A psychological evaluation takes a look at how you think, how you process information, and your behavior patterns in order to establish if any psychological disorders are present. They are used for a number of reasons, but the goal is generally to figure out what is going on with the person in order to provide treatment. While psychotherapy can uncover some underlying psychological issues, an evaluation is a comprehensive tool that looks for reasons behind chronic pain, emotional aspects of any medical conditions you may have, and is goal-oriented for treatment to manage your symptoms. Psychological evaluations can include interviews, testing, games, puzzles, observation, and more, depending on the extent of the evaluation needed to figure out what is going on.
Preparing for a Psychological Evaluation
While you don't prepare for a psychological evaluation with any studying, it can make the evaluation easier if you get enough sleep the night before. Take care of yourself, and try not to rush to your appointment. There's no reason to be nervous, as this is an evaluation to help you figure out what is going on in your life. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring water or something to drink with you if you choose to.
What to Expect During a Psychological Evaluation
Your evaluation may happen in stages over a couple of sessions with the person evaluating you. The evaluation can include interviewing, puzzle-solving, games, or observation. You might sit and talk with the interviewer, answering questions for a few hours about your symptoms, your history, and how you feel in certain situations. The questions aren't anything you can get wrong, and it helps to answer as honestly as you can. If you are getting tired, ask for a small break before you continue.
Puzzle Solving and Your Evaluation
You may be asked to try solving logic puzzles or to look at pictures and determine what comes next. The types of puzzles you will be asked to solve will depend on what you are being tested for. The person evaluating you has a variety of tools they can use, and puzzles are only part of the process.
As you continue with your evaluation, you may be asked for permission to speak to others that are part of your medical team. This will create a more comprehensive picture of your treatment, and your evaluation can be more complete when there is a medical component to it.