Reply To: different types of psych evals? How do I pick?

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Dr. Eric

I am a fan of neuropsych evals.

However, the individual matters more than the letters.

A good clinical or cognitive psychologist can also do these types of evals.
In CA, a Licensed Educational Psychologist will do a good job as well so long as it is educational/work/career related, and you don’t pay for the cheapest folks on the block. (Full-disclosure, this is my license.)

Two things stand out with the original post.

#1 – The professional’s response is kind of weird. I would agree that you do not want a “is it ADHD” assessment, you want a comprehensive “rule everything out” style assessment. You don’t test positive for ADHD, it is a process of elimination. However, the response reeks of “I am not a psychologist, so I am trying to convince you that what I do is somehow superior to them so you choose me.” Without knowing their credentials, I am confused. As an educational psychologist, I quite literally spend my time trying to make my job description more than just assessing and diagnosing those specific disorders.

#2 – How did you know that they attended a Russell Barkley training? If they put it on a resume, I would suspect that they are padding their stats. Most top professionals that I know only add presentations for which they were invited speakers. Unless it was a blog that said, “Hey, here is a cool resource.” I would worry that stressing the training that they attended is a red flag.
Side note: This happens a lot when people say they were “Harvard trained”. Sometimes, it means that they have a degree from Harvard. Too often, it means that they attended a conference located on the campus or that they took a single Harvard extension class.

I personally would probably lean towards the referral of the DBT therapist. DBT is an evidenced-based practice. So, at minimum, it communicates that this professional believes in at least one evidenced-based practice, which increases my confidence in referral over someone who only practices pseudo-scientific interventions.

I definitely would not choose a person that is telling you that psychologists cannot diagnose ADHD, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, etc. so that you choose their folks instead.