The purpose of the initial assessment is to reach an understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing and to develop a plan to resolve these. Your plan will include the number of visits we jointly agree and the form of treatment that will be offered. Sometimes it is possible to reach this point at the end of the initial assessment appointment, which lasts for up to 90 minutes, but for many, one or two further assessment appointments may be required. These subsequent appointments last for up to one hour. On some occasions, standardised psychological tests are used as part of an extended assessment process.
For all ages, the aim is to create an atmosphere that is serious and thoughtful whilst also being unthreatening, non-judgemental, warm and empathic.
Children’s and Adolescents’ Initial Assessments
Normally, this initial assessment appointment is attended by the child him or herself and one or both parents. Siblings are also warmly invited to attend. Some families choose to include grandparents too, especially if they are closely involved in the child’s life. Occasionally, parents prefer to attend this first appointment without their child / children. You are welcome to contact TPP before the initial assessment to discuss who might attend this appointment.
For all children and adolescents, some time is set aside to see parents without their children. Children under 18 are not usually seen without their parents at their initial assessment appointment but a subsequent appointment is offered in which the young person is seen individually.
Adults’ Initial Assessments
Most adults choose to attend the initial assessment alone, but some may choose to come with a spouse or partner. Older adolescents and young adults are often accompanied by a parents(s)
Within the initial assessment appointment, your clinical psychologist will ask many questions, allowing for a thorough assessment that takes into account home and family relationships; developmental history; school, educational and / or employment factors; and details of the difficulties being experienced.
For your overall welfare, at The Psychology Practice we normally inform your General Practitioner and/or referring specialist that you are consulting at this Practice and we send him/her a brief summary of the assessment and treatment of you/your child. If you do not want this to occur, please discuss it at your first appointment.