Psychological Testing in Counseling of Students

Psychological Testing in Counseling of Students

Counseling is regarded as one of the most helpful professions on Earth; many people are still unclear about its genuine meaning, objective, and purpose. Likely, advising others has always taken place in some form inside human civilization. We are relational creatures with a wide spectrum of emotions and an intrinsic desire to live full lives free from pain. Counseling not only helps address mental health issues, but it may also assist people, communities, organizations, and society as a whole maximize wellness. To assess mental well-being, professionals employ various tools and methodologies providing a more critical insight onto people’s lives. 

A psychological test is often designed to measure unobserved constructs. It can include a series of tasks or problems that the client has to solve or respond to. Psychological tests include questionnaires, interviews, and an individual’s performance at a specific point in time right now. Psychologists mainly talk about a person’s “present functioning” in terms of their test results. Psychologists use psychological testing in the same way as medical doctors use lab work, X-rays, and physical exams i.e., to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend treatment, when necessary. Hence, psychological testing is the basis for mental health treatment.

Psychological Tests and assessments can be of two types objective and projective:

•    Objective testing involves answering the questions with set responses like yes/no or true/false, or choosing one option out of two or more.
•    Projective testing evaluates the responses to ambiguous stimuli in the hopes of uncovering the hidden emotions and internal conflicts in the individual’s subconscious mind. 

Both types of tests provide valuable insight into the symptoms and help psychologists or counselors see the overall level of functioning and distress. Psychological testing includes formal or norm-referenced tests to measure the ability to comprehend different concepts. The tests can be in the form of checklists or questionnaires in objective or subjective form. This test measure ensures the reliability, validity, and objectivity necessary to avoid bias in scoring or interpreting your results. Psychological testing can be conducted for several reasons including diagnosing mental health conditions and identifying troubling behavior. According to the APA, American Psychological Association, the following symptoms may indicate that a psychological test may be needed:

•    increased social withdrawal
•    nervousness
•    changes in mood
•    difficulty completing normal tasks
•    a dramatic change in sleep and eating habits
•    problems with concentration

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for guidance and further treatment. Basically, in the field of mental health and counseling, a psychological test can be observed as a stimulus presented to an individual to elicit a response based on which the judgment is made on certain attributes, abilities, and capabilities possessed by that client. This is why some psychologists, counselors, and mental health professionals define a test as an objective sample of some aspects of behavior. 

Psychological test reports help counselors get a clear idea and proper evidence of the problem their client is struggling with. It helps them in making a well-structured treatment plan and organizes their strategies in a way that’s best in the favor of their client.   It aims to provide a representative sample of the client’s behavior, including cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional processes, and is a standardized procedure in use to obtain this sample. This testing procedure includes questionnaires, interviews, surveys, and tests. These tools are selected to best match the client’s unique needs, and their selection requires clinical judgment and an understanding of the individual’s context. It is also used to understand the client’s strengths and capabilities. As a person’s strengths are very important to their well-being. This gives the counselor a clear idea of what is working for the client and what’s not working, how they can make the most of their strengths, and what needs to be avoided.

There are a few important points to consider when evaluating a potential client. Although there are many methods to assess an individual’s mental abilities and functioning. One of them involves observation of a person’s behavior, actions, and reactions to certain things and questions. The second one is the use of checklists, questionnaires, and standardized measures. To assess core mental residual functional capacity, the counselors use standardized questionnaires. These tools help them identify strengths and weaknesses and guide treatment in the best possible way for their clients. Various tests are also there which are used to determine a person’s general abilities. These are mainly useful when it comes to assessing a patient’s general health.

Students need guidance and counseling, and college plays a significant part in bringing out the best in them. Although good behavior is desired, sometimes young brains require direction to develop their personalities. Students receive guidance through counseling on how to handle and resolve emotional conflict and personal issues. The right counseling will assist them in applying important lessons to their daily lives. Career counseling should be a part of certain sessions when students are counseled on the choice of courses and various career pathways. These are the foundations on which the entire mental well-being of students is going to establish. Our curriculum is designed to cater to the development of the cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and emotional domains of students. We at SAGE University promote an open and independent learning environment in order to accelerate toward great psychological health.

Ms. Radhika Sahu
Assistant Professor

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