Teens at Muir Wood enjoy game night

Psychological Testing & Assessment (Optional)

Dr. Barbara Nova implements psychological testing
Dr. Barbara Nova, Ph.D.
Psychological Testing
Dr. Jenny Forman implements psychological testing
Dr. Jenny Forman, Ph.D.
Psychological Testing

At Muir Wood, comprehensive psychological testing is optional if clinically necessary and facilitated by leading neuropsychologists. Psychological testing and assessment is conducted by Dr. Barbara Nova, Dr. Jim Moses, or Dr. Jenny Forman, all widely recognized experts in this field. Testing plays a critical role in treatment and a summary of the results is presented by one of these three trusted professionals with parents either during treatment or at time of discharge.

Among teenagers, drug and alcohol abuse is very often a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder, behavioral disorder, or learning disability, often referred to as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Teens struggling with these underreported (and often undiagnosed) issues frequently turn to drugs and alcohol to seek relief from feelings of poor self-esteem, worthlessness, frustration, fear, and sadness.

During his treatment at Muir Wood, your son may receive comprehensive neuropsychological, cognitive, and personality testing, along with medical, psychiatric and clinical evaluations. As experts in treating co-occurring disorders, we are able to use the information from to establish a specialized treatment plan to address underlying issues and individual needs of every teen in our care.

Psychological Testing allows us to:

  • Create a customized plan to treat the underlying cause of maladaptive coping strategies like substance abuse
  • Develop a strategy for medication (if necessary) based on empirical evidence, and make adjustments when necessary
  • Identify and work on interpersonal issues that might disrupt an ability to maintain sobriety

What tests are used?

We utilize a full battery of tests to identify areas of need in your son’s functioning abilities, that may include the following:

  • Client Interview and History (typically 1-2 hours)
  • Parent Interview and History (typically 1-2 hours)
  • Intelligence Testing such as the WAIS, WISC, or other (typically 1-2 hours)
  • Achievement Testing (typically 1-2 hours)
  • Bender Gestalt Visual Motor Test (half hour)
  • Beery-Buktenica Visual Motor Integration Test (half hour)
  • Holden Personality Inventory (50 minutes)
  • Trailmaking (.25 hour)
  • MMPI-2 (2 hours)
  • MACI (1.5 hours)
  • Rorschach Inkblot Test (2-3 hours)
  • Projective Card Test RATC, TAT, AAT (1-2 hours)
  • Projective Drawing Tests/Incomplete Sentence Test (1 hour)
  • Parent-Teacher Questionnaires BASC, Achenbach, Conners (1 hour)
  • Feedback Sessions with teen and parent (2 hours)

Drs. Nova, Moses, and Forman administer cognitive and psychological testing. All are accomplished psychologists, who uses neuropsychological tests and clinical interviews designed to identify and describe the emotional, behavioral and learning problems that your teen may be experiencing. This valuable information is used to customize his treatment plan based on the diagnosis and is fully integrated into daily treatment. When done correctly, a thorough psychological test can be integral in the success of treatment and yield key findings such as the severity of depression or anxiety, the presence of a learning disability, academic strengths or weaknesses, causes of emotional difficulties, positive and negative coping strategies, reasons for aggression, and insight into issues such as trauma and attachment issues. This information helps us to create a unique program of treatment that actively and specifically addresses all underlying issues, providing your son with the tools necessary to make real progress and sustained healing.