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A psychological evaluation or mental examination is an examination into a person's mental health by a mental health professional such as a psychologist. A psychological evaluation may result in a diagnosis of a mental illness. It is the mental equivalent of a physical examination.Different components are assessed depending on the circumstances:
- Behavioral assessment
- Cognitive assessment
- Geriatric assessment
- Needs assessment
- Neuropsychologial assessment
Situations requiring psychological evaluations
In mental health settings the psychological assessment goes into the multidisciplinary assessment process along with the psychiatric evaluation and nursing assessment and contributions from the other professionals. This helps
Applicants to sensitive jobs, such as jobs in intelligence or other jobs handling state secrets, may be required to submit to a psychological evaluation before they can be employed, although usually a background check is much more important.
Courts may order a competency evaluation of a defendant to determine competency to stand trial. An insanity defense will also usually require the defendant to undergo a psychological forensic evaluation.
The psychologist or related licensed professional will start by asking questions of the person being evaluated sometimes but not always. In psychological evaluations the administration of standardized psychological tests and interview schedules either by a psychologist, or by someone the psychologist supervises, are often a component of the evaluation. In clinical settings the psychologist may conduct a psychodignostic interview or a [[structured clinical interview.
In most cases the psychological assessment process leads to the production of a psychological report