The Psychiatric Evaluation In A Nutshell
Updated: Aug 11
We know that coming in for a psychiatric evaluation can be a little anxiety provoking so here's a quick outline of what you can expect. At the Center for Wise Mind Living your initial psychiatric evaluation will be thorough and comprehensive. The process begins with a phone call in which our intake coordinator will go over the evaluation process with you and will then send you pre-evaluation forms and paperwork that will include the following:
-Practice Policies Information
-Contact Information Form
-Release of Information Form
We also ask that any relevant lab/diagnostic exams, clinical reports, neuropsychological exams, school reports, etc, be sent to us ahead of time, whenever possible.
Then, we'll schedule an evaluation for two full hours. This can be conducted either all at once for adults and older teen patients or in two separate one hour slots for children and younger teen patients. This time is spent covering your history through to the present, helping your psychiatrist gather information on all the relevant psychological/neuropsychological, social, cultural, work/school systems, medical, and psychiatric issues in order to make a comprehensive diagnosis. We will review the probable diagnoses as well as the risks and benefits of the various non-medication and medication treatment options and will also discuss the risks and benefits of not proceeding with treatment. Finally, we allow plenty of time to cover preliminary recommendations. Any plan recommended will be made pending a review of additional paperwork and communications with clinical team members or other important collateral contributors along with your completion of any new lab or medical work-ups/medical referrals. You will leave the evaluation with written materials that describe the various conditions discussed in the evaluation as well as written materials that cover the treatment options reviewed.
On occasion, an evaluation will require an additional hour long meeting and/or a home or school observation visit.
The evaluation is a collaborative process. We especially approach treatment planning from a collaborative perspective. Once clinical decisions are agreed upon, your psychiatrist will remain in close contact with you and any other members of your team throughout the treatment process as we work to optimize benefits and minimize problems, side effects and risks.
Written by: Mark W. Wilson, MD