I provide psychological testing and assessment services for adults and teens in my office in Long Beach, California. I work collaboratively with my patients to help them understand themselves better while answering important questions about their treatment options.
Purpose of psychological testing
Counseling and psychotherapy can be time-consuming, emotionally difficult, and expensive over time -- especially when symptoms are severe enough to lead to hospitalization or residential treatment.
Psychiatric medications are only effective for only a certain percentage of patients, and it can often take a while before you find out whether or not one will ultimately be helpful. They can also have some pretty significant side effects (like weight gain or decreased libido) that may hang around a while after you stop taking them.
Psychological testing helps avoid unnecessary experimentation by determining what is actually going on in your brain, and what needs to be done about it. It gives the psychiatrist clear, actionable information about what medicines to try or avoid. And it gives the therapist clear information about which strategies are most likely to help in therapy.
How psych testing works
Testing psychologists have years of special training that allow us to assess social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. There are a number of different procedures we may use, based on your symptoms and social/emotional background.
Generally, testing will be some combination of the following:
- Diagnostic interviews -- targeted questioning designed to reveal not only the things you know about yourself, but also the things you have not yet come to realize
- Cognitive/neuropsychological testing -- challenges to memory, attention, concentration, language, information processing, visual processing, pattern recognition, and abstract reasoning
- Objective personality testing -- Long questionnaires that allow patterns to emerge in your style of responding
- Projective personality testing -- Ambiguous tasks that reveal your unconscious way of processing the world
Cost of psychological assessment services
Psychological testing is labor-intensive, skill-intensive, and may require special equipment. All of those factors contribute to the final cost of the assessment.
Few testing psychologists are willing to work with insurance, because doing so places harsh restrictions on the amount of time we can spend providing a careful assessment. So the up-front cost ranges from around $500 to $3000 depending on what type of tests are needed.
If you have out-of-network mental health coverage, you can usually get reimbursement from your insurance company for around 50-60% of the up-front cost of psychological testing.
Schedule an appointment
To discuss what psychological assessment options would be most helpful for you, contact Psych Lab Psychology Center at (562) 684-1300.