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Psychological Evaluations

Image by David Marcu

Psychological evaluations can be diagnostically helpful to health care providers and their patients in varied ways. Psychological assessment assesses a patient’s emotional status relative to chronic or acute issues. This can assess a patient’s level of coping, stress, interpersonal relationships, reality testing, depression, and anxiety to name a few areas. Moreover, psychological assessment can also serve as a level of baseline functioning when a future assessment is anticipated or when improvement is anticipated secondary to treatment. Lastly, the assessment has the potential to help structure subsequent psychotherapy, counseling, physical rehabilitative services, psychiatric medication management, and medical treatment options so that the professional(s) working with the patient has an improved perspective of a patient’s mental and emotional health needs. Differential diagnosis helps those working with the patient (as well as the patient) to better understand their psychological strengths and weaknesses potentially leading to a better understanding as to appropriate medications, treatment interventions, and effective forms of assistance.


The purpose of a psychological evaluation is to identify psychological factors that may be inhibiting a patient’s ability to think, behave, or regulate emotion functionally or constructively.

Dr. Butryn primarily conducts a psychological evaluation when a patient needs a surgery that requires assessment either for the physician to perform the surgery or for insurance to cover it.

A Psychological Evaluation is divided into two primary procedures:

  • The clinical interview is a core component of any psychological evaluation. The clinical interview is an opportunity for the psychologist to gather important background and information about the patient. Think of it as an information-gathering session for the psychologist’s benefit (but ultimately for the patient's benefit). Before any formal psychological testing is done, a clinical interview is nearly always conducted (even if the patient has already gone through one with a different professional). Psychologists conducting the testing will often want to form their own clinical impressions, which can be best done through a direct interview with the patient.


  • After the clinical interview, Dr. Butryn may administer standardized psychological tests that assess Intellectual/Cognitive Functioning, Personality Characteristics, and Behavioral Issues. In addition to these primary types of psychological tests, other tests are available for assessment of specific areas, such as pre-employment screening for public safety or law enforcement agencies and pre-surgical screening for Spinal Cord Stimulator and Bariatric procedures.

At our practice, each patient is unique. We therefore provide a customized approach to testing which identifies the underlying issues affecting an individual functioning. After assessment is completed, we provide specific and pragmatic recommendations that target an individual’s needs. We also provide referrals to other professionals for additional interventions, as needed.

Following the evaluation, Dr. Butryn writes a comprehensive report that integrates the findings of testing with a patient's history and self-report. This report includes a conceptualization of a patient's symptoms and findings on testing as well as recommendations that may aid the patient and their providers in treatment planning. Treatment recommendations are tailored to an individual’s particular profile of strengths and challenges.

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