Psychological assessment is the evaluation of an individual by a qualified as well as a skilled psychologist so as to determine the required mental health services. More and more people are being specifically referred for the specialised tests and mental health screening processes. There are some who are made to undergo the screening for employment and education and legal purposes. The behaviours and tendencies of the individual help the psychiatrist determine not only the mode but also the process of evaluation. The purpose and method of mental assessment vary from person to person, however most psychologists concentrate on a few key components disregarding the format of the psychological assessment.
Interview: There are a lot of psychologists who prefer observing their clients during the course of a personal interview. They will talk to the individual only to gather information pertaining to the background and current state of the mind. As the interviewee goes about answering questions, the professional is essentially attentive to his or her verbal and non-verbal clues. Even the tone and the voice inflections are brought under consideration. Questions based on certain situations and statements are generally asked. Nevertheless, psychological assessment occurs irrespective of whether the interview is a structured one or an unstructured one.
Formal Observation: Quite similar to interview, formal observation leads psychologists to observe a person in a formal manner. The psychologist draws a picture of the mental health of a person using his or her intentional and unintentional behaviour. It is imperative to bear in mind that the given person may be observed formally with or without any prior intimation or knowledge. Such kind of an observation helps the professional to answer questions like how a person behaves under a certain set of circumstances and how he interacts with others. In fact, some psychologists go to the extent of believing that this particular method of mental health screening is better when compared to interviews.
Psychological Tests: A set of formal tests are considered to be an effective medium in order to measure the mental health of an individual. The tests base themselves on the intelligence and talent and specific aptitude of an individual. They help ascertain her or her personality, intelligence quotient or IQ, ability and preferences. The psychologist is given to collect specific information and data following each test. These are combined to evaluate the mental health of an individual. Furthermore, certain mental health services can be taken care of by employing the psychological tests.
Informal Assessment: In addition to formal interviews and observations and tests, informal assessment is made use of by many psychologists after they have evaluated the information and data obtained from various formal methods. The psychologist may choose to have a meeting with the concerned individual in person. This way, the additional mental health services needed by him can be rightly determined. Children are known to benefit from informal assessment, given that the parents provide information and data to the psychologist so as to facilitate decision regarding any further service required by the child.