The word “Assessment” can have negative associations. The standard process is to meet together for an informal “assessment” where we develop a shared understanding of any difficulties that a person is experiencing, potential causes and patterns. This can help us both to understand the situation better and make it easier to work out how therapy could be helpful and what therapeutic models would work best. One session is usually enough for this informal assessment.
Sometimes it is helpful to have a more formal assessment perhaps where people wish to know whether they meet diagnostic criteria for a specific mental health difficulty or to help better identify a child’s needs so that families can inform school and other agencies. This may involve more than one session, perhaps meeting different people (where children are involved and always with consent) and also may involve the use of psychometric measures, such as questionnaires or diagnostic interviews.
A report is often produced as a result of this assessment which details the conclusions and includes recommendations for what could be helpful moving forwards. There is an extra charge involved for reports. The client will own the report and will be able to determine who the report is shared with (unless there are safeguarding concerns).