FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our FAQs to find answers to your questions

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.

Q: Are there benefits for paying privately?

 

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.

 

Q:  What is a Psychoeducational or Psychological Evaluation?

 

 

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.

 

Q: How can I explain the evaluation process to my child?

 

 

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)

  • We want to know more about how you think and feel about things. It’s ok to feel sad, nervous, angry or frustrated. Talking about thoughts and feelings is helpful and can help us find out the best ways to support you. 

 

  • During your time with Dr. Donica and her staff, you will be doing many different things. Some of the tasks will feel like games or puzzles and others may feel like quizzes that you would take in school. There are some computer-based tests and a few questionnaires and survey worksheets, where you will be asked to answer questions about your thoughts and feelings.

 

  • Nothing is “graded” like in school. Just do your best work. We want to learn more about how you think and feel and find out what is easy for you and what tasks might be more challenging for you.

 

  • You can ask questions or take a break at any time! There are snacks and water in the office and a prize bin where you can choose a toy at the end of each session.

 

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. 

 

Q: How can I prepare my child for the testing appointments?

 

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:

  • Promote a good nights sleep the night before testing

 

  • Provide your child with a healthy breakfast the morning of testing (including protein)

 

  • Bring your child’s reading glasses if needed

 

  • Have your child take all medication as prescribed, unless Dr. Dohrenwend instructs otherwise

 

  • If a child has specific questions about why he or she is being evaluated, explain that testing helps us learn more about how people think and learn. The process can identify strengths and weaknesses and even help others, such as our teachers, teach us more effectively.

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.

 

Q: Why should I choose Psychology 360?

 

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.

 

Q: Does Psychology 360 offer consultation services?

 

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:

  • Guidance and support related to a child’s learning or academic path (i.e., reviewing previous evaluations and records, recommending appropriate accommodations are interventions)

 

  • Collaborating with involved parties as related to a psychoeducational or psychological evaluation.

 

  • Consulting on forensic cases is available on a case-to-case basis. Please contact the office for additional information.

Q: Can I get Insurance Reimbursement for services?

 

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:

  • Is there a deductible? Has it been met?

 

  • What portion of my evaluation will be reimbursed?

 

  • Is a referral needed?

 

  • Is pre-authorization required?

 

  • Is the cost of psychological testing covered?

Can’t find your answer above?

Contact Psychology 360