Symptoms of anxiety-related disorders can frequently one to seek therapy or psychiatric treatment, but not all disorders are treated the same way. Understanding the source of your symptoms is an important step in understanding which treatments might be best for you. Also, the source of your anxiety can impact how a mental health provider delivers therapeutic interventions and how they handle the alliance, or the working relationship, throughout the process of treatment.
Which Providers Can Identify Anxiety Disorders?
Many mental health providers can offer diagnostic services to evaluate the presence of anxiety. The initial phases of therapy and psychiatric treatment can include diagnostic services in order to conceptualize your problems before core treatment interventions are chosen. These brief diagnostic approaches may be especially common when the anxiety symptoms are relatively few in number, mild, and when the triggers for the symptoms are easily identifiable. In more complex cases, when a variety of symptoms exist or when a brief diagnostic process does not yield the full results, psychological testing (such as testing through a trained psychologist) can be crucial. Some mental health problems which can accompany anxiety (such as attention or memory problems) might not be easily assessed in a brief meeting with a treatment provider and can be especially important to address in psychological testing.
What Does Testing for Anxiety Look Like?
Psychological testing uses a variety of methods to understand your anxiety. Obtaining a thorough background history is important to understand when and how your anxiety first appeared and how it may have changed over time. Understanding your triggers and your abilities to cope with your distress are important for your anxiety to know. As some individuals with anxiety can have difficulty expressing their symptoms and concerns in a face-to-face interaction, it can be helpful to know that evaluations are designed to include methods to supplement the information collected in the interview. Performance-based tests (for instance, tests which measure mental abilities) and self-report questionnaires can help to provide quantitative data about your symptoms. Interviews with a family member or a close friend, with permission of the client, can also help to supplement the information in the interview. The process is thorough, and at the end of the evaluation process, you can receive personalized feedback with regards to your symptoms and what treatment might be most helpful.