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Psychiatric Evaluation

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A psychiatric evaluation is, in its simplest terms, an evaluation designed to diagnose emotional, behavioral, and developmental conditions or disorders.  The initial evaluation will explore many aspects including developmental history, medical history, family history, social and environmental influences, academic/work concerns, and emotional and cognitive (thinking) strengths and weaknesses.  A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatrist has his or her own system for the initial evaluation and an absolute diagnosis may not be made in the first visit.  Depending on who is being evaluated such as a child, adolescent, or adult, there are different components involved in the psychiatric evaluation.  For example, the evaluation of a child may consist of an initial session with the parents and the child meetining seperately during the child’s first individual session, or it could be a session with the parents and child together.  An adult evaluation, however, may consist of one long session that ends with a clinical formulation and recommendation.  While this is dependent on the individual practitioner and his or her expertise, many topics will be reviewed in a psychiatric evaluation prior to making a clinical formulation and recommendation.