The Adult, Child, and Family Psychological Services Clinic at UNC offers comprehensive testing and evaluation services for adults, children, adolescents, and families. Among the types of evaluations offered are:
- For adults – Psychological evaluation and testing for ADHD and LD (Learning Disabilities);
- For UNC Students – UNC Chapel Hill students who are NC residents with financial need and want to find out if they qualify for psycho-educational testing (for ADHD or Learning Disabilities) under the Corbitt Fund (administered by the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid) should schedule a meeting with one of the following: 1) Kristen Rademacher, Theresa Maitland, or Frank Kessler at the Learning Center. They may use the online calendar at learningcenter.unc.edu – first, please watch the video which is posted under the announcement section of the webpage on the right hand side entitled “Think you might have a learning disability or ADHD?”; 2) Amy Leach at Counseling and Wellness; 3) Michael Highland (firstname.lastname@example.org) , if they are Carolina Covenant Scholars.
- For children – Psychological evaluation and testing for diagnostic clarity (e.g., evaluation for ADHD, bipolar disorder) and case formulation (see our partial list of symptoms prompting consideration for testing);
- For children – Psychoeducational, learning disability, mental retardation, giftedness, and readiness for kindergarten screening (e.g., intelligence and achievement testing).
What can psychological evaluations provide?
Psychological evaluations provide a structured, organized, and succinct description of a client’s current psychological functioning, including cognitive, behavioral, and emotional strengths and challenges. A psychological evaluation offers insight into the severity of the symptoms that a client is experiencing, as well as the capacity for achieving an adequate level of functioning. In addition, a psychological evaluation may be used to confirm or modify the impressions formed by referring therapists or educators. Accordingly, a comprehensive evaluation can facilitate the identification of appropriate treatment goals and guide treatment decision-making as well as assist the schools with information for suitable classroom placement.
Adult university students seek evaluations for ADHD and Learning Disorders as required for accommodations at the university as well as standardized testing such as SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, USMLE. Additionally, helpful and practical recommendations for improvement and success will be included in the integrated report.
What can you expect with our psychological evaluation process?
- Limited wait time to begin assessment. In most cases, we will be able to begin the assessment process shortly after you contact our clinic.
- Several appointments of a few hours each. Depending on the reason for the psychological evaluation, the client’s age and functioning, the clinical interview and assessments may require between two and four appointments with each one lasting a few hours.
- Range of interviews, self-reports, and assessments. A comprehensive psychological evaluation begins with a clinical interview, and then includes a range of psychological tests depending on the specific nature of the presenting issues or referral questions. Psychological tests can include tests of emotional well-being, intellectual (or IQ) tests, tests of academic achievement and learning styles, tests for possible neurological damage, and tests for specific psychological disturbances and their severity.
- Each protocol is individually planned and reviewed by a licensed psychologist and includes information from several key sources. Given that we are a training clinic, we plan a comprehensive battery with an array of measures (we may be able to provide more comprehensive and thorough evaluations than may be possible in a fee for service clinic). With children and adolescents, it is also important to include information from significant others, particularly parents and teachers, as well as to review prior treatment and school records.
- Integrated report generally available within three to four weeks of your final assessment session. A formal integrated written report of findings and helpful and practical recommendations (including suggestions for accommodations) based on those findings will be provided.
What does an evaluation cost?
- Our fees are on a sliding scale based on who is doing the evaluation and family income:
- Early Kindergarten Assessment and gifted evaluations cost $500 (sliding fee scale available);
- Psycho-educational and psychological evaluations cost $1300* (sliding fee scale available).
* University scholarship fees may vary
How is assessment different from therapy?
Within our clinic we offer both assessment and therapy services. It is important to understand the differences between these two types of service, as they serve different purposes. Assessment is a time-limited service, and the primary goal is to gather information about symptoms and functioning, in order to provide a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. In contrast, the primary goal of therapy is to provide treatment in the context of an ongoing therapeutic relationship.
An assessment or evaluation is conducted when you have a specific question you would like answered with psychological testing – for example, “does my son meet criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD?” or, “what type of learning disability do I have, if any?” The psychologist (or graduate student trainee under supervision of a psychologist) will conduct a series of tests with you or your child to work towards answering these questions.
Typically, the first meeting involves an interview with the assessor, in order to learn important background information, as well as to determine the types of psychological tests to administer in future sessions. This initial interview typically includes questions about symptoms and psychiatric history, as well as developmental, medical, educational, work, and psychosocial history. Next, a series of tests and assessments will be administered to you or your child over several sessions. Finally, these tests will be scored by the assessor, and written up in a comprehensive report, which will include information about diagnoses and recommendations (for example, therapy, educational accommodations, or further testing). You will receive a copy of this report, as well as in-person or over-the-phone feedback about its contents. Therefore, assessment is a time-limited process, usually consisting of several sessions, to answer a specific question or set of questions.
Therapy, on the other hand, is typically an ongoing process wherein you generally meet for weekly one-hour sessions with a therapist. During these sessions, you and your therapist may address a variety of concerns or presenting problems. The therapist will provide you with strategies and skills to help address the concerns or symptoms you are experiencing. Therefore, therapy is not usually time-limited (you and the therapist will work together to determine the duration of the treatment). While an assessment of presenting concerns at the outset of treatment and of response to treatment may be integrated into therapy, its primary purpose is to treat symptoms rather than to measure or assess them in a structured way.