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These are commonly asked questions.  For other questions, please call our office (512-707-2782).    Please keep in mind that our office staff may not be able to answer all your questions and an appointment may need to be scheduled with a psychologist.  

Lets Talk about Reviews

Reviews are difficult to adequately address in our field since our license board and the ethical recommendations offered by American Psychological Association (APA) prohibit us from responding.  Some specific reasons are listed below:

  1. Confidentiality:  Psychologists are bound by ethical and legal obligations to maintain client confidentiality.  Engaging in discussions about specific clients or cases in a public forum like online reviews would compromise this confidentiality.

  2. Professional Boundaries:  Responding to online reviews would blur the boundaries between the psychologist-client relationship.  It can potentially lead to misunderstandings, conflicts of interest, or breaches of professional conduct.

  3. Maintaining Professionalism:  Psychologists aim to maintain a professional demeanor and image.  Responding to online reviews, especially negative ones, may not always allow for a professional and constructive interaction.  It could potentially escalate conflicts or reflect poorly on the psychologist's professionalism.

  4. Effectiveness: Engaging in online debates or discussions may not necessarily resolve the concerns raised in reviews.  It is often more effective for psychologists to address any issues directly with the client through established professional channels, such as in-person sessions or formal feedback processes.

As much as we would like to offer clarification and further explanation, we cannot do so in a public forum.  Further, the anonymity associated with reviews does not allow us to address the concerns, as we often do not know who wrote them. There have been times when it is clear that the reviewer did not even have the right agency, and even then, we cannot address it online.  This process can be frustrating, particularly since we can usually address concerns quickly and easily when people contact us directly. Often, we resolve issues raised in this public format privately, but the negative comments remain. Further, we have many positive reviews, but Yelp has deemed these “hidden.” Despite our attempts to find out why, Yelp has been unable to offer clarification or resolution. In summary, we are more than happy to address issues and concerns to the best of our ability. We are available to address any confusion or misunderstanding; however, we are only able to do so when people reach out to us directly. 

2

Do we take insurance?

  • We are on various insurance plans; however, please keep in mind that insurance companies do not cover testing related to occupational or legal problems.  They also do not cover learning disorder/achievement testing.

  • As a courtesy, we verify insurance benefits, but it is up to the policy holder to know their plan.  As insurance companies frequently remind us, "Verification is not a guarantee of payment."  

3

How do I talk to my child about the testing?

  • Choose an Appropriate Time and Place: Find a quiet and comfortable setting where you and your child can have a private conversation without interruptions.

  • Be Honest and Age-Appropriate

  • Provide Reassurance: Let your child know that the evaluation is not a punishment and that you are seeking help to better understand their needs and how to support them.

  • Focus on the Positive: Emphasize the potential benefits of the evaluation, such as gaining insight into their strengths and challenges, receiving appropriate support and resources, and improving their overall well-being.

  • Encourage Questions and Expressions of Feelings: Invite your child to ask questions and share their thoughts and feelings about the evaluation process. Validate their emotions and provide reassurance and support.

  • Normalize the Experience: Explain that many people undergo psychological evaluations to help them with various challenges, and it's a normal part of seeking help and support.

  • Involve Them in the Process: Depending on their age and level of maturity, involve your child in the decision-making process as much as possible. Allow them to express their preferences and concerns regarding the evaluation.

  • Offer Support and Reassurance: Assure them that they are not alone and that you are a team working together to help them thrive.

  • Seek Professional Guidance if Needed: If you are unsure how to approach the conversation or if your child is experiencing significant anxiety or distress, consider seeking guidance from a mental health professional who can provide support and guidance tailored to your child's needs.

  • Overall, approach the conversation with empathy, patience, and understanding, and emphasize your commitment to supporting your child's well-being throughout the evaluation process and beyond.

4

What do I need to bring?

  • Please bring any questionnaires you completed (even if you have provided them to us via email or patient portal)

  • Previous assessments to include copies of private evaluations completed in the past, full and individual evaluations (FIE) and individual education plans (IEP) completed in the school system.

  • Bring a snack and bottled water if you desire.  

5

Do I start therapy before testing or receive testing prior to starting therapy? 

  • Immediate Concerns: If you or your child are experiencing significant distress, crisis, or urgent mental health issues, it may be appropriate to start therapy first. Therapy can provide immediate support and coping strategies while waiting for a more comprehensive assessment.

  • Uncertainty about Diagnosis or Treatment Needs: If you are unsure about the nature of your concerns or the appropriate course of action, undergoing a psychological assessment first can help clarify the diagnosis, identify underlying issues, and inform treatment recommendations.

  • Collaboration with Therapist and Assessor: If you plan to engage in both therapy and assessment, consider coordinating with your therapist and assessor to determine the best sequence of services based on your needs and goals.

  • Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the decision to start therapy or receive an assessment first should be based on your specific situation, preferences, and the recommendations of mental health professionals involved in your care. If you're unsure about the best course of action, consider scheduling a consultation with a mental health provider to discuss your concerns and explore the most appropriate next steps.

6

When is APTC not the right fit?

  • We cannot offer testing for forensic purposes.  Forensic evaluations require varying validity measures that are not standard for an evaluation for treatment purposes; thus, our reports are inappropriate for forensic use.  

  • We do not conduct assessments for children in situations where one parent does not want their child to receive the testing.  

  • We may choose to refer out at any time, per our professional judgement

  • At this time, we do not conduct evaluations for those hoping to adopt children. We do, however, test children going through the adoption process.  

7

Why is a diagnosis helpful? 

  • Treatment Planning: A diagnosis provides a framework for understanding an individual's symptoms, behaviors, and underlying psychological issues. With a clear diagnosis, mental health professionals can develop tailored treatment plans that are evidence-based and targeted to address the specific challenges associated with that diagnosis.

  • Communication and Collaboration: Having a standardized diagnosis allows for effective communication and collaboration among mental health professionals, healthcare providers, educators, and other stakeholders involved in an individual's care. It ensures that everyone is working from a common understanding of the individual's condition and needs.

  • Access to Services: In many cases, access to certain types of treatment, interventions, and support services may be contingent upon having a formal diagnosis. For example, insurance coverage, eligibility for special education services, and access to disability accommodations may require documentation of a specific diagnosis.

  • Validation and Normalization: For individuals experiencing mental health challenges, receiving a diagnosis can provide validation and a sense of normalization. It helps them understand that their experiences are recognized and understood within the broader context of mental health, reducing stigma and promoting acceptance.

  • Predictive Value: A diagnosis can have predictive value in terms of prognosis, risk assessment, and response to treatment. It can help mental health professionals anticipate potential challenges, track progress over time, and adjust treatment approaches as needed.

  • Educational and Supportive Resources: Having a diagnosis often opens doors to educational materials, support groups, advocacy organizations, and community resources specifically tailored to individuals with that particular condition. These resources can provide valuable information, guidance, and peer support to individuals and their families.

  • Overall, while a diagnosis is not the sole determinant of an individual's experiences or identity, it serves as a valuable tool for understanding, communicating about, and addressing mental health challenges in a comprehensive and effective manner.

Get in Touch

Austin Psychological & Testing Center, LLP

Specializing in Psychological Assessments 
    for ages 5 plus
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