Counseling and Assessment Service, P.C. 319.334.6820
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General Services

Individual Psychotherapy/Counseling
Marital and Family Counseling
Psychological Evaluations
Psychoeducational Assessments

Specialty Services

Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining
Stress Reduction Counseling

The Counseling & Assessment Service offers both individual and family centered psychological evaluations. Both typically include (1) a review of background documents, (2) the acquisition of a clinical social history, (3) extensive interviewing and (4) selected psychological testing. The procedure typically culminates in a detailed and comprehensive written report.

Individual psychological evaluations are useful in assessing, specifying and understanding personal problems and concerns. Sometimes presenting problems and concerns are psychiatrically diagnosable. The value of a diagnosis is that it provides a conceptualization of one’s difficulties and often indicates a matching treatment approach. (For example, while the presentation of depression and anxiety can often be very similar, the treatment approaches for each substantially differ.) In other cases, a diagnosis is “ruled out” in favor of defining presenting problems as attitudinal or circumstantial.

Psychological evaluations can greatly enhance an individual’s self-understanding including how he or she might be unwittingly be contributing to their own difficulty/discomfort. An initial evaluation often expedites effective intervention via counseling or psychotherapy and offers implications for a prescriptive approach.

Psychological tests and questionnaires are used prescriptively based on the presenting problems and the purpose of the evaluation. In the case of evaluations referred by governmental agencies, certain tests may be required.

Personality testing is almost always a component of psychological evaluation at the Counseling & Assessment Service. Sophisticated and well-respected computerized instruments are utilized. Personality tests assess an individual’s relatively stable emotional, cognitive, attitudinal and interpersonal characteristics. At one level, habitual methods of relating, behaving, thinking and feeling are assessed. At another level, current psychological status, which may be more transient and situational, is assessed. The use of such tests can be very cost and time effective as compared to the exclusive use of interviewing.
Family centered psychological evaluations are often requested by the Department of Human Services, Juvenile Court Services, or in custody cases. In such evaluations the individual family members are assessed as described above. However, the focus of the evaluation is upon the family as a system and the interactive effects of the family members’ psychological status and personality characteristics. Conjoint interviewing as well as parent-child observations usually supplement the procedure as described above for individual psychological evaluations.

While referrals for psychological assessments often come from the Department of Human Services, Juvenile Court Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, public schools, colleges, employers, other clinics and a multitude of helping professionals such evaluations are often self-referred by individuals or families. These referrals are welcome.


Counseling & Assessment Service

512 2nd Street NE
Independence, IA 50644

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