different types of psych evals? How do I pick?

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    • #113864

      I’ll try to make this short. I’ve been pursuing counseling since last August. I have depression but life has just become too much to handle, I work FT, have 3 over scheduled teens, a partner that works 40-75 hrs a week and we’re going through a house remodel. First counselor suggested ADHD as part of my issue, so the psych Nurse Practioner and she said I possibly do. I’ve been taking Adderall since but feel I should be progressing more. I can’t have a decent conversation with my husband without me getting all emotional and crying, we are on the edge of divorce. I transferred to a new therapist to try DBT, we’ve met 3 times and haven’t even begun because I basically implode when I get to her office. Also after 6 months of counseling neither of my 2 counselors/therapist nor the NP have spoken again about ADHD and how to develope skills with it. . . . All my reading and watching online says “find someone who is current with ADHD”. It’s impossible in the midwest.

      My DBT therapist suggested maybe a psych eval to finally figure out what’s all wrong. I thought yes, let’s do it. But this time I thought I’d find someone who seems upto date instead of just going to the Dr in her office that I can’t find anything online about. I researched and found someone 90 mile away that actually attended a Barkley training and hosted him to speak!. I was ready to set up the appointment and asked questions about the eval and received this response

      “You can get a psychological evaluation to determine your IQ, mental processing, major disorders, etc.. A psychological evaluation will not screen for ADHD, Asperger’s, dyslexia, learning disorders, or other conditions like that. Many people with major mental health disorders have anxiety and/or depression because they know something is wrong (they may or may not know what). As I have tried to explain, in answer to your many questions, I do an assessment for ADHD and other related conditions (Asperger’s, dyslexia, learning disorders). There are at least 8 conditions that look like ADHD. Most people who have ADHD or a related condition have anxiety and/or depression because they know something is wrong, but they don’t know what.”

      She said if I want a psych eval she can refer me to a dr in her office.

      NOW WHAT DO I DO????????

    • #113867

      I went to a neuropsychologist for neuropsych testing. It can be expensive if insurance doesn’t cover it. But that’s how I got my diagnosis. Hope this helps.

    • #114029
      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.

    • #114116

      Any chance I can DM you, Dr. Eric? I’m unsure what way to turn?


    • #114286
      Dr. Eric

      Yes. I don’t know how to do this since the update. Let me know.

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