Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Psychological Evaluation Services

A mental health professional including a psychiatrist, pediatrician or mental health counselor, may recommend that a client they are treating undergo a psychological evaluation. A comprehensive psychological evaluation can be extremely helpful to the treating mental health professional when developing effective treatment protocols.

Sometimes a parent or school system will advise a parent to seek a psychological evaluation for their child to assist with developing school-based or home-based interventions that will assist the child with eliminating maladaptive behavior patterns, increasing academic success and help the child develop resilience and cope more effectively with stressful situations.

There are also instances when a physician may refer an elderly adult for a cognitive screening to assist with determination of cognitive loss. These evaluations necessarily include a personality assessment in order to determine whether the examinee’s current psychological adjustment is interfering with an examinee’s performance on cognitive based testing and on current levels of adaptive functioning including memory functioning. The pattern of findings on these cognitive tests, when interpreted along with findings from personality testing, can be extremely helpful to the medical health and geriatric care communities when planning treatment and living arrangements for older adults.

In these situations, it is often helpful for Dr. Mellen to consult with the referring mental health professional or school that made the initial referral so that proposed recommendations can be skillfully integrated into mental health and academic planning. This is often considered one of the most important services involved with the psychological evaluation process as the referral source and Dr. Mellen will be working together as a team.

Of course, Dr. Mellen also may request that her client engage in psychological testing in order to assist with treatment planning and for the client to develop an expanded awareness of their own psychological functioning. Cognitive testing, including tests of intellectual functioning can also be extremely helpful with decision making when a client is involved with career exploration, college selection or determining a course of studies that will lead to a college or university degree. These same cognitive tests, as well as tests of continuous performance, developed for adults and children, are also important in assisting with solidifying a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD.

And of course, the bottom line when seeking psychological evaluation services is to select a psychologist who is experienced in using a wide range of evidence-based test instruments. Dr. Mellen is highly skilled in test administration and interpretation, is sensitive to cultural norms and will be able to provide opinions and recommendations drawn from the test data.  Her findings and recommendations are valued and relied upon by both the examinee as well as by the referring mental health provider, as well as by schools and parents.

Psychological Test Library

A partial listing of psychological tests in Dr. Mellen’s library include:


  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IV (WAIS IV)
  • Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML)
  • Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)
  • Conners Continuous Performance Test
  • Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
  • Connors Adult ADHD Rating Scales
  • Brown ADD Scales
  • Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)
  • Test of Word Fluency
  • Aphasia Screening Test
  • Ravens Progressive Matrices
  • California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)
  • Test of Written Language (TOWL)
  • Dementia Rating Scale
  • Validity Indicator Profile (VIP)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)
  • Millon Multiaxial Inventory III and IV (MCMI-III and MCMI-IV)
  • NEO Five Factor Inventory
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI)
  • Personality Assessment Inventory
  • Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)
  • Stress Index for Parents of Adolescence (SIPA)
  • Parenting Stress Index (PSI)

Adolescents and Children

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children V (WISC V)
  • Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT)
  • Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III (WIAT III)
  • Bender Gestalt Visual Motor Test
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Adolescent (MMPI-A)
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale
  • Trauma Symptom Inventory - Children (TSI - Children)
  • Children’s Depression Inventory 2

The Evaluation Process

A test battery may include several psychological tests.  The selection of test instruments depends on the referral questions and findings from tests that are initially administered to an examinee.  Dr. Mellen realizes that for some individuals psychological testing may create anxiety or discomfort. It is important for Dr. Mellen that an examinee feels comfortable and informed when participating in an evaluation and she is careful to explain the process and the “whys” for using selected tests.  It is also important to remember that findings from psychological tests are not interpreted in isolation but must be understood in conjunction with other information about an examinee including the examinee’s personal and health history, reason for referral and culture.  Dr. Mellen will interview examinees before and during the evaluation process in order to gain information that will help her with test interpretation.

A final session is scheduled with each client to explain and share test findings. Most often examinees find this session particularly helpful and are able to gain insight and self-awareness. Dr. Mellen is collaborative with the examinee during the test interpretation process and can assist the examinee with applying information gained from test results to current and real-life situations.

A copy of a written report summarizing test findings, clinical opinions and recommendations is provided to the examinee at this final meeting. With the examinee’s consent a written report of psychological findings will be made available to referral sources.