You go see a doctor and complain “I have these pains in my stomach. And they’re getting worse all the time.” The doctor grabs a bottle of pills off his desk, thrusts them at you and says, “Here, take these. These are really good for pain!” Only a fool would say that. And yet, everyday that is what happens when a clinician sees the patient for 30 minutes and says “Your daughter needs therapy” or “Your son has ADD. He needs Ritalin.”
We cannot possible know the right treatment before we really understand the nature of the problem. 10 different people can have the exact same symptoms for 10 different reasons.
At our practice, especially with children and teenagers, we usually recommend a thorough psychological evaluation before proposing treatment options. Children and teenagers rarely know what is troubling them; and if they did, they would not tell us anyway.
Psychological evaluations may vary in length and complexity, depending upon individual needs, presenting problems and history. Evaluations, which consist of valid and reliable psychological tests, explore several different aspects including thinking skills, emotional life, attention and memory and academic achievement. Other specialized tests investigate motor skills, daily living/self-care abilities and career interests. We will prepare a detailed comprehensive written report for the parents and referring physician and then discuss the findings and recommendations in detail in person with you. We will spend as much time as needed in order to be sure that you are clear about what we did, what we found, what we concluded, what are your options, what we recommend, why we recommend it, and where you can get the best kind of affordable help when you need services that our practice does not offer, such as occupational therapy, medication evaluation/management, special education services, tutoring, etc.
Most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the testing; some will pay 100%. Insurance plans often require preauthorization and we are glad to complete and submit any required paperwork at no charge. Our practice is affiliated with every insurance company we are aware of (except Medicaid)), including Blue Cross, AETNA, CIGNA, United Health Care, Medicare, etc. Feel free to discuss the details of your particular situation and insurance plan with us, either by phone (no charge) or in person.