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Psychological Testing Integrated into Adolescent Residential Treatment Program

Atlanta, GA – Skyland Trail, a nonprofit residential treatment program for adults and adolescents in Atlanta, recently began offering psychological testing as an integrated component of the adolescent residential treatment program for teens ages 14 to 17.

During the first two weeks of residential treatment, most adolescent clients participate in psychological testing with the psychological services team. Adolescent patients complete a series assessments, including self-report questionnaires, computerized tasks, and some interactive components, and parents and guardians may provide feedbacks for some activities. Psychological testing typically takes place over multiple sessions for a total of about 8 to 10 hours.

Standard and normed psychological tests may uncover learning, behavioral, emotional, psychiatric, or cognitive challenges as well as identify strengths that a teen may apply to achieving their goals. Skyland Trail uses results of psychological testing to clarify the adolescent patient’s diagnoses and to help match them with the most appropriate evidence-based treatment. Information from psychological testing may inform medication strategies when appropriate, goals for individual therapy sessions, skill development focus in academic services, and strategies for improved social engagement and healthy relationships.

Beyond Skyland Trail, families may use results from psychological testing to guide continued mental health treatment in the community or to request specialized services or accommodations from schools or other programs.

Psychological testing is also a component of the adult mental health residential treatment program when indicated and ordered by a psychiatrist.

Psychological testing is an important part of Skyland Trail’s evidence-based treatment program and commitment to measurement-based care. Teen patients in the adolescent residential treatment program are assigned to specialized groups and treatment teams based on symptoms identified through the admission assessment and psychological testing. Adolescents are assigned to the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills group or the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills group, and all adolescents participate in groups focused on ecological systems theory. Clients also engage in behavioral activation groups including sports and fitness, music therapy, horticultural therapy, and art therapy.

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