Also, if you feel people don’t understand you, maybe we can explain your point of view in a way they can hear it. (Unfortunately, sometimes people listen better when a psychologist says things.) Third, some teenagers feel better after an assessment because they understand themselves more. Last, you might find it interesting and fun to learn how you compare in your abilities and personality to other adolescents your age. What’s the downside of this? If you decide to participate in the assessment, it will take up some of your time (usually 8-10 hours, over several weeks), and may mean that you miss school or lose time with friends or doing things after school. It might initially feel embarrassing to talk about yourself and your problems, and you may not want other people to understand you better. Last, there’s always a chance you might learn things about yourself that are upsetting and hard to think about. (If any of these things happens, we hope you’ll let us know so we can talk about it with you.)
Information for Parents of Teen ClientsTherapeutic Assessment (TA )is a form of psychological evaluation that helps parents and adolescents understand each other better, and answer questions they have about themselves and their relationships. At the first meeting, I will help you form questions you want to have answered during the assessment. Parents often have questions about their child and themselves, for example, “Why is Emily so angry? Is she depressed?” or “What more can we as parents do to help Aiden when he is down?” Your teen can also identify questions for the assessment, and it is recommended that you allow your teen to keep those private. Given adolescents are working on figuring themselves out and becoming more independent, the opportunity to hold private questions helps them be more engaged with the TA and is respectful of them as individuals nearing adulthood. Next, your teen will spend several sessions completing psychological tests. In addition, it may be helpful for parents or other family members to complete psychological testing. This is typically the case if there are questions about family relationships, as each person’s test results will shed light on their role in the family. In the latter portion of the TA, a parent meeting will occur to gather background information and begin discussing and exploring the test results. At the end, I will meet with your teen alone, and then with parents, to discuss the assessment results and answer the questions. A few weeks after this meeting, you and your teen will each receive separate letters summarizing the results of the assessment in writing. Typically, TAs require 10-12 hours of time in the office for interviewing, testing and discussions. Appointments may occur a couple times a week over the course of a few weeks, or just once a week over several weeks. After the initial session during which questions are identified, I will be able to provide an overview of what will likely occur, and the time needed. To start, have them view this website and the teen page. Consider telling your child you want to get some expert consultation, and this would be an opportunity for them to learn more about their personality, strengths, and weaknesses. If your teen seems anxious or resistant, you probably do not want to push the idea, but instead, make it clear that the assessment will only work if they want to do it. If it would be helpful for your teen to have a telephone discussion before they agree, that can be arranged.