It is understandable to have some apprehension before a psychological evaluation where you will have testing. Most people aren’t comfortable with the thought of being ‘analyzed’ or ‘judged’. Most of us certainly have a little test anxiety when we want to do our best, which is actually a good thing. It is hoped that the following will give you a better sense of what to expect and ease some anticipatory anxiety. Patients are also welcome to call Dr. Bercaw to ask questions even after the appointment has been scheduled.
Take your usual medication unless otherwise instructed. Please avoid alcohol and recreational drug use the day/night before the appointment. Try to get a good night’s sleep and have breakfast in the morning. Allow plenty of time to arrive to the office.
You will check in at the front desk and fill out registration paperwork. This will include giving your basic contact information, signing a consent form, and a description of privacy practices. There may be a benefits summary, which indicates what your insurance is expected to pay and what you may be responsible for paying out of pocket. Your payment or copay will be processed (if applicable) after this paperwork is completed.
The appointment always starts with a clinical interview. Dr. Bercaw will provide an overview of the day and allow time for questions and discussion of confidentiality. The interview typically takes an hour and you will be allowed to discuss your concerns and you will be asked about your medical, psychiatric, substance use, and developmental, educational, vocational, and social/family history. Often, it is helpful to talk to your spouse (or parent/child/friend) to get his or her perspective, and, if they accompany you to the appointment, they are most welcome in the interview.
Following the interview you will be offered a break and then cognitive testing will take place for about an hour and a half. You will be asked questions, given problems to solve or things to remember, and you will use pencil-and-paper sometimes to give responses. No one is expected to answer every question correctly or finish all the items before the time expires. You are simply expected to do your best.
You will be given an hour-long lunch break so you may leave the building, eat, and relax for a few minutes.
resume cognitive testing
The cognitive testing will resume after lunch for 1-2 more hours, with breaks taken as needed, followed by some self-report inventories about your mood or behavior. The session is over usually around 2:30 to 4:00 pm depending on the nature of the case. If fatigue or physical limitations prevent you from finishing in the afternoon, a second testing appointment will be scheduled.
At the conclusion of the day, a follow-up “feedback” visit will be scheduled so that we may review the results and have a discussion about what it means and the recommendations.
If you have any additional questions about what to expect, please submit the form below, or call (813) 603-7635