What is psychological assessment?
The purpose of psychological testing and assessment includes measuring one's level of functioning in various cognitive domains, evaluating one's cognitive potential or deficits, identifying one's strengths and weaknesses, and finding solutions or accommodations to the challenges one may experience at home, school, work, or in society.
Psychological assessment typically integrates psychological and cognitive test results with the client's developmental, psychiatric, medical, educational, and occupational history, as well as their family history, social environment, and behavioral observations.
Dr. Kan offers the following evaluations:
Cognitive Ability and Learning Disability
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Evaluation
Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation
Immigration Psychological Evaluation
Psychological and emotional functioning
* Dr. Kan does not offer forensic psychological evaluations or assessments for legal purposes, including child custody.
Dr. Kan's assessment approach
Dr. Kan's approach to conducting psychological assessments is largely collaborative, strength-based, therapeutic, and culturally informed. She works closely with parents, teachers, and providers to obtain a more accurate picture of her client's history, signs, and symptoms. In addition to diagnostic clarification and treatment planning, Dr. Kan's goals in psychological assessments are to bring new insight into the client's problems and to foster positive changes in clients. She also focuses on the client's strengths to increase their self-esteem and to use their strengths to overcome their limitations.
Additionally, Dr. Kan is mindful of her patient's socio-cultural background and is sensitive to diversity consideration. Being bilingual in English and Chinese, she also conducts assessments in Cantonese and Mandarin. Dr. Kan utilizes standardized and norm-based tests as well as non-standardized tests when appropriate. Her treatment recommendations are typically realistic and practical, with relevant resources in the community or in the school systems in mind.
What does a typical psychological assessment involve?
The assessment process generally involves:
1) a detailed clinical interview
2) records review (if any)
3) behavioral observations
4) test administrations
5) self-report or informant-report questionnaires or rating scales
6) scoring and interpretation of test results and rating scales
8) a feedback session with the client
Depending on the referral question(s) and the nature of the psychological assessment, collateral interviews and classroom observations may also be conducted.
Test administrations for a comprehensive evaluation may require several sessions to complete. After administrating and scoring the tests and questionnaires, the testing psychologist has to interpret the results while integrating them with history and behavioral observation. The psychologist will then generate a hypothesis to answer the referral question(s) or explain specific challenges. In the assessment report, the testing psychologist will provide recommendations and/or accommodations at school or work.
What are some common referral questions?
In an academic or educational context
What is the student's overall level of cognitive ability?
What are the student's cognitive strengths and weaknesses?
At what level is the student functioning in reading, written language, and mathematics?
Does the student have a learning difficulty?
What factors are interfering with the student's progress in school?
Does the patient's behavioral problems at home or at school warrant a diagnosis, and therefore treatment, of ADHD?
Is it a learning disability or some type of psychological disorder that contributes to a student's slow academic progress and danger of grade retention?
How is the student functioning socially and emotionally?
Is the patient at risk for engaging in violent behavior(s) at school?
What are some skills that the student may learn to improve his/her ability to learn?
What are some possible techniques for reducing behaviors that make learning difficult?
The patient's diagnosis remains ambiguous despite a thorough clinical interview and ongoing examination or observation.
In a mental health treatment context
Diagnosis remains ambiguous despite a thorough clinical interview and ongoing examination or observation. Please assess to clarify diagnosis.
The patient has made minimal or no response to treatment intervention for undetermined reasons. Please evaluated and make relevant alterations to increase the likelihood of successful intervention.
What level of care, method of therapy, or treatment strategies are most likely to be effective for the patient? What is the likely outcome of therapy for the patient?
What problems are likely to occur during the course of therapy?
What is the patient's capacity of insight, coping style, level of resistance, degree of functional impairment, and problem complexity?
In a medical context
Are there any emotional factors associated with medical complaints or chronic pain?
Is this patient a good candidate for bariatric surgery?
How is this patient functioning as a result of possible brain abnormality? What is the extent of the deficit or disability?
Is there possible cognitive deterioration in areas such as memory, sequencing, abstract reasoning, spatial organization, and executive abilities?
What is the emotional status of a neurologically impaired patient?
What are some suggestions for treatment planning?
Psychological Assessment Fees
Dr. Kan is accepting referrals on a self-pay basis. She does not take any government or commercial insurance for psychological evaluations.
The fee for a psychological evaluation varies depending on the referral questions, the types of tests, and the amount of time used. Dr. Kan's full fee is $220 per hour, and each evaluation typically includes a clinical interview, records review (if required), test administrations, scoring, data analysis, report writing, and a one-hour feedback session. If needed, Dr. Kan conducts collateral interviews (with parents, teachers, spouses, or other relevant treating providers) and classroom observations and attends Individualized Educational Program (IEP) meetings.
Dr. Kan offers a sliding scale fee or a low-cost fee to limited clients with financial difficulties (documentation required).
Special note to parents regarding legal custody
1) If parents have joint legal custody, both parents are required to provide written consent to the evaluation and attend the clinical interview and feedback session together (which can be done virtually).
2) If one parent has full legal custody, they are expected to provide legal/court documents for verification.