Psychological Assessments

What it is

Psychological testing and assessment are similar to medical tests. If a patient has physical symptoms, a primary care provider might order an ultrasound and/or a range of blood tests to understand what’s causing those symptoms. The results of the tests will help the provider inform the development of a treatment plan. Psychological assessment is completed for a similar purpose, but for mental health symptoms. Mental health providers gather information in several ways, including conducting a history and background interview, administering standardized questionnaires, and observing a client’s behaviour to arrive at a diagnosis and guide treatment goals. In addition to clarifying your challenges and understanding yourself better, the results of a psychological assessment can sometimes help you access supports to help you succeed at work and/or at school.

Layla offers virtual psychological assessment services to adults (18 years +) and adolescents (16-17 years) seeking diagnosis for the following difficulties:

  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood Disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder)
  • Anxiety Disorders (e.g., Panic Disorder,
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Personality Disorders

Our psychologists use a blend of technical expertise, evidence-based practices, ongoing professional development, and compassionate support to gather information and provide you with a clearer picture of your strengths and challenges. As part of the assessment process, you’ll also receive written recommendations to support your mental health wellness journey. Our psychological assessments are only available to Ontario residents at this time. All of our Layla psychologists are registered in good standing with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

At this time, only the types of diagnoses listed above are available through Layla Care. For other types of diagnoses (e.g., learning disorders, neurocognitive disorders, autism spectrum disorders), please consult your primary care provider.

Are you a small business owner or an employee of a small business?

You may be eligible to have your first 8 sessions covered. Click here to see if you're eligible!

This service will be available starting mid February, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral for this service?

Anyone can be referred to our assessment service, and you don’t need a formal referral from another provider. Sometimes, however, extended health insurers require a referral from a family physician to reimburse for psychological assessment services. We recommend you check with your insurer to see what is required for reimbursement for psychological services.

How do I know if I need a psychological assessment?

A psychological assessment is often recommended for individuals who show signs (i.e., behavioural changes that others might see) and symptoms (i.e., thoughts and feelings that the individual experiences) of a mental health issue, but don’t have a diagnosis.  More specifically, if an individual feels their mental health symptoms are getting in the way of aspects of their life (e.g., work, school, relationships), a psychological assessment can help clarify why, as well as offer strategies for help going forward.  Whether someone needs a psychological assessment depends on the person, and they must agree to the process. Once they do, the psychologist will tailor the assessment to the person’s needs, and share clear information about how the process unfolds.

How is this different from me doing a session with a psychologist?

When someone talks about “doing sessions” with a psychologist or other type of therapy provider, they are typically referring to a psychotherapy treatment session. 

Psychologists are trained to offer different types of services, including psychotherapy, assessment, and diagnosis of mental health issues. A psychologist determines what information to use based on the specific question(s) being asked. For example, if it is important to understand if you suffer from a diagnosed mental health issue, a psychologist can help! They will meet with you for a structured interview and ask you to complete some questionnaires to better understand the nature of the issue (e.g., a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD). Once they have a better understanding of your needs, they can outline a treatment plan (which may include, for example, doing some psychotherapy sessions to learn some new strategies and/or talking to your family physician about medications).

If you’re unsure about your needs, contact us at info@layla.care and we’ll help guide you in the right direction.

How long does the process take?

The time required for an assessment depends on the type of assessment. Mental health assessments for diagnostic purposes generally take between 1-2 sessions, and may involve a history and background interview with your provider so they can better understand your symptoms and needs. This type of assessment might also include completing some standardized questionnaires (either in-office or virtually) to help your provider gauge the nature and severity of your symptoms. 

If you are seeking a diagnosis for a more complex issue, the process may require more time, so that the professional can gather the right information to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Before you commit to the process, your Layla provider will outline what is involved at every step and how long the process will take.

What kind of provider can give me a mental health diagnosis?

For someone to identify an accurate diagnosis from a wide range of possible mental disorders, they must have extensive training and experience. There are specific processes that guide how clinicians narrow in on the true cause of an individual’s symptoms. Trained professionals also have the expertise to identify when multiple disorders occur together. Finally, qualified professionals can make a mental health diagnosis, as well as suggest what treatment options may be appropriate. Only certain types of professionals have this required experience and training. In most provinces, only psychologists and physicians (like family doctors and psychiatrists) can make a mental health diagnosis. However, in some provinces, such as Alberta and British Columbia, social workers and nurse practitioners with specialized training can make some mental health diagnoses.

What’s a mental health diagnosis?

A mental health diagnosis is a formal name for a disorder characterized by a significant disturbance in how a person thinks, feels, or manages their emotions or behaviours. For an individual to receive a diagnosis, the symptoms they are experiencing must cause difficulties in important areas of functioning, like school, work, or social activities. For example, if someone is chronically absent at work and has stopped going to social commitments, they may be doing so because they are experiencing feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Similarly, someone may be struggling at school because they have been sleeping too much, and have no motivation to do any of their previous activities. This person may meet the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder. Other types of mental health diagnoses include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and many others.

Where would the provider be located?

Our psychologists provide virtual assessment services to clients in Ontario. We are continuously building our community and hope to expand soon to serve clients in other provinces.

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