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      10323 Santa Monica Blvd,
      Suite 111
      Los Angeles, CA 90025

      Mandatory / Legal Assessment

      Required Psychological Evaluations

      What is a Required Assessment?

      Pre-Surgical & Pre-Adoption Evaluations in Los Angeles

      A required psychological assessment is an evaluation of your present mental functioning, personality, and behaviors deemed necessary to determine your aptitude to perform in various situations. You may be required to have an assessment if you are seeking medical clearance on certain surgical procedures, looking to adopt a child, or in situations pertaining to employment eligibility or child custody.

      At Psychological Assessment Services, Dr. Tansman can provide required psychological assessments for pre-surgical and pre-adoption evaluations exclusively. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Tansman at her Los Angeles, Rolling Hills, Pasadena or Irvine office, call (310) 734-0306 or contact us online.

      What are Pre-Surgical Psychological Evaluations?

      A pre-surgery psychological evaluation is an assessment designed to help your healthcare provider decide whether or not you are psychologically prepared to have certain types of invasive operations that require strict adherence to post-surgical lifestyle changes, including bariatric weight loss surgery and spinal cord stimulator (SCS) or dorsal column stimulator (DCS) implantation surgery. Specifically, the psychological evaluation will analyze your motivation and readiness for the operation, and any behavioral challenges or emotional factors that may impact your ability to cope with the surgery and adjust to life after the operation.

      There are two elements of a pre-surgical psychological evaluation: the clinical interview and the psychological testing. The purpose of the clinical interview is to obtain a general understanding of how you came to the decision to have surgery, your rationale behind this choice, and your past and present health information. The psychological testing provides Dr. Tansman with an objective measurement of your presentation style, psychological adjustment, and readiness for surgery.

      What to Expect During a Pre-Surgical Psychological Evaluation

      Your pre-surgical psychological assessment with Dr. Tansman will begin with a clinical interview. She will focus on your behavior, psychiatric symptoms (current and past), and your comprehension of the impending surgery and its associated lifestyle changes. These can include questions designed to evaluate your current mental health status, such as how well you are sleeping, your attention to detail, your social behaviors, and to check for signs of thought disorder.

      Dr. Tansman will ask you about various areas of your life, including:

      • Educational history
      • Employment history
      • Childhood development
      • Alcohol and drug history
      • Past mental health treatment (if any)

      During the psychological testing, you will be asked what goals you hope to obtain from the surgery and the time frame in which you hope to realize those goals. If your reasons or expectations for the surgery are unrealistic, then you may have a high risk of mood issues and noncompliance post-surgery. Dr. Tansman will reflect those findings in her results.

      What are Pre-Adoption Psychological Evaluations?

      A pre-adoption psychological evaluation is an assessment designed to determine whether a couple or individual is able and prepared to adopt a child. These evaluations are typically part of the international adoption process; each country’s adoption agencies have their own requirements for what the evaluation should include, as well as what the focus of the evaluation should be, the methods used to conduct it, and how to analyze the data and communicate the results to the appropriate authorities.

      Most pre-adoption psychological assessments require psychologists to:

      • Establish rapport with the parents-to-be
      • Make their own assessment, independent of any previous home study report
      • Accurately interpret any testing that may be used during the evaluation

      What to Expect During a Pre-Adoption Psychological Evaluation

      Dr. Tansman is qualified to perform pre-adoption psychological assessments in a thorough and timely manner and will tailor her report to your chosen adoption authority to help the agency decide whether or not you are a suitable candidate.

      Dr. Tansman will conduct a clinical interview and make inquiries into topics such as:

      • Social support
      • Cultural awareness
      • Mental and marital suitability
      • Parenting awareness

      Specific parent qualities assessed in a pre-adoption evaluation include:

      • Your ability to be open to new experiences
      • A high level of emotional stability and maturity
      • Flexibility in expectations regarding the child’s academic standards or societal norms
      • Willing to consider whatever challenges an adopted child may bring, especially those with pre-arrival adversity

      During the assessment, Dr. Tansman will maintain impartiality in order to keep her observations, testing, and resulting inferences unbiased. After the assessment is completed, Dr. Tansman will prepare the letter or report required by the host country, and will only include required information.

      Receive a Required Assessment at Psychological Assessment Services

      We understand that psychological evaluations can seem overwhelming and confusing. At Psychological Assessment Services, Dr. Tansman is prepared to provide you with the necessary tests and reports you need to complete your pre-surgical or pre-adoption evaluation.

      Don’t delay; make your appointment with Dr. Tansman today by calling (310) 734-0306 or by contacting us online.

      Competency Assessment

      Competency Assessments Los Angeles

      What Is a Competency Assessment?

      Competency, often called decision-making capacity, is someone’s mental capacity to decide in accordance with their goals, concerns, and values. Although the term competency can refer to any topic or subject, clinical competence, widely known as informed consent, is defined as a patient’s ability to make medical decisions. Patients who can give informed consent are able to comprehend necessary information to make voluntary, reasonable, and rational choices about their healthcare. Informed consent is a critical part of any healthcare plan, as these various decisions can affect any part of a patient’s life, from yearly check-ups to life or death situations.

      In certain instances, you or your loved ones may be unable to make informed medical decisions. A competency assessment at Psychological Assessment Services helps to determine the state of you or your loved one’s mental functioning and the ability to give informed consent.

      To schedule a competency evaluation with Dr. Tansman at her Los Angeles, Rolling Hills, Pasadena or Irvine office, call (310) 734-0306 or contact us online.

      How to Measure Competence

      Competency can be difficult to measure in anyone, as a person’s ability to make particular decisions fluctuates over time. Also, some decisions may require a higher degree of competence than others. However, there are physical signs that Dr. Tansman can search for that may indicate impaired clinical competence.

      Certain medical or neurological disorders that can affect competence or decision-making capacity include dementia, stroke, physical trauma, or drug intoxication. These psychiatric disorders can cause deficits in memory, visual perception, abstract thinking, mood, and emotion.

      Additionally, there are various functional elements that competent decision making requires, such as the patient’s ability to:

      • Understand what is being discussed
      • Appreciate the significance of the information
      • Apply reasoning to the subject context
      • Express a choice or indicate a preference regarding treatment

      For example, a patient with impaired clinical competence may not have the ability to weigh the risks and benefits of the choices they make or are unable to express these choices in an understandable way.

      What Can I Expect During a Competency Evaluation?

      If a psychiatric or neurological disorder has been previously detected, or if it is otherwise suspected by Dr. Tansman that a patient may not be able to give informed consent, then she may recommend a competency-based assessment. This assessment can be a series of tests used to define both past and current mental functioning to identify areas of concern.

      Various competency assessment methods involve observing the patient's appearance and behavior, speech, emotional state, and thought process. Additionally, an inventory of functional behavior will be made to identify the patient’s eating, general hygiene and safety, social interactions, financial competence, and their ability to keep appointments and follow directions. The family may be included if Dr. Tansman believes it is necessary.

      Based on the evidence gathered from these assessments, Dr. Tansman can then evaluate a person's level of clinical competence. Her conclusions will be summarized in a report to be used to determine a prognosis as to whether or not the cognitive ability of the patient will likely improve, stay the same, or worsen over time. After the assessment and its findings are completed, Dr. Tansman is available for further consultation as needed.

      Meet with a Licensed Psychological Professional Today!

      We understand that competency can be a difficult and scary topic for patients to discuss with their family. If you have any questions or concerns about your mental health and how it may affect your future, please reach out to Dr. Tansman and make an appointment today. Call (310) 734-0306 or contact us online.

      When Does a Court Order a Psychological Assessment?

      Court Ordered Psychological Assessment

      What Is a Competency Assessment?

      A Psychological Evaluation is a procedure, typically carried out as part of a court proceeding, in which a mental health professional is appointed by the court to determine a diagnosis or label for a person's psychology, behavior or personality and to make recommendations which a judge can take into account when making a ruling. A psychological evaluator is usually a practicing psychologist who is viewed as an objective third party whose job it is to determine the mental health of the subject/subjects and make appropriate recommendations to the court.

      Mental illness and/or mental fitness is not only relevant in a criminal proceeding; it may be relevant in a civil case as well. Civil court defendants, debtors and others brought before the court may suffer from mental disorders such as PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, or Borderline Personality Disorder. These disorders could affect the outcome of the case.

      Court Ordered Evaluations May Be Requested For:

      • in conservancy cases
      • When a defendant claims incompetence
      • When a defendant claims insanity as a defense
      • when a party to the legal action is incompetent or under conservatorship and cannot give informed consent.

      Psychological tests and evaluations provide a formal way to measure traits, feelings, beliefs, and abilities that can lead to people's problems. It is important to understand that psychological evaluations are not therapy sessions, but instead are meant  to gain a deeper, more complete understanding of underlying problems or mental health issues. Depending on the client, a psychological evaluation may uncover long-standing conditions like anxiety, depression or anger issues. They may also provide a balanced picture of the person's personality overall.

      Legal and Ethical Issues Associated with Psychological Testing

      One ethical issue associated with psychological testing is informed consent, which means that a patient or client must give his or her consent to be tested on.  He or she can also, at any time, withdraw consent.  The psychologist performing the testing must explain to the subject, in language that he or she can understand, what the test entails.  Informed consent is extremely important in the world of psychological testing. There are exceptions to this issue such as legally mandated assessments and job seeker assessments.  This may make it harder for a psychologist because some people may not consent even though it is in his or her best interest.

      One legal issue associated with psychological testing is disabilities and the accommodations that psychologists must make to ensure that disabled people are being treated fairly.  “Disabled” is a broad term and does not only include physical handicapped.   Psychological testing must be modifiable to accommodate disabilities, which may include larger print text.

      Both of these issues make the world of psychological testing more complex but only for the better of the examinees.  All people should be treated fairly, which is ultimately what these laws are in place for.

      We do not perform 730 evaluations for child custody disputes.

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