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Assessment

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by West Wing, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. West Wing

    West Wing PhD in Baseball Studies
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    Hello all,

    So I have been trying to figure out all of the different things that a clinical psychologist can do in an applied setting (not research or academic). Some of it I think I understand, but there is a lot I do not know. :confused: I was hoping you could indulge me and answer some questions:

    (assume that we are talking about a psychologist with a PhD or PsyD in Clinical Psychology :thumbup: )

    What exactly is assessment? What is the difference between assessment, testing and diagnosis? Why is a neuropsychological background beneficial for assessment? What kinds of medical/mental health problems are assessed/tested/diagnosed?

    Regarding diagnosis, can psychologists diagnose mental health problems and then plan a course of treatment that include drugs (to be prescribed by a psychiatrist)? Do you need a MS in Psychopharmacology to do something like this? What would other benefits of training in psychopharmacology be (excluding anything to do with RxP)?

    As for psychotherapy, I know that people without doctorates are taking over more and more of this area, so what are the psychologists who are practicing psychotherapy doing? Is there a type of psychotherapy that psychologists conduct that those without doctorates do not? If psychologists are doing less psychotherapy, what other options do they have if they want to provide treatment to patients? What is the difference between psycotherapy and intervention?

    That's a lot, I know. I've been saving up. Answers to these questions are highly appreciated, even if you only want to take on one of them!

    THANKS!!! :D

    PS
    I intentionally did not include my own situation because I do not want personalized answers to these questions.
     
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  3. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    It depends on the referral question and the area. Generally, the purpose is diagnosis and description (outlining or comprehensively defining the parameters of a given situation) for a variety of outcomes (e.g., understanding self, informing treatment, prognosis, disability status, law suits, school placement, IEP plans, behavioral plans, appropriate medication prescriptions, capacity determinations, etc. . .).

    A neuropsych background is only beneficial for neuropsychological assessment. Medical/mental health problems assessed/tested span the neurological/psychiatric gamut.

    Yes.

    No
     
  4. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    Hi West Wing,


    The psychological evaluation (i.e., primarily the clinical or bio-psycho-social interview) initially determines if the patient's psychological distress is due to an Axis I and/or Axis II diagnosis along with treatment needs. The evaluation results will determine whether there's a need for psychological treatment (i.e., interventions, including psychotherapy, CBT, IPT, etc) and/or need for further psychological assessment (i.e., testing, including developmental, achievement and aptitude, intelligence, personality and psychopathology, vocational, etc.) or referral for sub-specialized psychological assessment such as neuropsychological (e.g., type and extent of cognitive deficits), forensic (e.g., competency or insanity), or health (e.g., appropriatness for kidney transplantation or gastric bypass surgery) assessments. The evaluation results will also determine whether there's a need for a psychiatric or other medical evaluation to determine if there's a medical condition causing or exacerbating the psychological distress and to determine appropriatness of pharmacological treatment.

    To summarize:
    Psychological Evaluation is the initial determination of diagnosis and treatment needs, including need for referral to other providers.
    Psychological Assessment is the formal name for the use of psychometric instruments (tests).
    Psychological Treatment is the formal name for non-pharmacological mental health interventions.
    Psychotherapy is a type of intervention.
    I hope this helps...got to go watch The Apprentice-Donald Trump (luv the views of The City!) :D

    Peace. :)
     
  5. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Membership Revoked
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    Rebecca is kinda cute. Randal is a smart dude ... all kinds of Master's and a PhD from MIT. Who do you think will win?
     
  6. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    I like them both but Rebecca has my vote. :thumbup:
     
  7. West Wing

    West Wing PhD in Baseball Studies
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    Thanks for the responses. If you get a chance to answer any of the other questions I would appreciate it (not that I wouldn't love to talk about the apprentice, but I only watch NBC for The West Wing).
     
  8. West Wing

    West Wing PhD in Baseball Studies
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    Are certain areas in Clinical, Cognitive, and Personality disorders more commonly/effectively/profitably treated by clinical psychologists than others? If so, which ones?

    To get personal, I am interested in Anxiety (Phobias and General Anxiety) and Mood disorders (Depression and Manic Depression). How commonly/effectivey/profitably are clinical psychologists treating these disorders?
     
  9. sasevan

    sasevan Senior Member
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    IMO, psych PhD/PsyDs are the gold standard for psychological treatment due to both the depth and length of training, including exposure to the many different intervention strategies and emphasis on evidence-based practices.
    Sometimes, less trained practitioners may exhibit a tendency to address all psychological distress with pharmacological and/or supportive interventions which may only result in medical management of symptoms and advise giving. Of course, there are non-psychologists mental health providers who are very well trained (usually through a post degree program) and are adept at psychoanalysis, biofeedback, hypnosis, etc. And psychologists who are less than competent therapists. (Obviously, I've been generalizing in order to answer your question in the most efficient manner but when generalizing it is usually best to do so with caution).
    BTW, the conditions that you mentioned are often best treated through evidence based psychological interventions for which psychologists are the best trained, e.g.: for phobia Exposure/Response Prevention; mild-moderate unipolar depression CBT, IPT; borderline personality disorder DBT.
    Peace.
     
  10. West Wing

    West Wing PhD in Baseball Studies
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    If you do not need training in clinical pharmacology to plan drug treatment, what is the benefit of graduate work or a post-doc or a MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology?
     

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