Psychiatric Evaluations

 

Children

(up to age 13 or for older children whose development is more like that of a preadolescent)

The first consultation is 60 minutes parents only, focused on obtaining a comprehensive picture of your concerns about your child, and the world in which the child lives. Your provider will, look to you for information about:

  • your child’s current level of functioning
  • habits
  • routines
  • areas of strength and weakness

We will ask about the family structure, who is in the home and how the members of the family relate to one another. In the case of divorced, separated or re-blended families, we always prefer to meet with all of the parents whenever possible. If that is not workable, please be sure to discuss this with your provider before the first appointment.

It is very important for your provider to understand the process of your child’s development from birth onwards, to review the developmental milestones, and the ways through the years, you have both succeeded and felt challenged by your child. We also obtain information about the family history. As many Psychiatric Disorders can run in families, knowing of any blood relatives who have emotional or neurological problems is very helpful.

At the first appointment, we will review the child’s medical history and any previous efforts at Therapy, Psychological Evaluations, School Assessments or previous medication treatments. Please send copies of any previous evaluations ahead of time if possible, or bring them to the first appointment.

The second appointment is usually 45 minutes in length with the child doing a clinical interview. Often, we do several different kinds of things with your child during the evaluation. Verbal questioning, picture drawing, playing of games for therapeutic purposes, as well as puppet play, playdoh or other artistic media may be used to provide sources of information about your child’s mental state. We look both for areas of strength as well as for problem areas in order to find ways to use your child’s best abilities in the service of their growth and development.

The third appointment, usually 45 minutes in length with parents only, your provider will meet with parents again to help you begin implementing a treatment plan and discuss:

  • diagnosis
  • treatment options

The third appointment can also be 60 minutes in length, at your request.

In between appointments I may ask for information from your child’s teachers either verbally or using various behavioral assessment questionnaires. Medical tests such as:

  • blood work
  • EKGs
  • EEGs
  • MRI scans
  • Or, other physical assessments indicated depending on the individual circumstances.

There is not an automatic series of testing that we do for every child, however Psychological or Neuropsychological testing sometimes is recommended for clarification of diagnoses: for assessment of treatment interventions and school Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Adolescents

(13 to 17 years of age)

For adolescents, the first appointment is 60 minutes and we obtained the same information as in the first consultation description above; however, we usually go about the evaluation in a different way. At the first appointment, both the teen and the parents come in together initially. We do not see parents of teens without their child present to prevent any perception on the teen’s part that the evaluation is biased towards either the parents’ or the child’s point of view. We usually begin with parents and the teen in the room to gather concerns and to obtain medical, family and past treatment history. Then, we will ask the parents to wait in the waiting room while I talk with the teen alone for the remainder of the hour.

The second consultation, usually 45 minutes in length, is spent initially with the teen completing the mental status evaluation, and then with the parents alone to talk about their concerns and treatment plan. We then bring the teen back in at the end to talk about implementing a treatment strategy.

Adults

(18 & over)

The evaluation for adults usually consists of a single hour spent both gathering information about the problems and concerns that lead to the consultation, as well as all history gathering and treatment decision planning. Although the majority of adult consultations are completed within an hour, occasionally longer periods are necessary for further complex situations. We do not automatically prepare a written summary or evaluation report for diagnostic assessments; however, at the discretion of your provider we can do so for any for any patient or family that requests one. There will be an additional fee based on the time it will take to prepare the letter or report.

Medical Testing

If there is a need for medical testing indicated, we will give you a request slip for a medical laboratory, your primary care physician or other type of testing facility for the indicated test. We do not do any direct blood drawing or urine testing the CFCG premises.

Psychological Testing

If there is a recommendation for Psychological or Neuropsychological testing, our Medical Director can provide the names of doctors in CFCG office, or outside of this practice who can do this for you. We suggest having testing done by a psychologist whose work we are familiar with and trust from experience. If a Ph.D. in this office conducts the testing, likely it completed faster as we can get to them more quickly for scheduling, give specific information for questioning, and get the results sooner from in house testers than those outside the practice. We may obtain verbal reports within 12 to 24 hours of the test completion, allowing rapid use of the information in the testing even before the written report has been prepared.