Clinical Psychologists are trained in a scientist-practitioner model where they work from a “whole-person”, biopsychosocial framework.
We recognize that people do not grow in a vacuum, but rather within a complex interplay of biology, individual differences, social contexts, and cultural and societal contexts. Doctoral-level psychologists typically have an extensive background in scientific research and keep up-to-date on current best practices in psychological research with the ability to critically evaluate research studies. Psychologists often use psychological measures which can provide useful supplemental information. These measures usually have an extensive research base that validates that they measure what they say they measure, and results can be compared to scores from individuals with similar issues or the general population. Psychological measures can also be a valuable way to track progress over time.
Prior to beginning psychotherapy, a comprehensive assessment can help the clinician and client to identify any diagnoses, the specific issues the client is experiencing, the cause(s) of issues and any factors making them worse or better, and which type of treatment is expected to be the most helpful for the individual client’s specific issues.
MENTAL HEALTH “CHECK-UPS” (FOR HIGH-RISK, HIGH-STRESS OCCUPATIONS)
Certain professions have regular and expected exposure to traumatic events, suffering, and/or risk of physical injury.
Examples of these professions include, but are not limited to:
- First responders (e.g., police, firefighters, paramedics, dispatchers)
- Other law enforcement (e.g., correctional officers)
- Military members
- Emergency room doctors and nurses
- Psychiatric nurses
- Child protective workers
- Funeral home staff
Other professions that may present a higher likelihood of exposure to traumatic events; include:
- Public transit employees (e.g., subway and bus drivers)
- Train conductors & engineers
- Personal support workers and other staff in long-term care facilities
Given the regular exposure to or higher likelihood of trauma, and/or risk of violence, it can be very helpful for individuals to attend semi-annual or annual “mental health check-ups”, similar to annual physical exams and semi-annual dental cleanings.
Benefits of “mental health check-ups” include:
- Acquiring a baseline assessment
- Learning and maintaining healthy coping strategies and decreasing unhelpful coping styles
- Early identification of difficulties so one can work on them before they develop into major, chronic issues
- Similar to identifying elevated blood pressure or blood sugar levels and intervening before they develop into cardiac problems or Type 2 diabetes
- Having a clinician who already knows you and your baseline to turn to during or after difficult times
- Saves you from having to try to find a clinician and figure out what you need to do when you’re in the middle of a difficult time
INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS (IMES)
Dr. Lee also has extensive experience in conducting independent medical examinations.
These independent medical examinations include:
- Relevant file review
- Comprehensive, semi-structured diagnostic interview
- Incorporation of psychological measures assessing the validity of response style, Psychopathology, and personality
- Determination of direct and partial contributors to the current difficulties
- Treatment recommendations