The primary reason we started this testing practice, was to help draw more great psychologists who specialize in psychological testing to our area. As psychologists, we know that not all assessments are equal. This page is designed to help you become an informed consumer, and to know what to look for when you are deciding where to go for a comprehensive assessment.
What makes our testing stand out?
- We use only doctoral level Licensed Clinical Psychologists (LCP's) who have completed APA approved programs. Because programs in Clinical Psychology that are approved by the APA include substantial instruction, supervised administration, and years of practice using standardized testing procedures, you can be sure our psychologists have been well-trained in assessment. You will not be tested by someone who is relying on workshops or conferences to learn complex psychological testing procedures.
- We do not use technicians, maters-level practitioners, students, or trainees to conduct testing. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist will conduct all parts of your child/adolescent's assessment from administration and scoring, to interpretation and feedback. Using students, licensed professional counselors, or technicians to administer and score testing is certainly allowed (and we understand and appreciate why many other practices do this). However, we believe that the information our psychologist gets from observing your child, interacting with them, and being involved in the testing process itself is very valuable in truly understanding your child or adolescent. For this reason, our psychologist will be the only person involved in the testing.
- We will not give you computer generated interpretive reports. Many software programs that score tests will also provide a printout called an "interpretive report." Some practices will give families these printouts in lieu of a true, integrative report. What makes a great comprehensive assessment is having a psychologist who can take in all the information that the different tests provide, and integrate those findings to create a complex and comprehensive picture of your child/adolescent's functioning. Everything in our reports is written by our psychologist (not the computer scoring system).
- We include academic/educational testing in most of our assessments. Educational or Academic testing is not always included in psychological assessments (and it is not always needed). However, it is very valuable in many cases, such as when evaluating for attention problems (ADHD). Educational testing can help to identify learning issues that may contribute to the symptoms you are seeing. It also allows us enough information to provide specific and valuable recommendations for schools.
- Our assessments strive to be comprehensive. A comprehensive assessment is not just looking to confirm one diagnosis. We are evaluating whether a specific issue is present, while also ruling out other issues that could be contributing to the symptoms you see. For example, giving one checklist for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may give you an idea about whether ADHD is a concern. However, giving the checklist, a cognitive assessment to look at areas that ADHD tends to impact, an educational assessment to look at whether ADHD or a learning issue are impacting academics, a computerized test for ADHD, and an anxiety scale to rule out anxiety (which tends to have symptoms that overlap with ADHD) is far more comprehensive.
- We are not contracted with insurance companies (which means they can't control our testing). We have chosen not to contract with insurance companies - meaning we are "out-of-network." This is because insurance companies can regulate which tests you give, how many hours you can spend, and even what types of testing you can do. We want our psychologists to give the tests they determine will provide useful data, and to spend the time it takes to produce a great report. Although we are out of network, many insurance companies will offer out-of-network benefits (see out Insurance and Payment page).
- We will be honest with you when we are not the best place for your child/adolescent. There are times when you may not need a comprehensive assessment, when there may be a less time-consuming and costly option that will get you the information you need, or when we feel there is another practice or psychologist who would be a better fit for your needs. In these cases, we will talk to you about other options and help to provide referrals.
- We offer a quality assessment at a fair price. Our fees are competitive with the local area, and often less than 2/3 the price of a comparable assessment in the Northern Virginia area.
We are happy to talk more about whether our services are right for you. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions.