Psychotherapy can be a valuable tool for treating a wide variety of psychological conditions. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders can all be treated with talk therapy. In order to get the most out of psychotherapy, your doctor may want to formally diagnose you. Diagnosing your mental health condition can provide both you and your doctor with clarity; it can help your doctor focus your treatment appropriately. Here are four things you can expect during a psychological evaluation:
1. You will discuss your symptoms.
Upon visiting a psychologist for the first time, there will be an introductory stage. You'll have the opportunity to meet your psychologist and discuss your symptoms with them. Your psychologist may ask why you decided to seek out therapy at this time. Your answers will help them narrow down a possible diagnosis, which will help them shape your psychological evaluation.
2. You will likely fill out a questionnaire.
Your doctor will give you a questionnaire that will ask you questions about your symptoms, such as their severity and frequency. All psychological evaluations rely on self-reported answers, so you should try to be as honest and accurate as possible. Remember that there's no right or wrong answer during this test. Fill out your questionnaire to the best of your ability, and don't be afraid to ask your doctor for clarification if you have difficulty understanding something.
3. Your therapist may be interested in talking to people close to you.
In some cases, your therapist may want to speak with the people closest to you, such as family members that you live with. Speaking to others who have relationships with you can help your therapist get a more complete picture of the behaviors and patterns you exhibit in everyday life. You will have the opportunity to decide if you're comfortable with other people being interviewed for your psychological evaluation. It's an option that can help you, but you can also decline if bringing other people into your treatment makes you feel uncomfortable.
4. Your therapist will discuss the results with you.
After your doctor has had the opportunity to carefully study the results of your psychological evaluation, they will make a diagnosis. They will discuss your diagnosis with you at your next appointment. From there, they will come up with a treatment plan that can help you manage your mental health condition. Feel free to ask any questions you have. Understanding your mental health is an important step in getting better.