Diagnostic Mental Health Evaluations/Assessments

Mental Health Assessments are 60 to 120 minute meetings in which client history is gathered, symptoms are assessed, a diagnosis is given, and a treatment is recommended. Ongoing services are not typically provided however it’s possible per my discretion. There are two different types of mental health assessments offered: general diagnostic evaluations, and court-ordered mental health assessments. Both of these assessment types can be completed for children, teens, and adults.

 

 A general mental health evaluation will include a 60-90 minute interview with the client (you and/or your family member), a brief records reviews if you’d like to provide records from other providers, and up to 1.5 hours of report writing which include a recommendations list. These evaluations are not covered by insurance and are charged a flat fee of $250.00. These are similar to intakes, but more in-depth and include recommendations to various treatment methods/professionals, if appropriate.

 

Because mental health assessments are diagnostic in nature, they are often helpful when you’d like a more complete picture of any possible mental health issues for you or your child. For example, often times children are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD by their family doctor, when actually the “ADHD” symptoms are a result of a traumatic event undergone by the child. In a case like this, a totally different treatment is needed and medications are not the best option. While not the most important part of therapy, I do feel that a solid and accurate diagnosis is important; it will guide your treatment and so is often the first step towards healing.

 

Other things to know about general mental health evaluations:

  • I often use several different assessment measures (tests) to determine the presence and severity of symptoms, depending on the situation. Tests that I may use include sensory processing screens, ADHD screens, mood disorder assessments, language screeners, and brief intelligence assessments. Please contact me for more information on the tests I use and the associated costs.
  • I can and will assess for the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorders, however this is not my specialty and I would recommend you go straight to a professional who specializes in this if you are looking for a definitive diagnosis.
  • I do not do educational or IEP assessments. However, I can provide a mental health evaluation that you can bring to your child’s school as part of an IEP or 504 request.

 

Court-ordered mental health assessments are diagnostic evaluations which are being done at the request/order of the courts. For example, mental health evaluations are usually ordered by the judge when parents have a custody dispute. Assessments which will be going to ANY legal entity (courts, probation, parole, etc.) are considered to fall into this “court-ordered” category, and have a different pricing system than a general diagnostic evaluation since they are going to be submitted to the court or to court officials. Cost for these assessments is $440 which includes 90-120 minutes of face-to-face time with the client, reasonable collateral review if provided by client, and up to 2 hours of report writing. High complexity cases may require more time and will be billed at the rate of $30 per 15 minute increments. Like the general evaluations, these are also not covered by insurance.

 

Other things to know about court evals:

  • This is NOT the same as a psychological or psychiatric evaluation! A psychological evaluation is a much more in-depth process involving an interview with a psychologist (has a Ph.D. or Psy.D.) followed by several hours worth of testing. A psychiatric evaluation (sometimes called a med eval) means you meet with a psychiatrist (medical doctor) and tends to be more focused on medications for symptom reduction. Generally, neither of these types of evals are what the court is looking for when they order a “mental health evaluation.” It’s all kind of confusing, so be sure to ask me if you have questions about what kind of evaluation you need; I’m happy to send you in the right direction.
  • Similarly, these evaluations are not intended to be used as custody or parenting time evaluations. In those cases, a PRE (Parental Rights Evaluator) or a CFI (Child and Family Investigator) are the professionals needed to assess family and parent functioning.
  • The party that contacts me requesting the court-ordered evaluation is responsible for payment, and standard fee of $440 is paid before service is rendered.
  • I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and not a Certified/Licensed Addictions Counselor. This means that I can assess for the presence and severity of drug/alcohol issues but can’t provide in-depth treatment recommendations.
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