Questions and Answers about therapy, counseling, psychological assessments, insurance, and how to prepare for your appointment with Dr. Dohrenwend. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our FAQs or don’t know what to ask, then contact us to find out how we can help.
A: Yes, we feel that there are benefits. Insurance companies require a diagnosis and often place restrictions on evaluations and typically do not cover the comprehensive protocol that we feel necessary to appropriately assess each individual.
Confidentiality is also a concern. We believe that it is not always best for our client’s health information to become part of their permanent medical file. This is especially relevant for children, who may not benefit from carrying a diagnosis as they navigate college and the workforce in the future. We have found that we provide our best services without the limitations and restraints created by insurance providers.
Some clients are able to use Health Savings or Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for services using pre-tax dollars. When requested, we provide all of our clients with Superbills so that they can submit an invoice to their insurance provider, if they choose to do so.
A: These are terms used to describe comprehensive evaluations, which help identify a full range of capabilities and characteristics that impact cognition, learning, behavior, and emotions. The purpose of an evaluation is often to offer clarity about a diagnosis, to more fully understand cognitive, learning or emotional qualities and to provide direction for treatment planning. These evaluations also serve as a “baseline” measure from which to compare future performance and functioning. This can be helpful to determine if improvements have been made after initiating interventions and accommodations. Though some use the terms “psychoeducational evaluations” and “psychological evaluations” interchangeably, a few distinctions can be made.
Psychoeducational Evaluations are typically used to assess cognition, learning, memory, attention, executive functioning, and social and interpersonal functioning, They assist with identifying learning strengths and weaknesses, help us to better understand behavioral tendencies and offer clarity about a learning disorder or diagnosis. They also assist with determining appropriate accommodations and guiding treatment and intervention decisions.
Psychological Evaluations focus on personality and behavioral characteristics. These types of evaluations may be used to clarify an emotional health diagnosis or identify the presence of certain personality tendencies. For example, a psychological evaluation may help identify symptoms of depression, anxiety or OCD, or distinguish between diagnoses such as depression and bipolar disorder. These types of psychological evaluations can also be helpful when creating a treatment plan for individual therapy or for medication management.
A: The process of undergoing any type of testing or evaluation can be overwhelming, or even scary, for some children. Parents frequently ask what they can do to help prepare their child for an evaluation.
It is beneficial to start the discussion a few days before testing. This allows the child time to process the information and come up with questions. The goal is for the child to be informed and feel comfortable with the process and what to expect.
Below are some helpful conversation starters:
We want to know more about how your brain works! Everyone has learning strengths and weaknesses and we are interested in learning what things are easy for you and what creates more challenge. (Feel free to share with your child your personal strengths or weaknesses. This helps normalize their thoughts, especially if they are aware of their areas of the challenge)
Lastly, ensure that your child understands that our office is a safe space to talk about their thoughts and emotions. The more that they can open up and share, the better we can establish areas of concern and identify the most appropriate interventions and accommodations.
If your child appears nervous prior to testing, validate their emotions and assure him or her that the process is similar to working with a teacher or tutor. Remind your child that they will not be graded on their performance and that they should focus on trying to do their best work.
General pre-testing guidelines:
Typically parents are not present during testing. If your child is extremely nervous, parents may stay for a portion of testing, easing the transition and allowing for the child to feel more comfortable.
A: Our approach to evaluation is comprehensive and personalized to meet each client’s unique needs. We utilize over 25 empirically supported test measures, which ensures the broadest scope of examination while allowing us to address specific concerns or goals. Each finalized report includes diagnosis if indicated, as well as specific recommendations, accommodations and treatment options.
Dr. Dohrenwend collaborates with interested and involved parties, such as physicians, therapists, academic personnel or other specialists. She typically connects with involved professionals over the phone, either before, during or after the evaluation, as needed.
Dr. Dohrenwend has a wide range of colleagues in various fields, which assists with providing the most appropriate referrals if additional treatment or services are indicated. These local referrals include educational therapists, tutors, psychiatrists, pediatricians, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, parent advocates, special education attorneys, and psychologists.
A: Consultation services are available to individuals and families who are interested in support and guidance related to educational, cognitive, emotional or behavioral health concerns. Typical examples of consultation areas include the following:
A: Although we do not accept insurance, some insurance providers consider us an “out of network” provider, and will reimburse you for a portion of the fees paid.
Out-of-network providers are paid directly by the client who then submits for reimbursement to the insurance company. However, it’s important to first call your plan and inquire about reimbursement because sometimes providers will not fully reimburse for evaluations if they are not deemed “medically necessary.”
The following list of suggested questions may be helpful when contacting your insurance provider to determine coverage.
Additional questions to ask your Insurance Provider: