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STEPS : CLINICAL EVALUATION
Step 1. FREE Meet and Greet
Answers your questions in person about the process, the costs, my practice and me. Email me and we will usually schedule an appointment for you the next day.
Step 2. Initial Diagnostic Symptom Inventory
The Initial Diagnostic Symptom Inventory (2hrs) does not include any testing, but is a very important step in making a diagnosis. For most patients, it is usually the most annoying part of the process, which is why I like to do it first and get it out of the way. It requires you to complete a variety of symptom screeners, symptom checklists and symptom rating scales. You do some of these at home, but most in my office on a computer.
These are not psychological tests. You are just reporting the specific symptoms you are experiencing and how severe they are. This is the most important step in the process, because many clinicians misdiagnose a neuropsychological difference and
patients never improve. The first reason this happens is that all of these conditions are very similar, so many times one condition is misdiagnosed for another. Another reason is that all of these conditions highly resemble TALENTED AND GIFTED patients.
A third reason is because the same symptoms that appear to be caused by a neuropsychological difference can also be caused by stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, depression, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and a number of other short-term or long-term conditions, etc. The Initial Diagnostic Symptom Inventory is designed to rule out, or rule in, other conditions or complicating factors that are often the actual cause of symptoms often mistaken for a neuropsychological difference or conditions which make a neuropsychological difference symptoms worse. The Initial Diagnostic Symptom Inventory is similar to a general physical exam that a medical doctor requires for every new patient.
Step 3. Initial Diagnostic Interview
Two, 1-Hour Psychotherapy Sessions or One, 2-Hour Session:
These sessions allow me to ask you specific questions about the symptoms and concerns you stated were problems in your Initial Diagnostic Symptom Inventory. The checklists and ratings scales you complete during the Initial Diagnostic Inventory identify the symptoms that present the most problems for you, the face-to-face interviews will give me a much better idea of what, when, how, where and why these symptoms exist, how long you have suffered from each, and how they may have developed. This information will also help you and I determine if we need to proceed with a neuropsychological difference testing or if you may be better served with coaching, counseling or some light therapy (most of which is covered by most insurance policies).
Step 4. Diagnostic Evaluation for a Neuropsychological Difference
This step can be skipped for some patients
These usually include a specific set of questions designed to confirm the presence of a neuropsychological difference in adults. They are not personality tests or psychological tests, but very objective, sophisticated, scientifically developed questions that help confirm the presence of, and define the extent of, your cognitive processing difficulties. It will take about two hours for us to complete the interview. There are a number of different types of neuropsychological differences. The more we understand about the specific type that is causing your difficulties, the more successful we can treat it.
Step 5. Neurocognitive Test Battery
This is a form of neuropsychological testing, and is the most important phase of an a neuropsychological difference clinical evaluation. It is not a personality test or anything like it. It is the only procedure in the entire clinical evaluation that is not subject to my personal bias or to your personal bias. It is an objective, unbiased, performance- based, battery of neurocognitive tests designed to identify the presence of, and measure the severity of, specific cognitive deficits. It is the same type of tests used to identify cognitive deficits caused by concussions, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Depression, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairments and a variety of other neurological disorders. It will also identify which of the major cognitive deficits are interfering most with your day-to-day activities, goals and objectives -- Attention deficits, memory deficits, information processing deficits. It will also measure the strength of your ability to solve problems using Complex Attention and/or Cognitive Flexibility.
The neurocognitive test battery includes Continuous Performance Testing, Visual Memory Testing, Verbal Memory Testing, Symbol-Digit Decoding Testing, Shifting Attention Testing, Stroop Test, and Finger Tapping Test. These tests measure how well you perform in five major domains -- Memory, Psychomotor Speed, Reaction Time, Complex Attention and Cognitive Flexibility. A neuropsychological difference comes in many forms. Some patients suffer from Attention Deficits. Other patients show signs of Executive Control limitations. These include poor planning, poor decision-making, unrealistic goals and objectives. Still others suffer from, reading, language, auditory or visual processing deficits.
These five steps are usually necessary to complete a professional, CLINICAL EVALUATION, make an accurate diagnosis and to determine customized treatment objectives for a patient with unique talents and skills as well as emotional and personality challenges. Anything less risks missing a key factor that may be interfering most with your work, home life, social and personal relationships. TESTING IS MORE EXTENSIVE AND COSTLY FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS. -- SEE BELOW