What To Expect
The evaluation is conducted in a quiet, office-like setting. It typically takes 3-5 hours, depending on why you were referred and the details of your case. You may want to bring something to drink and a snack to have during occasional breaks. If you wear reading glasses or hearing aids, be sure to bring them. You are welcome and encouraged to bring someone who knows you well, so they can provide their point of view. That person can be with you during the interview, but not during testing.
For the first 30-60 minutes or so, I will ask about your current problems, how they have changed over time and how they affect your mood, your relationships and how you perform daily tasks. I will ask you about any other medical or psychological problems and treatments that you have had, your family history of such problems and how these have been managed. I will ask about your early development, school, work and family life in order to put your difficulties into context. Answering some of these questions may make you uncomfortable, but I promise to treat you with respect and make you as comfortable as I can.
You will then take a number of tests of your thinking abilities, like your knowledge of words and concepts and your ability to solve problems, focus, concentrate and remember. There are no grades and you can't pass or fail. Some tests are quite challenging, so you may get frustrated at times. Everyone who takes these tests has difficulty at some point. All you can do is do your best and try your hardest. You may also be asked to complete questionnaires about your mood, behavior, attitudes and beliefs. It is very important that you give your own opinion of yourself and tell the truth.
After the tests are completed, a report of the results will be sent to the person who referred you. Your confidential information will not be shared with anyone else without your written permission. Depending on why you were referred, you may be invited to a follow-up visit where the results will be discussed with you and anyone that you choose to bring with you.