Collaborative Assessment

I provide psychological assessment services with my colleague Dr. Megan McConnell, Ph.D., in order to address a variety of questions and concerns.  Our assessment approach is informed by my training in the Therapeutic Collaborative Assessment model, in which the key goal of an assessment is to facilitate growth and change as an outcome of testing. Dr. McConnell and I work together to conduct a broad assessment with neuropsychological, cognitive, academic, and social-emotional pieces.

We view the assessment process as an intervention that allows children and their families to better understand themselves, their strengths, and their struggles while building stronger relationships with one another. We invite parents, caretakers, and other important people in your child’s life to participate in the assessment process in order to gain a better understanding and to provide support for the process.

Collaborative assessments generally involve several stages: first, we meet to consult and develop assessment questions, including questions that are important to your child or adolescent. Some examples of assessment questions for past child clients and their families include:

  • Why is making friends so hard for me?
  • Will I have depression like my parent when I grow up?
  • Do people think I’m weird?
  • Why do I get so mad?
  • What can we do to help our child adjust to school?
  • What is the optimal academic environment for our child?
  • How can we cope with our child’s angry outbursts?
  • How can we help our child when she shuts down?
  • What kind of environmental support does my child need to thrive in school and at home?

Next, we work together to create a flexible assessment plan to respond to these questions. Assessment questions may address difficulties including:

  • challenges with social and family relationships (problems with friends, peers, or family members)
  • self-concept, mood and anxiety issues (anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, anger issues)
  • neuropsychological issues and learning challenges (ADHD, inattention, executive functioning and organization challenges, processing difficulties)
  • developmental issues (social-pragmatic or Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • behavioral issues (oppositional or defiant behavior, school behavior problems)
  • history of trauma or neglect and impact on current functioning

Following the formal testing process, we will meet for one or two intervention sessions and one or two feedback sessions. During intervention sessions, we explore the testing process and create change based on the findings. During feedback sessions you will have a chance to ask questions and more fully explore the results of testing. These sessions are the heart of the therapeutic assessment process and are key to creating sustainable change.

After testing is complete, you will receive comprehensive feedback that responds to your assessment questions. Additionally, your child or adolescent will receive a feedback story or letter responding to their assessment questions, depending on their age and developmental needs. Here is an example of a feedback story for a teen, an older child and a younger child. We will meet together, generally over one or two sessions, to review results,  respond to questions, and discuss next steps.

About a month or so after you receive the results of testing, we may choose to meet again to review the process and to respond to any other questions that may come up. During this session we will explore the change that has come out of the assessment and make a plan for how to maintain this change. Some families have also found it helpful to think together about the use of results to inform their child’s educational services or therapy. Many families may choose to continue to work with us in individual or family therapy after the assessment to strengthen the change that has been made or address other issues.

Please contact us with any questions and a no-fee consultation regarding collaborative assessment services.