Understanding psychoeducational assessments with children and teens

What do they entail and why would I consider getting one for my child?

Psychoeducational assessments for children and adolescents are comprehensive evaluations aimed at understanding cognitive, academic, as well as emotional and behavioral functioning:

1-Cognitive skills: These are mental abilities involved in thinking, learning, and problem-solving. They include things like memory, attention, processing speed, reasoning, and language skills. Cognitive skills are essential for understanding information, making decisions, and adapting to new situations.

2-Academic functioning: This refers to a person’s performance and abilities in educational settings. It includes skills such as reading, writing, math, and comprehension. Academic functioning also involves factors like study habits, learning strategies, and the ability to apply knowledge in different subjects.

3-Emotional and behavioral functioning: This encompasses how individuals regulate their emotions, interact with others, and manage their behavior. It involves understanding and expressing emotions appropriately, coping with stress and challenges, and forming healthy relationships. Behavioral functioning includes actions, reactions, and habits that affect social interactions and daily functioning.

Assessments involve a range of standardized tests, observations, and interviews conducted by qualified psychologists, psychometrists, or other specialists. They delve into areas such as intellectual abilities, learning styles, memory, attention, executive functioning, and socio-emotional well-being. By examining these factors, psychoeducational assessments provide valuable insights into a child’s strengths and weaknesses, learning needs, and overall developmental profile. 

Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals typically seek these assessments to gain a deeper understanding of a child’s learning and behavioral challenges, identify any underlying issues such as learning disabilities, ADHD, or emotional disorders, and formulate tailored intervention plans. Ultimately, psychoeducational assessments empower individuals with knowledge about the child’s unique characteristics, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding educational placement, accommodations, and support services, thus fostering academic success and emotional well-being.

Jean-Phylippe Provencher, M.A.,is a psychometrist supervised by Dr. Nalini Iype, C. Psych., at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (CFIR). Using a personable and engaging approach, Mr. Provencher provides psychological services to families by conducting psychoeducational assessments. Beyond determining the presence or absence of diagnoses, the purpose is to determine the best ways in which parents and teachers can support children to reach their full academic potential and thrive in their personal and family lives.

Building Relationships in Work-life is Key. It’s a two-way street.

Not feeling fulfilled at work? This might be why.

By: Erin Leslie

Are your work products and talents being diminished? How do you know?

Diminishing language or behaviour can be tricky to identify sometimes, especially if you are looking up to the other person as a mentor. 

Constructive feedback is a key indicator.

Leaders who support their teams typically share knowledge and best practices as an investment in you. After a collaborative effort or task review meeting you should feel like your next version or action will be your best! 

If you’re facing a wall of disappointment after your meetings, take some time to reflect on your own actions, the mentor relationships you have, the type of language being discussed and what you need from it to improve. 

How do you attempt to relay key message to your work peers and or mentors and ask them for guidance that fills your productivity bank? Not empties it.

Career counselling helps you understand the “ick” in your work-life and establish ways on how you can work to improve difficult or diminishing relationships. It highlights key areas that could be impacting your quality of work and provide you with implementable tools on how to improve them.

Here are some key reflections that can help you identify if you have positive working relationships and supportive communication at your current job:

  • How would you rate your ability to be assertive when its most necessary. 
  • Are you able to extend compassion at moments when it counts at work? 
  • How do you transmit information to your team or peers positively?
  • How do you internalize stressful or negative information? 
  • Do you see relationship building as an enabler or a hurdle?
  • Do you wish you could set personal work boundaries that support your needs emotionally but that don’t cut you off from the work team?
  • Are you able to inform a colleague that you are not satisfied with their communication style and need them to meet you in a different space?
  • How do you promote open and collaborative thinking at work? 
  • What is your network worth to you and how to evaluate its value?

Career coaching gives you tools to improve balanced work relationships and improves your career reach with how to grow a productive professional network. Have more confidence in your vocational relationships for a more focused work-life outcome for your future. 

Erin Leslie is a career counsellor at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (CFIR). Recenlty named 2022 Top 15 Coaches in Ottawa. With over 20 years in business leading technology teams delivering innovation in private and public sectors, Erin understands the complexity of career building and business strengths through an emotional intelligence lens. She publicly speaks about the invisible skillset EQ and how industries are shifting to a more human-centered focus to improve outcomes for employees, products and services. Erin is certified in EQ-i 2.0 assessments, performs vocational assessment analysis, and career planning to help professionals, teams and newcomers’ with all aspects of business negotiation, personal branding, networking and career accelerator skills. She believes that every career could benefit from career counselling.

Back to School – How to Support your Child’s Choice of a Profession

 By: Erin Leslie, EQ-i Certified

Choosing a career can be a daunting task for young adults.  Being the parent of a child embarking on this process can be stressful as there are not always simplified resources available in academia to support young adults with the tools to guide them to a fulfilling profession. 

 It’s especially hard for a young person, as they have less work experience and limited life experiences to know what they like and how to best leverage their skills in a work environment. Part of parenting is providing the pathways to help guide a decision-making process so that the result is a self-made fulfilling choice and a new horizon towards personal development. However rarely does life follow a unique path and when time and ideas are limited resources where do you and/or your child turn to for support?

Career counselling helps individuals discover their best suited career pathway and helps to guide them with tools to improve essential career building skills. 

It’s important to choose the right educational options in order to lead to a great first step into a new career journey. Through coaching and vocational assessments, you can have important information in hand in a short matter of time to make informed and positive decisions for you career. 

Did you know that career choices before or after graduation depend on your ability to network in your preferred industry?

Not sure what is your preferred industry? 

Not sure how to network? 

Looking for help to improve your ability to land the right job for your career now or after you graduate? 

Career counselling is a proven support to getting the tools you need to succeed. 

Here are a few of the ways in which career counselling can give you a personal edge on leading a successful early career experience:

  • Resume tips 
  • Understanding the power of Mentorship 
  • Skills and vocational types assessments
  • Networking guidance 
  • Interview preparation 101
  • Presentation materials and tips 
  • Industry and profession navigation support 
  • Job market trends
  • Passion vs. Needs and how to balance your vocational objectives
  • Core skills and how to bring them to the forefront in your work

Don’t wait to plan your career, a common myth is that you need to be a graduate in order to plan your career. Get a head start on being in the right work for you at the beginning of your career. Learn how to build a successful carer plan that you can adapt over time to support your vocation development with a career coach.

Erin Leslie is a career counsellor at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (CFIR). Recenlty named 2022 Top 15 Coaches in Ottawa. With over 20 years in business leading technology teams delivering innovation in private and public sectors, Erin understands the complexity of career building and business strengths through an emotional intelligence lens. She publicly speaks about the invisible skillset EQ and how industries are shifting to a more human-centered focus to improve outcomes for employees, products and services. Erin is certified in EQ-i 2.0 assessments, performs vocational assessment analysis, and career planning to help professionals, teams and newcomers’ with all aspects of business negotiation, personal branding, networking and career accelerator skills. She believes that every career could benefit from career counselling.

Why can’t I just focus!?

By: Dr. Peter Egeto, C.Psych (Supervised Practice)

Everyone has this thought run through their head when they’re having trouble focusing on a work task, school assignment, or other commitment. It is a very frustrating obstacle, so why can’t we just focus?

Attention is the first, and crucial step to apply our thinking power to a task. Without it, we’re unable to learn, problem solve, or think clearly. There are lots of reasons why our attention can be challenged. 

Anxiety often takes attention away from the task at hand. Evolutionarily, anxiety developed partly to help us survive by looking for threats in the environment. Although your project deadline may not be a life or death “threat,” the emotion still kicks in and draws your attention away from the work you’re trying to do.

Alternately, some people’s brains develop differently, and have trouble controlling their attention. This is referred to as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD have great difficulty focusing because they are easily distracted by other thoughts or things in their surroundings. It can feel like your head is a vortex of racing thoughts, which can make a simple task frustrating or daunting.

How can I focus better? 

Luckily, there are ways to optimize your attention. Completing a neuropsychological assessment is a good way to tease apart whether your attention is hindered by anxiety, or potentially ADHD. It can also offer solutions tailored to your unique issues. Anxiety management strategies can free up your attention, while ADHD can be managed with medication, therapy, or both. 

Six Reasons to Book Your Appointment at CFIR Toronto Today

Did you know that Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (Toronto) opened the doors to our new, spacious office located at 790 Bay St. in June 2018? Our relocation is an exciting chapter in the story of CFIR as we continue to provide accessible and flexible mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, couples, families & groups. There are a lot of good reasons to consider coming to CFIR’s Toronto location for an appointment. Here are six that immediately come to mind:

1. Vast Clinical Experience – Psychologists at CFIR are skilled professionals ready to address the cognitive, emotional, behavioural, interpersonal and socio-cultural dimensions of your concerns. 

2. Location – 790 Bay Street is a medical office building located in the heart of downtown Toronto. CFIR is now just steps from major downtown hospitals including Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sick Kids Hosptial. We’re also in very close proximity to College Subway Station, and buses as well as the PATH (our underground walkway through the business district). On-site and underground paid parking is available.

3. Broad and Flexible Treatment Options – We believe it is crucial for your clinician to be able to be flexible in offering a variety of scientific, evidence-based treatments to address the various facets of your concerns. No one treatment fits all, so we provide you with different possibilities.  At CFIR, we take an integrative approach to treatment, to ensure we tailor them to each client’s needs. 

4. One Stop for All Mental Health Issues – CFIR provides a wide-range of specialized services to support you:

Treatment Services:

  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Adoption
  • Anger & Emotion Regulation
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Attention Deficit & Learning Challenges
  • Career & Workplace
  • Child Psychology
  • Couples Therapy
  • Depression Mood & Grief
  • Eating Weight & Body Image
  • Family Psychology
  • Fertility Counselling
  • Forensic Treatment
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Relationships 
  • Multicultural
  • Neuropsychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive
  • Personality
  • Rehabilitation Psychology
  • Self-Growth & Self-Esteem
  • Sex Therapy
  • Sexual Addiction
  • Sexuality Gender & Relationship Diversity
  • Substance Use
  • Trauma Psychology & PTSD

Assessment Services:

  • Adoption Assessment
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation
  • Attention Deficit & ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder
  • Career & Vocational
  • Couples & Pre-Marital
  • Disability Injury & Accident
  • Fertility & Third-Party Reproduction
  • Forensic Assessment
  • Immigration & Refugee
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Personality & Interpersonal Functioning
  • Psychodiagnosis & Mental Health
  • Psychoeducation Assessment
  • Trauma & Dissociation

5. Remote Support that Can Come to You – We make it easier to address your concerns by offering you a secure, confidential and private way for you to get the care that you need via our optional SecureVideo Telepsychology Service.*

6. Coverage by Most Insurance Plans – Private extended insurance plans (as well as Medavie/BlueCross (RCMP, Veterans Affairs, Canadian Armed Forces) and CUPE) provide coverage for CFIR services.  Our Psychologists are approved providers of the Canadian Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for Refugees.  

Clinicians at CFIR will conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the factors that have contributed to your concerns. The assessment is followed up with a treatment plan to address your issues and provide you with a sense of the treatment duration, and what type of progress and change you can expect over time.

There you have it, six solid reasons to book your initial appointment at CFIR – Toronto today. With offices in Toronto and Ottawa, we’ll get you started on your journey towards positive change.  Click here to request your session.

*SecureVideo Telepsychology Services are only available for Ontario residents. 

Assessments 101: What You Can Expect from an Evaluation Through CFIR

There are different times when someone may need to access psychological assessment services.

Take, for example, situations where a family physician or a vocational rehabilitation organization refers a patient for evaluation through psychological tests. Or when an assessment needs to happen as part of an initial intake with a mental health professional.

Psychological assessment contributes important information to the understanding of individual characteristics and capabilities, through the collection, integration, and interpretation of information about an individual (Groth-Marnat, 2009; Weiner, 2003).

One of the key objectives for testing is to identify the factors that have contributed to concerns related to an individual’s emotional or mental health. At CFIR, depending on your concerns, and our assessment (and any diagnosis if rendered or requested), we will make recommendations about whether a specific treatment approach or a combination of approaches may be required to help you with your problem.

CFIR’s Assessment Services offer comprehensive, scientific and evidence-based psychological evaluations for children, adolescents, adults, and couples.

1.    The Adoption Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments for individuals and couples who are considering adopting a child. Our clinical psychologists are highly trained and have conducted numerous adoption assessments of caregivers and families wanting to adopt children domestically or internationally (e.g., South Korea, Philippines, Columbia). Click here for more information.

2.    The Alcohol & Drug Evaluation Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments of your own or your loved one’s alcohol and drug use. Our clinical psychologists use the information acquired to determine whether alcohol and/or drug use diagnoses are applicable and outline treatment plans for those wanting or needing to change their substance use. Click here for more information.

3.   The Attention Deficit & ADHD Assessment Service offers comprehensive, scientific and evidence-based psychological assessments for children, adolescents and adults struggling with attentional issues or disorders. These assessments are administered when individuals have experienced struggles with attention, concentration and/or hyperactivity that have negatively impacted academic or work performance or relationships. Click here for more information.

4.    The Autism Spectrum & Developmental Disorder Assessment Service provides comprehensive, scientific, evidence-based psychological testing to children, adolescents and adults to render or clarify diagnoses of autism spectrum or developmental disorders. 

There is a great deal of research that suggests that early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders can lead to significant improvements in an individual’s life. An assessment is the first step in the process; we can identify whether a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applicable or not and make recommendations so that appropriate treatment can be put in place in the community as well as at school. Click here for more information.

5.    The Career & Vocational Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological evaluations to support you or your loved one to find a new career that is best suited to your needs, interests, strengths, and goals. We provide a thorough assessment that uses a variety of scientific, evidence-based questionnaires to assess various factors (e.g., occupational interests) that are important in clarifying your career possibilities. Click here for more information

6.    The Couples & Pre-Marital Assessment Service provides new couples or couples in long-term relationships a comprehensive assessment of their couple relationship for the purpose of helping partners to identify their relationship strengths and address areas of difficulty within the relationship. Click here for more information.

7.   The Disability, Injury & Accident Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological assessments of mental health symptoms, physical symptoms, and functioning in many domains (e.g., home, school, leisure). There are other symptoms and concerns that can occur following an accident, traumatic injury, or the onset of a physical illness or disability. These can include but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, trauma (PTSD), acute and chronic stress, adjustment to transitions and loss, functional impairments, and physical symptoms (e.g., chronic pain, fatigue). Click here for more information.

8.  The Fertility & Third-Party Reproduction Assessment Service provides individuals, couples and third-parties (i.e., donors or surrogates and their partners) with psychosocial assessments/counselling in preparation for all forms of assisted reproduction as required by a fertility clinic or lawyer. Click here for more information.

9.   The Immigration & Refugee Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological evaluations for foreign-born (i.e., outside of Canada) adolescents and adults who have applied for residency through the Immigration and Refugee Board. Click here for information.

10.  The Neuropsychological Assessment Service provides comprehensive psychological assessments to support clients in understanding their brain functioning as it relates to emotions, behaviour, and cognition. Click here for information.

11.   The Personality & Interpersonal Functioning Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of you and your loved one’s personality and interpersonal functioning. Typically, these types of assessments provide important information about the habitual ways that you tend to think, emotionally react and relate to others in everyday life. This information is important as some individuals struggle in everyday life as a result of some features of their personality and their manner of engagement with others and this blocks them from living a rich, meaningful and purposeful existence (e.g., developing and reaching personal goals, creating greater self-resilience, and developing strong relationships with others). Click here for information.

12.  The Psychodiagnosis & Mental Health Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of your or your loved one’s mental health concerns. Psychodiagnostic assessments provide a framework to understand your current psychological or psychiatric symptoms, challenges, and strengths. Click here for information.

13.   The Psychoeducation Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychoeducational assessments for children, adolescents and adults for the purpose of assessing cognitive and intellectual functioning, attention deficits and ADHD, learning challenges and giftedness. Click here for information.

14.  The Trauma & Dissociation Assessment Service offers comprehensive psychological evaluations of symptoms associated with traumatic experiences for the purpose of providing or clarifying diagnoses including Acute Stress, Adjustment, Post-Traumatic Stress, complex PTSD or Dissociative Disorders, and making treatment recommendations to address your concerns and struggles. Click here for information.

Contact us today to book your initial appointment. Services provided through CFIR are covered by most private extended insurance plans as well as Medavie/BlueCross (RCMP, Veterans Affairs, Canadian Armed Forces) and CUPE. CFIR Psychologists are also recognized as approved providers of the Canadian Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for Refugees.

We believe that everyone should be able to access quality services and receive optimal psychological care. Let us know if you would like to learn about our accessible low fee psychological treatment & assessment services options.

Call us now further information about the psychological services offered through our Ottawa and Toronto locations or to book a session with one of our counsellors.