Your Clinical Psychology Assessment

Initial assessments will always involve an in-depth discussion. If it is felt that questionnaires will add further useful information, the psychologist may also ask you to complete some of these.

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The initial assessment will focus on the type of difficulties you are experiencing and the psychologist will ask questions about these difficulties in order to build up an understanding or formulation of your problems. It may also be necessary to ask you about your past, as there may be contributing factors that will help the psychologist to understand you and your difficulties better.

The psychologist will be interested in discussing a number of different things with you, including:

  • Your view of what may have caused this difficulty as well as what you think keeps it going;
  • How you would like things to be and what you think may help you to move on from where you are;
  • What treatments or self-help you have tried in the past, and how successful these were for you.

At the end of the first session, the psychologist will advise you whether they need to spend more time discussing the difficulty with you.

Alternatively, they may feel that they understand your difficulties well enough to develop an initial treatment plan with you. Part of this may involve developing a formulation with you. A formulation is a shared understanding of your difficulty, what led up to it and why it persists. This is a good opportunity to check that the psychologist has a good understanding of you and your difficulty.