Psychologists Tampa Diagnosis: Tips to Understanding and Addressing Mental Health Concerns | Rice Psychology
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Psychologists Tampa Diagnosis: Tips to Understanding and Addressing Mental Health Concerns

Psychologists Tampa Diagnosis: Tips to Understanding and Addressing Mental Health Concerns Psychologists Tampa

I learned a long time ago that diagnosis informs treatment. I can credit Harold Koplowitz, MD, founder of the Child Mind Institute, for that gem.

Many people come to me wanting a psychologists Tampa diagnosis, while others specifically do not want a diagnosis. Either way, everyone wants an understanding of what’s wrong and how to make it better. That is what I believe we do best at Rice Psychology Group.

We Offer Individualized Care

I have recently been doing comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for elementary and middle school kids. While I don’t love writing reports I do love the process of coming up with hypothesis for why a student might struggle behaviorally, emotionally or with some aspect of learning. I love going into my brain and reviewing all the different types of tests I have at my disposal so that in the midst of an assessment session I can pick and choose, and try to zero in on exactly what I think the problem is. This is the difference between a psychologist who gives the exact same testing battery to everyone who walks through their door and a psychologist who individualizes their testing based on the presenting concerns and then has the expertise and resources to really hone in on what’s going on as they get to know the student during the course of the evaluation.

What to Expect During an Initial Appointment

The same thing happens in the beginning stages of therapy. We always start with an initial intake session and create a beginning treatment plan based on a diagnosis or a description of what we believe is going on. However, as we get to know our patients, sometimes what we thought was going on in the beginning changes and has to be updated. Knowing somebody for an hour and knowing somebody for a month or two often provides a much deeper and comprehensive picture. Some people want to put their best foot forward when first meeting a therapist and will minimize the extent of their difficulties, while other people will say that everything is terrible. It is also not uncommon for shame or embarrassment to make it too hard to talk about what’s really going on until further into the therapy relationship and some amount of trust has been built. We know that sometimes our initial diagnosis or impression, while not necessarily wrong, is just the tip of the iceberg.

I believe this is part of what makes Rice Psychology different from other practices, which is that we don’t do our evaluations in one day, even though that might be the most efficient route. We prefer to see people over a couple of different visits because it allows us to get to know them better instead of a one-and-done. So much stock is placed in our evaluations. We take them seriously and are committed to doing the best job possible.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to know that there is so much value in deeply understanding what might be troubling or causing difficulties for you, your child, or loved one. And it can be scary. It can be tempting to put our heads in the sand like an ostrich, but the alternative is so empowering.

What Happens Next?

Once we know the what and the why behind someone’s suffering, we can create a roadmap to improve the quality of their life.

  • For kids, this might mean getting them the right help for their learning or attention problems.
  • For someone who has been irritable lately, we might find that they have previously undiagnosed anxiety that has led them to not want to do anything that seems risky.
  • For parents, it might mean helping them learn some behavior management strategies so they feel more in control of what they are doing at home with their kids.

Request an Appointment with Our Psychologists Tampa

Don’t be afraid of a diagnosis. Understanding the problem is often the key to making it better. Otherwise we end up doing nothing, being ineffective or taking the kitchen sink approach where we throw everything we’ve got at a problem without really knowing what, if anything, will help.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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