Psychology Knowledge

Understanding and Applying Psychology in Your Home


Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Illness

clinical psychologist testing, depressed femaleClinical psychologists are often asked to help figure out what is wrong when someone develops troubling psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety and eating or sleep problems. Sometimes an interview is sufficent to gather the important details and decide what is going on psychologically. Often the psychologist will make a tentative decision what is wrong and update the diagnosis over several contacts with a client.

  Psychological Testing. There are times when psychological testing can improve a psychologists understanding of the problem, and typically a battery of tests are given along with an interview. Not all situations call for testing. However when a complex question, such as when a learning disability may be present, or when the fitness of a parent is questioned in a child custody dispute tests are helpful. Tests used by a psychologist are discussed in subsequent pages, as is the use of psychological testing to address court-related legal issues.

DSM-5 In recent years, psychologists and psychiatrists in the U.S. have come to rely upon the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - soon to be published in its latest version (5). This "field guide" approach to diagnosis makes for better agreement among frontline clinicians. Psychology Knowledge critiques the pros and cons of this approach, and lists the diagnoses and their accompanying codes.

Diagnoses discussed in Depth

In addition to the DSM descriptive approach Psychology Knowledge plan to discuss several of the prominent diagnoses as the website evolves, including Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Trauma and PTSD, Personality Disorders and Adjustment Disorders.


Therapy for Managing Psychological Problems

If you are one of the approximately one in five persons who have significant mental health issues, you may be wondering which kind of therapy will fit you the best, how much will it cost, how long will it take, and will it work.

Many kinds of therapy have been developed and found to be helpful, but some forms of treatment have more research to support their effectiveness, and some psychological problems respond better to specific interventions. 

In our guide to psychotherapy you will come to know the most common therapies used today, ranging from Freud's classical psychoanalysis to more modern cognitive behavioral techniques.

You will also find a discussion of what are the factors that make therapy effective, and pointers for things you can do to make therapy work best for you.

For many psychological problems psychotherapy works as well as psychiatric medication, and with fewer physical side effects.



Consumer reports found in a big survey that psychotherapy was seen as very helpful, and the longer a person was in therapy the better thier reported success. Therapists were described as supportive, insightful and easy to confide in.



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 psychologist quote about neurosis

"Neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity."

--Sigmund Freud

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