therapeutic assessments

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About a Therapeutic Assessment in Cambridge, MA

In therapeutic assessment, standard testing measures are used to help clients make demonstrable life changes during the course of the evaluation. While Psychological and neuropsychological tests are standard evaluations that can be given to anyone, therapeutic assessment (developed by Stephen Finn and his colleagues at the Center for Therapeutic Assessment in Austin, Texas) is an expanded type of testing that integrates those elements. These evaluations are ideal for patients or couples who feel stuck. Therapeutic assessments function as a “jumpstart” for psychotherapies as they can deepen a treatment or move it along. These assessments can be requested for individuals, couples or families. Therapeutic assessments typically follow a basic pattern:

  • Initial Session: the therapist helps the client formulate questions about what they hope to achieve. For example, the client may have concerns about family problems or a lack of success in a career. As questions are developed, the therapist determines the client’s understanding of the issues and collects background information.
  • Testing: the therapist selects and administers standardized tests related to the client’s concerns. The tests are administered according to standard procedures and compared to established norms. However, the client is given the opportunity to reflect and elaborate on their answers.
  • Assessment Intervention: the therapist then can use a wide variety of methods (non-standardized tests, role-playing, additional standardized tests, etc.) to further explore the client’s thoughts and feelings around the test answers. As part of this process, the therapist helps the client discover and understand the reasons behind their problems and behavior. This phase concludes with a discussion of the client’s next steps toward a positive change. Written summaries are given to the client and, where appropriate, shared with referring sources.
  • Feedback: the therapist presents the results, thoughtfully goes over them, and explains any related recommendations. Additional follow-up sessions may be scheduled to follow up on the results of the evaluation.

In therapeutic assessment, standard testing measures are used to help clients make demonstrable life changes during the course of the evaluation. That is, in addition to telling you what we’ve discovered, a therapeutic assessment involves steps that can actually result in change during the course of the evaluation. We work with our clients to identify the core issues to be explored in each evaluation. As such, we may incorporate different components of therapeutic assessments into more standardized evaluations. For example, therapists may not do an intervention with a standard evaluation, but may still formulate questions with the client to develop a fuller understanding of the client’s needs. Regardless of the type of evaluation we do, we always collaborate with our patients during the process. For a more in-depth look at therapeutic assessment, go to https://therapeuticassessment.com/index.html