What is psychological assessment?  How does it differ from a psychiatric assessment, or an assessment done by a social worker?  Essentially, psychologists add to the information gained from interviews and observations by using psychological tests, thus providing for a more comprehensive and in depth understanding of the issues being addressed.  Psychological tests fall into two broad categories:  Those that measure an individual’s intellectual and academic functioning, and those that address personality and social-emotional functioning.  In the case of children, particularly those with learning difficulties, both types of test are often used.

Social-emotional and personality tests themselves fall into two categories:  self-report measures and projective measures.  The self-report measures typically present a list of feelings, personal attributes, experiences, and opinions that require a Yes/No, or True/False response.  The person’s responses will generate a personality or symptom profile.  The projective measures present ambiguous stimuli (ink blots, pictures, drawings) which are open-ended and do not require a Yes or No answer.  These measures often allow for a deeper understanding of an individual’s conflicts and worries, and may tap issues that are outside of the person’s conscious awareness.  These measures can be particularly useful with children, who will often respond that they are “fine”, even though their behaviour or demeanor suggests otherwise.  A deeper understanding of the child’s worries allows for more effective strategies and interventions.

For children, social-emotional assessment assesses for temperament, attachment between parent and child/youth as well as social-emotional concerns such as anxiety, depression and troubling behaviours and will generally include:

  • Interviews
  • Self-report measures
  • Projective measures
  • Attachment measures
  • Observation
  • Written report
  • In person feedback

Cost ranges from $2,000 to $3,000, depending on the complexity of the concerns. Please Contact The Willow Centre with any questions or to book Psychological / Social-Emotional Assessment.