Psychological Assessments and Diagnosis


  • Intellectual ability 

  • Giftedness

  • Literacy & numeracy 

  • Learning difficulties

  • Dementia, strokes 

  • Head injuries

  • General personality profiles 

  • Emotional problems 

The Sydney Counselling Centre's team of psychologists specialise in psychological assessments. These assessments have two functions:

  • To identify a client's special abilities and qualities, and

  • To help in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders.

The purpose of a psychological assessment is to obtain information from the client about his or her abilities and attributes, state of mind, and current level of function. The psychologist uses this information to develop an understanding of the client's condition and to implement appropriate treatment and therapy.


A psychological assessment generally involves two phases:

  • A face-to-face interview, and

  • Testing, using the latest psychological assessment measures and technology.

The interview gathers information about the client's background, schooling, work history, interests and activities, health, family situation and so on.

The tests generate a range of significant information about the client's skills, abilities, interests and attitudes. Together with the interview data, the test results tell us a lot about the client and measure a wide range of personal attributes, including:

  • Personality type

  • The overall level of intellectual ability

  • Specific cognitive and memory abilities

  • Social functioning skills

  • Vocational suitability, and

  • Any problems with substances, depression or anxiety, eating disorders, family issues, etc.



A psychological assessment is suitable for anyone who has been identified as having special intellectual abilities or disabilities, and in cases where a disorder warranting expert assessment is suspected.We deal mainly with people who are not currently in crisis, but who have ongoing difficulties which can be addressed through brief counselling, testing and training of various types - for example, people who:

  • Lack vocational goals or have difficulties holding jobs

  • Suffer moderately from emotional disorders

  • Have neurological problems, such as poor memory or brain injury

  • Suffer some types of psychiatric disorders

  • Have literacy, numeracy or learning problems.

The assessment process is not stressful or demanding for the client, and no special preparation is necessary. Where appropriate, the client may benefit from thinking beforehand about the issues he or she wants to discuss and explore with the psychologist. The interview takes about 60 to 90 minutes, and testing can be conducted during the same visit or at another time. The psychologist will explain the results of the tests to the client, in easily understood terms, and will discuss the resulting report (if applicable).



For the client's protection, psychological assessments are subject to strict privacy controls, under both the law and our own policy. We do not release information to third parties without the client's authority (although there are some very rare exceptions to this rule, as required by law), and within the Sydney Counselling Centre information about a client is restricted to staff involved in the case.

If you are interested in discussing a psychological assessment with one of our psychologists, call the Sydney Counselling Centre on (02) 9415 2223 for an appointment.