Overview Of Wellstar's Psychological Services
Psychological Evaluations. At the request of physicians and patients themselves, WellStar psychologists conduct various types of psychological evaluations. In most cases, if you intend that insurance pay for you care, a physician referral is required. Types of evaluations offered by WellStar psychologists include the following:
General Psychological Evaluations
- Description: Patients with complex psychiatric diagnoses are often referred for a general psychological evaluation to differentiate between and amongst diagnoses, and help determine the appropriate course of treatment. To ensure a collaborative process, patients are often asked at the onset of these evaluations, "What do you hope to learn about yourself?"
- Common Diagnostic Differentials: Anxiety Disorders; Bipolar Disorder; Borderline Personality Disorder; Depressive Disorders; Psychotic Disorders; Somatization Disorders (physical symptom(s) resulting from a psychological issue, like headaches); Substance-Related Disorders; etc.
- Estimated Time for Evaluation: Initial diagnostic interview plus 1-6 hours of testing. The scope of testing will be determined during your initial appointment.
- Description: Patients are referred for neuropsychological testing after experiencing cognitive symptoms, such as attention problems, learning difficulties, memory loss, confusion, speech or language impairment, problems with movement, or problems doing things they used to do without difficulty. Neuropsychological evaluations involve specialized testing that focuses on identifying cognitive deficits and the localization of any organic abnormalities - regions of the brain that are affected by a disease process or a brain injury. Such evaluations can help determine whether and to what extent a patient is dealing with actual (not perceived) cognitive impairment.
- Common Diagnostic Differentials: ADHD; Alzheimer's Dementia; Cognitive Impairment due to Traumatic Brain Injury; Delirium; Learning Disability; Lewy Body Dementia; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Vascular Dementia; etc.
- Estimated Time for Evaluation: Initial diagnostic interview plus 2-8 hours of testing. The scope of testing will be determined during your initial appointment.
Pre-Surgical Evaluations for Spinal Cord Stimulators
- Description: Implanted in the lower abdominal or gluteal region, spinal cord stimulators can help to reduce the pain experienced by patients experiencing complex regional pain syndrome, failed back surgery, or other medical problems causing neuropathic pain. Patients electing to undergo this procedure are often required to have psychological evaluations to ensure their ability to tolerate the implanted device.
- Estimated Time for Evaluation: Initial diagnostic interview plus two hours of testing
Pre-Surgical Evaluations for Weight Loss Surgery
- Description: Patients who intend to pursue weight loss surgery via the duodenal switch, lap band, roux-en-y, or vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedures are typically required to undergo a psychological evaluation. Obesity is a complex and multifaceted problem, which is often related to biological, as well as emotional and behavioral, vulnerabilities. As part of the pre-surgical evaluation, patients are administered a battery of tests that help bring to light any emotional and behavioral contributors to a person's weight difficulty. Treatment recommendations are made to help patients avoid falling back into these behaviors.
- Estimated Time for Evaluation: Initial diagnostic interview plus 2-3 hours of testing
Individual & Group Interventions. Psychotherapy and behavioral modification services are provided to a range of patients with diverse treatment needs.In contrast to WellStar's Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, which provides longer-term and intensive treatments to patients with psychiatric problems, WellStar's Clinical Psychology practice focuses primarily on treatments for patients with medical conditions that have a psychological component, and for whom brief, evidence-based interventions are appropriate. Patients pursuing psychotherapy or behavioral modification services undergo an initial diagnostic evaluation. Subsequent sessions last 45 to 50 minutes on average. Although we meet most of our patients individually, we also intermittently offer groups that target a particular problem. The focus of sessions will always be the issues that brought you to us.
Clinical Supervision. WellStar's team of clinical psychologists are involved in the training of doctoral practicum students from APA-accredited, psychology training programs. Individual and group supervisionis offered in accordance with training objectives and individualized student needs. The training of graduate students ensures that our psychologists remain committed to the latest scientific literature and remain abreast of the most current treatment advancements in the field.
Research. Our clinical psychologists are involved in clinical translational research and quality improvement initiatives. Our investment in research is premised on the importance of our clinicians contributing to the scientific literature and ensuring that our practices are grounded, first and foremost, in scientific rationale. At present, members of our practice are involved in research collaborations with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mental Illness Research, Education, & Clinical Center (MIRECC), and academic institutions (e.g. The University of Georgia).