Psychological Testing Services
Services at Arctic Pathways
Arctic Pathways offers psychological testing services across a broad variety of ages and issues. I work with everyone from elders to the youngest generation of community members. Many referrals relate to cognitive functions like attention, memory, and problem-solving. These can be part of issues such as aging, dementia, head injuries, strokes and aneurysms, intellectual disabilities and other neurodevelopmental conditions, learning disabilities, or ADHD. Measuring these cognitive abilities can help with treatment planning, accessing social and educational services, and maximizing people's independence and autonomy throughout their lives. Other testing referrals are to help clarify psychiatric diagnoses when they are not fully clear from a simple interview, such as in some cases of bipolar mood patterns, autism spectrum disorders, or psychosis. Some other referrals are for medical decision-making, such as clearance for bariatric surgery. Still other referrals are to help young people determine which academic program will best meet their needs.
I strive to bring the highest standards of scientific quality to my work. At the same time, I remember that people are complex beings with unique life experiences, and that test results are simply tools for helping people to achieve their goals in life.
What to Expect
Most testing appointments take between 2-4 hours to complete, with test scoring, interpretation, and report writing taking 1-2 business days after you leave. You will get an estimate during scheduling of how long your testing might take, and enough enough time will be scheduled that there will be no need to rush.
You should get a good night's sleep and eat a nutritious meal before attending so you can perform at your best. Please feel free to bring snacks or other comfort items, and to take breaks as needed. Please be sure to bring your insurance card(s).
Appointments begin with a conversation about the issues that are leading to this testing, and an interview about your background to get to know you better. Family members are welcome to attend as arranged at scheduling, and often have valuable insights to contribute. Please be as open and honest as possible; there are no off-limits topics and no judgments will be made. I believe that we are all imperfect, and the most important thing is that we are working to care for ourselves and others in our lives.
If I will be working with your child or adolescent, there are a few other things to know. An adult must be present at the office throughout the evaluation, although there will be chances for your child to speak with me alone if you wish. It is important that no other minors attend the appointment, as the office is fairly small and accurate assessment requires a distraction-free environment. If there is an IEP or 504 Plan at school, please bring a copy, since there can be overlap between testing administered at school and at my office. Please feel free to bring any activities or snacks that you think might be useful for breaks, or for when I am speaking with the accompanying adult.
The types of psychological tests can vary with the issues being evaluated, but often include:
* Tests of cognitive performance, which often resemble puzzles or "brain teasers."
* Survey-style tests to analyze patterns of experiences and symptoms.
* Some computerized testing (although most is more interactive).
Limits of Services
Testing services at Arctic Pathways are focused on health care, not on forensic/legal or administrative questions posed by courts or government agencies. I do not evaluate or comment on issues of parental fitness, custody decisions, investigation of abuse allegations, competence to stand trial, insanity or diminished capacity defenses, dangerousness to the community, or risk of future criminal behavior. I do not accept referrals for decisions regarding SSI/SSDI applications, employment applications, employee or student risk assessment, law enforcement officer selection, military accession waivers, or security clearances.
A comprehensive psychological evaluation will include addressing issues related to substance abuse. However, I do not specialize in substance abuse treatment, and if this is the main focus of a referral, I will make an effort to find a better resource for the case.
I do not provide documentation for emotional support/comfort animals. In appropriate cases, I will provide documentation to assist with the process of obtaining a service animal meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standard of being individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.