At Clarity Psychology, we believe that an assessment can be the first step in getting to the root of your (or your child’s) academic, social, and/or emotional challenges.

We have one of the largest and most highly trained teams of assessment specialists in the Edmonton region. Our level of training will help you feel confident in the results of the assessment, possible diagnoses, and treatment recommendations. We pride ourselves on our level of expertise in the field, our focus on being helpful to our clients, and the level of detail and effort we put into each evaluation.

We have built a strong reputation in the community based on thousands of assessments and have numerous contracts with school boards, government agencies, and insurance companies.

Clarity Psychology offers high-quality individual assessments that help to bring transparency to the most complex issues. In many cases, parents are seeking out an assessment for a variety of reasons. If any of these concerns sound familiar to you, you may benefit from seeking out an assessment for your child:

  • My child isn’t at grade level, but I’m not sure why.
  • Teachers have been commenting that my child has a hard time listening and completing work in class.
  • My child works so hard, but they are still struggling.
  • My child hates school and it’s a battle to get them to go.
  • I’m getting calls about my child not listening in class and arguing with their teacher.
  • My child is so anxious about school and this is making learning even harder for them.

At Clarity Psychology, we also regularly work with adults and can help to answer questions regarding learning, occupational, or mental health concerns, including:

  • I have always had a hard time focusing in school or at work, especially when something is boring.
  • I need to read things many times before I understand.
  • I feel my mood or anxiety is affecting my relationships or impacting my career.
  • Why do I need to work so much harder than everyone else?
  • It feels like everything in my life is hard and I don’t know why.
  • I always run out of time on exams or work assignments and need some accommodations.
  • I have a family history of mental health struggles and I wonder if I have the same challenges.
  • I wonder what kinds of jobs best suit my skills and abilities.


What is an assessment?

If you are uncertain about what a formal assessment with a psychologist is, we are here to walk you through the process and to ensure that you understand the purpose, process, and benefits of a formal assessment.

A common definition of a formal assessment is a structured assessment where standardised tests and questionnaires are administered to help answer specific referral questions. In most cases, formal assessments need to be conducted by Registered Psychologists with an expertise and specialised training in psychological testing, as many of the commonly administered tests can ONLY be administered by psychologists (e.g., intellectual assessment, neuropsychological tests, certain personality and behavioural inventories).

As noted, formal assessments are structured, time-intensive, and comprehensive, and often take many hours to complete, both in terms of the testing components of the assessment, as well as the report, which is often quite lengthy and provides detailed information (as well as recommendations) regarding strengths and weaknesses.

At Clarity Psychology, we complete high quality, detailed, and useful formal assessments for a variety of purposes and across most age-ranges.

In contrast, an informal assessment can simply involve an interview and is fairly open to interpretation. Although some questionnaires may be used as part of an informal assessment, it would be unlikely that any standardised testing would be part of an informal assessment. It would also be unlikely a report would be completed after an informal assessment, although in some cases a brief letter may be issued (e.g., an informal assessment for insurance purposes).


Who should have an assessment done?

  • Are you a parent or guardian and are concerned about your child’s learning?
  • Are you struggling in some important areas of your own life and are looking for answers?
  • Are you wanting to advocate for you or your child and need an assessment to get your needs met?
  • Is your child struggling socially, emotionally, or in terms of their mental health and wellness and you are looking for answers?
  • Do you have a family history of mental health challenges or neurodevelopmental issues (e.g., ADHD, Learning Disorders, anxiety, depression) and are wanting to rule this out in yourself or your child?

Our clients are different in many ways; however, they all share one thing in common: they are wanting answers or clarity and are turning to us for help! Our team of highly trained assessment specialists can help you get to the bottom of the most complex problems and provide you with solutions that will benefit you and your family.

The Assessment Process

1. Initial consultation

At Clarity Psychology, we want to ensure you are comfortable with the assessment process. We offer free consultations before you book with us and will discuss the assessment process, cost, insurance coverage, and next steps.

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2. Selecting an assessing psychologist

We have one of the largest and most highly trained assessment teams in the
greater Edmonton region. We understand that in the mental health field “fit” is
important and we are able to provide our clients with numerous options when it
comes to selecting an assessing psychologist.

3. Testing

After completing the initial consultation, the assessing psychologist will select a range of assessment measures and tests (e.g., intellectual assessments, academic assessments, neuropsychological measures, behavioural questionnaires, mental health screeners). The assessment is conducted in a one-on-one setting. How long the assessment will take depends on the type of assessment and the referral concerns. It can range from a few hours to several days; breaks are offered as needed.

4. Report

The assessing psychologist will write a detailed report with background information, test data and result, diagnoses and recommendations.

5. Debrief

Once the report is completed our office will schedule a time to discuss the results of the assessment. These meetings can be conducted in-person, virtually, or over the phone. Our office will provide a PDF of the report, as well as paper copies if requested.

6. Follow-Up

We are always available to answer additional questions, discuss the results with schools or family doctors, and complete forms or additional paperwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

In most cases, assessments generally involve collecting information from a variety of sources, reviewing past medical and psychological information, interviewing clients (or others closely associated with the client, such as teachers and family members), and administering standardized assessment tools. Assessments often include intellectual testing (also known as IQ tests), academic evaluation, and other possible areas, such as receptive language, level of effort, and mental health symptomatology.

Once the assessment is completed, the assessor will compile all the information collected and complete a comprehensive report, which will include assessment results, diagnoses (based on DSM criteria), and valuable recommendations for those working with you, or your child.

The great news here is that no preparation is needed for most assessments. We may ask you to bring in previous psychological reports, medical documents, or other relevant information. However, in terms of the testing, the purpose of the assessment is to determine your current cognitive and academic skills and abilities, as well as current mental health status. Therefore, come as you are!

It is important to consider the uniqueness of each child when determining how and when to discuss a psychological or psychoeducational assessment with them. Some children thrive on preparation and do poorly when things are “sprung” on them. Other children become overwhelmed when given too much time to think and ruminate about an upcoming event, which results in unnecessary anxiety and stress. As each child is so different, we encourage parents and guardians to consider how much time is needed between discussing the assessment with their child and the assessment date.

In terms of what to tell your child, it is important to ensure school-aged children understand that an assessment is much different than a “test”. They are not expected to prepare in any way for the assessment and the focus is to put forth good effort on all tasks, as opposed to knowing all the answers. Assessments are meant to challenge the child and to present material that is at the limits of their abilities in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. As such, they will be exposed to questions and problems that are beyond their abilities and knowledge.

We encourage parents to tell their child that the assessment looks a lot like things they might normally do in school, such as listening and answering questions, building things, solving problems, and memorization. They may also be required to do reading, writing, and math. It may be comforting to tell a child that the assessment helps those who work with them, namely teachers and parents, to learn more about how they learn and to identify their strengths and areas where they might need more support. It is all about helping children to do their best!

It is important to tell your child that, in most cases, they will be working alone with the assessor. This is because we need to control the environment and make it the same for all children, which is part of “standardization” and is a primary component in all psychological testing. However, they are welcome to bring a comfort item or fidget toy and we generally work with children close to the reception area in our office, so they are able to easily get up and see their parents as much as needed.

We always encourage parents to ensure that children get a good sleep before the assessment and have eaten so they will not be hungry. It is sometimes helpful to focus on the assessment date as being a “special day” with the child where all the attention is on them.

Please ensure that, if needed, children bring their glasses to the appointment. We are often asked whether children should take their medication on the assessment date. As we are not physicians, we do not recommend altering medication regimens and we would encourage parents to reach out to their treating physicians if this is a concern.

In most cases, assessments are completed over a single day. However, if your child has significant attention issues, anxiety, or other concerns that would limit their ability to stay engaged in the assessment, we may complete the assessment over multiple appointments.

On the date of the assessment, you will enter our office and may be greeted by our office administrator. In most cases, questionnaires are sent out ahead of time and, as such, you may not be required to complete paperwork once you arrive at the office. We will show you into the office where the testing will take place and we generally encourage clients to bring snacks for longer appointments.

Once you are settled into the assessment room, the assessor will discuss the purpose of the assessment with you, go over consent, and answer any questions about the assessment process that you may have. We will generally spend additional time simply chatting and discussing interests with children, as this helps to build rapport and trust with the assessor.

Once you feel comfortable with the assessment, we generally begin testing. The duration of testing varies greatly depending on the type and purpose of the assessment. As an example, psychoeducational assessments with children generally take anywhere between 2-5 hours. Breaks are offered throughout the assessment, as well as a lunch break when needed. Children are welcome to visit with parents or caregivers as often as needed.

Once the assessment is completed, we may discuss some initial findings or observations, depending on the type of assessment. Payment is taken on the assessment date when we complete private assessments, and reports are usually completed within 2-4 weeks.

Watch Video

The short answer to this question is yes! We are able to administer most assessment batteries remotely using video chat software, screen sharing, and remote administration of psychological questionnaires. We follow all current guidelines around information privacy and security and continue to update our knowledge in this area through reading and workshops.

It is important to consider that tele-assessments vary somewhat from in-person assessments and that not all individuals are good candidates for completing these assessments. As an example, children who have significant attention issues or sensory impairments that would impact their ability to participate (e.g., vision impairments, speech and language challenges) may be better suited for in-person assessments. We carefully screen all clients before completing tele-assessments to determine if they will be a good fit.

It is also important to consider that some changes need to be made to facilitate remote administration of test batteries, and that the batteries used as part of these assessments may differ slightly from those used for in-person assessments. As an example, tests that rely heavily on the use of manipulatives are difficult to administer remotely, and therefore “substitutions” are necessary to swap one test for another.

No, you do not need a referral to complete a psychoeducational or psychological assessment. All you need to do to make an appointment is call or email our office!

The wait time for appointments will depend on several factors, including the type of assessment, time of year, and the clinician you are requesting. In most cases, we can generally book appointments 4-6 weeks from the initial consultation.

In most cases, information shared with a psychologist is considered confidential. However, there are limits to confidentiality that are important to consider, such as when completing an assessment for a third party (e.g., a school division or another organization is paying for the assessment), if abuse of a minor or vulnerable individual is disclosed to the assessor, or if the assessor believes you are in danger of harming yourself or others. These factors are discussed during the informed consent process and should be considered carefully before agreeing to participate in the assessment.

We are comfortable seeing most age ranges, from children as young as 4 to older adults. We generally recommend initial assessments for learning or behavioral challenges around grade 2, as children need a chance to acclimatize to school.

In some cases, schools are willing to have their in-house Psychologist (or private contractors) complete psychoeducational assessments. This can be a good option, especially considering the cost of completing assessments privately. However, it is important to consider some of the differences between having an assessment conducted through a school division and completing an assessment privately.

The main difference between private and school funded assessments is the amount of control a guardian has when completing an assessment privately. In this scenario, the guardian has control over who completes the assessment, as well as how much information they choose to share with schools, counsellors, or other individuals working with the child. When schools complete the assessment, they are considered “third party assessments” since the school has paid for the assessment, which limits the amount of control guardians have over the report and information collected.

Another common concern for parents is wait-times. Although wait-times can vary when completing assessments through a school division, it is not uncommon for parents to wait over a year before their child is assessed. This can waste valuable time in terms of intervention opportunities, as we know that early intervention is critical for supporting children with learning challenges and mental health issues. At Clarity Psychology, we can generally complete assessments within 6-weeks from booking the appointment.

A Psychometrist is an individual who specializes in the administration and scoring of standardized psychological assessment measures. In many cases, these individuals have a background in psychology. At Clarity Psychology, we often use Psychometrists to complete the testing aspect of the assessment, although it is always the responsibility of the Registered Psychologist you are working with to interpret the test results and to write the final report. If a Psychometrist is used to complete testing, this will be made clear prior to booking an appointment. In addition, these individuals are required to follow the same policies around confidentiality and privacy as Registered Psychologists.

It is important to note that Clarity Psychology does not currently complete assessments for custody access purposes. We require the consent of the legal guardian, parent, divorced parent with legal standing, or appointed care-manager as authorized by law. It is important to note that step-parents, grandparents, significant others, family friends, and/or caregivers cannot provide consent for psychological assessments.

In cases of divorce and separation, we generally attempt to obtain consent from both parents, as this helps to engage all interested parties and to ensure that the assessment and recommendations are understood by all caregivers. In some cases, we may ask to see documentation of custody before completing an assessment.

At Clarity Psychology, we are following the direction of our professional college (College of Alberta Psychologists), as well as provincial guidelines. As such, we no longer require masking, although this is also a personal choice, and we will oblige if you prefer practitioners to wear a mask during your session. We kindly ask that, if you are feeling ill or are actively symptomatic, you contact our office to reschedule your appointment or request the session to be virtual.

What makes Clarity Psychology different?

The process and level of expertise needed to complete high quality formal assessments is considerable and requires substantial training and skill across a number of important areas. We pride ourselves on having one of the largest and most highly trained teams of assessing psychologists in the greater Edmonton area. As a group we regularly consult with one another, complete additional training, and refine our skills and competence to ensure we are up-to-date on the latest developments in the assessment world. We believe this gives us a distinct advantage in our field and leads to a level of quality that is unparalleled.


Types of Assessments