A Therapeutic Evaluation is an intensive psychological evaluation that is requested by the client, their family, attorney, psychiatrist, therapist--anyone who has been working with this person and is either 1) concerned that they are not making the expectable progress in therapy or not responding to medication as predicted or 2) needs to better understand the client in order to make an appropriate treatment plan or to work more effectively with them. Usually the person making the referral contacts the evaluator and then, if the evaluation is desired, makes the recommendation to the client. A therapeutic evaluation can be somewhat expensive (generally not covered by insurance) and takes a few weeks to complete, but can provide the client and the treatment team with an in-depth understanding of the patient's personality, how they view the world, and how best to intervene for lasting change.
One of the first things Dr. Humes will ask the referring person is what questions they would like the evaluation to address. For example, some typical questions might be: why is this person's depression or mood disorder not significantly improving in spite of antidepressants and psychotherapy? does this client suffer from an undiagnosed thought disorder? why is this adult child not able to function adequately in the world? why does the current therapy appear to be stalled and failing to result in notable progress? If the questions for the Therapeutic Evaluation are appropriate, Dr. Humes will make an appointment to see the client and talk with him or her about the issues and what questions they might have for the evaluation. Every attempt will be made to include all the treatment providers or client representatives in this process.
The Therapeutic Evaluation involves a review of available records, a clinical interview with the client, consultation and history gathering from family and collateral sources, and administration of a set of psychological tests focused on personality. When this is completed, a report will be written that integrates all of the information gleaned from the evaluation with the goal of providing a written portrait of the client, and a clear treatment plan that addresses the current obstacles to progress. This process generally takes 4-6 weeks to complete, and then a feedback session is scheduled with the client and (when possible) all concerned parties. At the beginning of the evaluation, the client will be asked to sign a release of information so that the involved persons can receive a copy of the final report. Phone sessions can be scheduled for family members, mental health providers or attorneys who are unable to attend the feedback session.
If you think that you or one of your clients may be helped by engaging in a Therapeutic Evaluation, please contact me for additional information.