By: Sunny Jacklin
The term psychological assessment can be defined as the evaluation of an individual by a qualified and skilled psychologist to determine the required mental health services. A number of people are specifically referred for the specialized tests and mental health screening processes. At the same time, many people have to undergo the screening for employment, education and legal purposes. Most of the experienced psychiatrists determine the mode and process of evaluation by observing the behaviours and tendencies of the individuals. Normally, the purpose and method of mental assessment vary from one individual to another. But most of the psychologists concentrate on some key components, irrespective of the format of the psychological assessment.
Interview: Most of the psychologists prefer observing their clients during a personal interview. They simply talk to the individuals to collect information related to the background and current state of mind. When the interviewee is answering the questions, the professional pays close attention to his verbal as well as non-verbal clues. The response of the interviewee is also evaluated based on his tone and voice inflections. Normally, the psychologist asks questions pertaining to specific questions, situations and statements. Based on way the interview responds to the specific questions, the psychologist determine the required steps and measures. However, the psychological assessment can be conducted through both structured and unstructured interviews.
Formal Observation: Similar to interviewing their clients, many psychologists also prefer to observe the person in a formal manner. The intentional and unintentional behaviour of the individual can indicate his mental health to the psychologist. However, the person can be observed formally with or without any prior intimation or knowledge. The professionals also specifically observe how an individual is behaving under certain circumstances, and also interacting with others. Some psychologist even prefers this method of mental health screening to the interviews. While observing the individual the professional psychologists can determine the required mental health services.
Psychological Tests: Often professional psychological assessment also consists of a set of formal tests. These psychological tests are used as an effective medium to measure the mental health of an individual bases on his intelligences, talents and specific aptitudes. Normally, an individual has to go through a series of tests to measure his personality, intelligence quotient (IQ), ability and preferences. After each test, the psychologist collects specific information and data. The information and data gathered after individual psychological tests are combined to evaluate the mental health of the person. However, some of the tests are specifically carried out to eliminate certain mental health services.
Informal Assessment: In addition to the formal interviews, observations and tests, many psychologists also like to carry out informal psychological assessment. A psychologist normally decides the need for an informal assessment only after evaluating the information and data collected through the formal methods. The psychologist also meets the concerned individual in person to determine the additional mental health services needed by him. The informal assessment techniques are commonly applied for the children. Based on the information and data collected from the parents, a psychologist decides the further services required by the child.