Psychological Assessment: What is it and how can it help?

Psychological assessments may sound intimidating, but they are designed to provide a psychologist with a broader view of the variables impacting your physical and mental health. Only to be administered by a licensed psychologist, they use these assessment tools to measure and understand an individual’s behaviour and how it impacts their quality of life. They use these assessments to arrive at a diagnosis to guide treatment. 

Psychological assessments are typically administered when clients or their providers feel treatment progress has begun to stall or to help verify if the individual has been given a proper mental health diagnosis. They can also be completed when individuals notice changes in their behaviours. For example, if there is an increase or decrease in eating or sleeping habits, nervousness, and other mood changes. Additionally, a proper psychological assessment may be used to understand someone’s level of mental fitness, particularly their decision-making abilities.  

If you or a loved one need a psychological assessment, the professionals at BE Psychology have put together this useful guide to help you understand the process.


What is a Psychological Assessment?

A psychological assessment is a professional set of tools that provide a standardized language to create a standard set of goals for both psychologists and psychiatrists when pieced together. In doing so, this allows your treatment team to work together effectively. These assessments work as a problem-solving tool to help providers better understand the individual they are working with. It may help answer the questions such as:

  • Is the individual mentally fit to make their own decisions?
  • What is the individual’s intellectual capacity?
  • Have past providers properly diagnosed the individual? 
  • Are medications necessary? If so, which medications would work best?


Typically, a psychological assessment involves a series of clinical interviews between the psychologist and the client. During the evaluation, they gather information about medical, family, and school history and complete a medical assessment. If you are currently seeing a therapist, they may refer you to a doctor or licensed psychologist to administer your evaluation. In some instances, they may meet with other family members to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individual, especially if they are a minor. Through these tests, your treatment team will better understand how you produce and process thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

How can a psychological assessment help


What Types of Tests & Assessments Are There?

There are a variety of psychological assessments and tests that a licensed psychologist can complete. After a few interviews, your treatment provider will determine which assessments are most suitable for your specific needs. In some cases, you may approach your provider with a question you are already looking to answer. When this happens, they can help guide you to see what is the best fit. 

Common standardized psychological tests and assessments may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Assessment of Intellectual Functioning (IQ tests)
  • Neuropsychological functioning assessments
  • Personality tests (such as the Hogan Personality Inventory)
  • Omnibus Measures (such as the MMPI-2, and PAI-2)


How Can a Psychological Assessment Help?

A psychological assessment can help you or your loved ones gain more insight into your personal health and well being. Together with your treatment provider, you will learn and understand individual diagnoses, abilities, personalities, and more. With this information, psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health counsellors can develop a comprehensive treatment plan that best meets your specific needs. With the best care possible, you will have all of the necessary tools and providers to help you on your journey of developing and maintaining a happy, healthier you!


Learn More About psychological assessments at BE Psychology

The professionals at BE Psychology understand the importance of utilizing all of the tools in our “tool box” and that includes the use of psychological assessments. Our team offers a judgment-free environment for clients to feel safe to discuss their life history, personal feelings, overwhelming concerns, and challenges. Together we work alongside children, teens, and families to assist them on their mental health journey. 


Contact a member of our team to learn more about how a psychological assessment can help you.



reem shaheen counseling psychologist


Reem Shaheen – LMHC