top of page
Two%2525252525252520Dried%25252525252525

Psychological Testing
& Evaluations

 Culturally-Sensitive
Psychological Testing

Psychological assessment can be a helpful and powerful tool to better understand yourself. Our goal in psychological assessment is to do just that: Help you better understand yourself, using a collaborative, holistic, thorough, and culturally-responsive approach.

 

We understand that people are often eager for answers. Why am I struggling with attention or memory? Why has motivation been so difficult for me lately? It may seem easy to place diagnostic labels on our experiences, but most of the symptoms with which people of all ages struggle can be signs of any number of concerns. We know that systems of oppression and marginalization as well as biases in testing (and in the process itself) sometimes make it difficult to receive an adequate diagnosis; and, it is difficult to develop a helpful path forward (such as psychotherapy; educational accommodations) without an adequate diagnosis.  Psychologists well-trained in culturally-responsive psychological assessment and diagnosis are in a position to help clients sort through their symptoms and difficulties to best understand the nature of clients' concerns, and to provide individualized recommendations based on the information gathered.

 

At the Aguirre Center for Inclusive Psychotherapy, we aim to work collaboratively with you throughout the entire assessment process to help ensure not only that the process is as comfortable for you as possible, but also to help ensure that your questions are answered, and that you leave the assessment process feeling as though you have a more comprehensive picture of your symptoms, functioning, and needs. 

All of our psychological assessment services are performed by Dr. Melanie Wilcox who has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of adolescents and adults with a variety of clinical presentations particularly in the area of  learning disorders, ADHD, and career exploration. As a professor at Augusta University, she teaches courses on psychological assessment and provides supervision and training in the areas of psychometry and assessment.  Dr. Wilcox brings a passion for culturally-sensitive psychological assessment and treatment to all of her work.

Psychological Assessments & Evaluations
Psychological Assessments & Evaluations
Psychological Testing & Assessments Offered

A psychological assessment typically seeks to explain any difficulties or issues an individual is experiencing in their life. Because issues and problems vary with each person, assessments will be tailored to the patient's situation. Different types of assessments that we offer at ACIP include:

  • Learning Disorder (reading disability, dyslexia, dyscalculia, disorders of written expression)

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Intellectual Assessment

  • Psychological Evaluations (e.g., the effects of anxiety, depression, trauma)

  • Psychoeducational Assessments

  • Personality Assessments

  • Gender Affirmative Evaluations (for HRT or Surgery)

  • Career Exploration

Psychological testing can be used help clarify a diagnosis and evaluate the patient's strengths and weaknesses.  Through psychological testing and evaluation,  our psychologists can accurately diagnose psychological conditions and provide tailored treatment recommendations. This type of evaluation is an invaluable tool for understanding and treating psychological disorders.  The evaluation and recommendations provided from an assessment  can inform and increase the effectiveness of a patient's work with their therapist or psychiatrists. 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP.

Reach out if you are interested in learning more about our testing and assessment services.  One of our psychologists will follow up with you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss our services further with you.

What To Expect 

  • How effective is group therapy?
    Group therapy has been proven effective in helping young adults deal with a broad range of issues from mild adjustment and developmental concerns to severe or chronic mental health concerns. It has been shown to be as effective as individual therapy, and for some issues, it can be even more effective than individual therapy.
  • How can group therapy be as effective as individual therapy?
    Group therapy is typically just as effective as individual therapy for various reasons. First, most members identify with issues other members share and find they are helping themselves just by being present and processing the issues vicariously. Second, by listening, giving feedback, and engaging other group members about their concerns, you may also be practicing new ways of interacting. Third, group therapy offers the opportunity to get multiple perspectives and increased support from peers. Fourth, the group environment offers a safe a place to try out behaviors or new ways of being.
  • What kinds of people participate in therapy groups?
    For many of these difficulties and concerns, group is the most effective therapy method for resolving that concern. Most often people participate in group therapy because they are having difficulties in their relationships or have something in their lives that they are finding painful and difficult to handle. Some examples of the types of personal issues that members bring to group are: Discomfort in social situations Lack of intimacy in relationships Anxiety Depression Family of origin problems Dissatisfaction with their friendships or romantic relationships Poor self-esteem and lack of self confidence
  • What does a typical group session look like?
    My psychotherapy groups are typically unstructured. There isn't a specific topic for each group session, but of some of the groups may be target to specific group of individuals (e.g., women, men, or graduate students, etc). I provide an opportunity for a brief check-in at the start of the group, but after this check-in, it is the group members’ responsibility to bring any issues to the group that they feel are important, and a primary focus of therapy in the group is on the interactions among group members. Members are encouraged to give support and feedback to others, and to work with the reactions and responses that other members' contributions bring up for them.
  • How does group psychotherapy differ from a self-help group?
    The psychotherapy group is different from support and self-help groups in that it not only helps people cope with their problems, but also provides for change and growth. Support groups help people cope with difficult situations at various times but are usually geared toward alleviating symptoms. Self-help groups usually focus on a particular shared symptom or situation and are usually not led by a trained therapist.
  • What is your role as the group therapist?
    As the group therapist, I use my knowledge and experience to facilitate, promote, and monitor individual and group growth and change. During the initial sessions, I will focus on establishing norms and creating an atmosphere of trust, and safety so that group members will feel a sense of security in self-disclosure. As the group proceeds, I may direct the therapy as necessary, provide feedback and support, and help individuals identify themes which block personal growth. In an effort to increase interpersonal growth, I will also share my observations regarding relational dynamics, group dynamics, communication patterns, and share possible underlying feelings and meanings behind issues being dealt with or avoided. I will also work to strike a balance within the group so no one is dominating and no one goes unheard. I encourage you to request my assistance as needed during group sessions, and to openly share your reactions and thoughts concerning my role and interventions during group.
  • How does listening to other people’s problems helps me?
    Group therapy is far more than the simple extension of individual treatment, with the group leader going from one person to the other in rapid succession. Just listening to another person's problem is rarely helpful to anyone, the listener or the person with the problem. Effective group therapy is more about the relationships that group members develop with each other in group and how these relationships trigger past relational patterns, both helpful and ineffective. Not only are group members able to identify their difficulties, they are able to identify their strengths and build on them. Far more important is the group becomes a vehicle for people to identify and deal with their own emotional blocks and limitations.
  • Do I need to receive individual therapy in addition to group therapy?
    Sometimes group therapy is used as the main or only treatment approach. Sometimes it’s used along with individual therapy. Often people find that working simultaneously in both group and individual therapy stimulates growth in mutually complementary ways. Also, clients may see two different therapists for individual and group therapies.
  • What if I’m uncomfortable discussing my problems in front of others?
    It’s not unusual to feel uneasy or embarrassed when first joining a group, but soon you begin to develop feelings of interest and trust. Most clients find that group therapy provides a great deal of relief because it allows them a chance to talk with others who are experiencing similar problems -- in a private, confidential setting. Most new members find that the group process quickly draws them in and they begin sharing in ways they had not expected. As the group therapist, I will help facilitate conversations and can help process whatever anxiety the group may be feeling.
  • Do I have to reveal all my deepest fears and feelings to the group?
    No, you do not. You alone decide how much you want to share and no one can force you to reveal your secrets or feelings. Most group members tend to share more about themselves when they feel safe in the group. While I recognize that sharing can sometimes be uncomfortable, I also know that many members report getting more out of group when they decide to share more personal aspects of themselves. I encourage you to be aware of your pace for group involvement and to share when you feel comfortable doing so.
  • What kind of commitment do I need to make?
    Our interpersonal process groups are long-term, open-ended process groups, unless otherwise stated. Each member commits to participate in the group for a minimum of 10 sessions. This agreement assures that the group process will not be disrupted by new members dropping in for one or two sessions and then dropping out. This agreement also ensures that you will make enough of a commitment to benefit from the group.
  • Ok, I think I'm ready to participate in group, what do I next?
    Great! The next step is either to: Fill out an Appointment Request Form so that you can be connected with one of our group who will follow up with you to schedule a time for a brief phone call so that the two of you can decide if group may be a good fit for your needs. You can also contact the group therapist leading the group that you are interested directly via phone or email. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

A thorough, collaborative approach to assessment does take time. The assessment process will look slightly different for each client, but clients can generally expect to meet for approximately five to eight sessions from beginning to end (*except potentially shorter evaluations such as career exploration or Gender Affirmative Evaluations).

PLEASE NOTE: All of our assessment services are provided via telehealth. You will need access to a stable internet connection, a laptop or desktop computer with a camera as well as a mobile device (e.g., smart phone; tablet), and a quiet, well-lit, private space in which to meet by telehealth that includes a flat surface on which you can write (e.g., a desk or table). If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Wilcox.

Psychological Assessments & Evaluations
Fees
Psychological Assessments & Evaluations

Fees for Testing

Fees may differ slightly depending on the type of evaluation. Generally, our comprehensive evaluation fee is $2,500. This includes psychoeducational testing & evaluations for:

  • Learning Disorders

  • ADHD

  • Intellectual Assessments

  • Psychoeducational Assessments
     

Shorter evaluations are typically charged by the hour, at $225 an hour. This includes:

  • Gender Affirmative Evaluations

  • Bariatric Surgery Evaluations

  • Career Exploration 
     

A 50% deposit is required on the day of testing, with the balance due at the feedback appointment. Accepted forms of payment include HSA, FSA, and credit cards.  We do offer sliding scale services for those in need of financial assistance.

Please Note: Our clinicians are not contracted with any health insurance panels. Most insurance companies do not typically cover “learning” or “educational” assessments such as testing for learning disabilities, nor do they pay for psychoeducational assessments of academic achievement, cognitive (IQ) testing, or personality inventories. However, you can use your HSA or FSA account and depending on your particular insurance plan, you may be able to submit documentation for Out of Network benefits.  Dr. Wilcox will provide you with all the needed documentation to send to your insurance for reimbursement.

If you have any questions about the assessment process or are ready to schedule a phone consultation to discuss your testing needs, please don't hesitate to contact Dr. Melanie Wilcox.

bottom of page