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, Irvine, or Calabasas office, call (310) 734-0306 or contact us online.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Specific parent qualities assessed in a pre-adoption evaluation include:
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.
Psychological evaluations for gamete donation and surrogacy are performed to establish the current mental status and history, to estimate the ability to comply with the unique demands of being a donor or gestational carrier, to verify informed consent, and minimize the risk of psychological harm to these participants.
Selecting a donor or surrogate is a very important decision and thus evaluating the individual for underling mental health issues and history should be done to determine current and future suitability to perform this important donation. This is to help assure the client or the intended parents that the donors freely agree to donate gametes or carry a child to term, they have an understanding of what these donations entail and that there is no personal or family history of mental illness.
Dr Tansman will assess and interpret the candidate’s current psychological state, emotional stability, decision making ability and take a full personal and family history. This includes any personal information, occupational history, education, interests, exercise and diet. Donors also discuss their domestic life, causes and levels of stress, and the ability to meet demands on their time. Also discussed are substance use and abuse, legal problems, past physical or emotional abuse, conflicts or significant crises. Importantly it will help determine a candidate’s reliability, responsibility, ability to deal with loss and the consequences of various outcomes of these procedures.
A psychological assessment explores the personality and motivations of donors and surrogates and why they wish to participate in this activity. It helps answer concerns and to identify possible issues with religious beliefs and desire for future contact with parents or children after the birth. Understanding and appreciation of the psychological and emotional implications involved as well as the medical and time commitments required are also examined. If the donor or carrier is previously known, considerations of the impact on the existing and future relationship are considered.
The evaluation also serves as an opportunity for discussion about related topics such as, number of embryos to be transferred. The potential for multiple gestations, possibility of fetal reductions, and future status of any remaining embryos or sperm.
A prospective parent evaluation concerning the potential implications involved in creating a family through donation or surrogacy can be conducted if requested. The goal is to help parents make informed decisions about the sharing of information with the child and others, long-term impacts on the family, grief and loss issues, and emotional readiness to proceed with these procedures. This would also include a discussion of the intended parents’ expectations regarding future contact or relationship with the carrier or donor.
After proper consent is given, then prepare a report specifically for the identified referral source. This may sometimes be an agency and at other times, the report may be requested by the treating physician. Candidates and intended parents do not always receive these reports as they discuss their current mental status, assessment results, and suitability to participate in these collaborative reproductive arrangements. Reports will not be given to the candidate or parents without a prior meeting with Dr Tansman to discuss and explain the findings.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.