What is the Difference Between a Psychological Assessment and a Psychoeducational Assessment? - Humantold

What is the Difference Between a Psychological Assessment and a Psychoeducational Assessment? 

Jessica Ermilio, PsyD December 15, 2023

Many people seek out psychological evaluations, but the type of evaluation you need depends on what you hope to learn from the testing.

Many people seek out psychological evaluations, but the type of evaluation you need depends on what you hope to learn from the testing. Different questions or concerns are indicative of certain types of psychological testing. At Humantold, we offer two types of assessment: (1) psychological assessment and (2) psychoeducational assessment. It is important to know the difference between these two types of testing services so that you seek out the type of testing that best matches with your question or concern. 

A psychological assessment is conducted by a psychologist to provide a conceptualization of your cognitive, emotional, and psychological functioning. They are used to help answer a question or clarify a concern that you may have. This may include making a diagnosis, but it importantly also identifies strengths and weaknesses of core psychological abilities. 

In a psychological assessment, you can expect to complete a clinical interview with the psychologist. This session focuses on your question or concern by asking lots of questions about it. Gathering relevant background information is a crucial step to building a complete picture of you. The next step is to administer psychological tests in order to measure, observe, and understand your behavior or issues. This is the most time consuming part of the process, but it’s imperative to use multiple types of tests in order to formulate a nuanced and individualized understanding of your struggles. Lastly, the psychologist interprets these test findings to write an evaluation for you. 

This evaluation can give you valuable insight into your cognitive functioning, reality testing, reasoning, emotional regulation, and relational capacities. All psychological assessments also include recommendations. These are clear and specific recommendations – based off of test findings – to guide treatment planning and to help you live better. Overall, the central goal of psychological assessment is to provide insight that will specify treatment and improve functioning. Some possible outcomes of psychological assessments include treatment recommendations, accommodations, and the identification of the underlying causes of symptoms. 

A psychoeducational assessment is another type of evaluation that is used to help individuals in a school setting. These assessments specifically examine your intellectual and academic abilities. The goal is to understand how you learn and to understand your potential as a learner. It’s important to know that these assessments are not age-dependent, meaning that children, adolescents, or adults can all complete one.  If you (or your child) are struggling academically, then these assessments provide valuable information into how you may be struggling. The results of the testing are then used to identify potential interventions and accommodations that will enhance your ability to be as successful as possible in school. These assessments are often performed by school psychologists who are familiar with schools or the specific accommodations/services that support students in school settings. To that end, these assessments can offer valuable recommendations to help you or your child meet their full academic potential. 

In a psychoeducational assessment, you can expect a similar structure as a psychological assessment. That is, there will be a clinical interview, testing session, and written evaluation. The clinical interview and testing portions will just be more specific to your particular educational or academic concerns. For example, psychoeducational tests will focus more on your intellectual abilities and level of achievement. They will also specifically examine how you learn and identify academic strengths and weaknesses. All of these findings will then be integrated into the written evaluation. Some possible outcomes of a psychoeducational assessment are accommodations, diagnosis, and recommendations for parents and school staff to support learning. 

At Humantold, we offer both psychological and psychoeducational assessments. Our team of clinical and school psychologists are available to discuss these testing options with you. If you are not sure which type of testing best meets your needs, you can always schedule a consultation with one of our psychologists to learn more. 

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