Psychological Assessments

Bariatric Pre-Surgical Evaluations

The Importance of Psychological Assessment for Bariatric Patients:
You may be wondering why your doctor or weight loss surgery team referred you to a psychologist for an evaluation. A majority of insurance companies require a psychological assessment as part of their criteria prior to approving weight loss surgery. Your bariatric surgeon may also require it, as psychological assessment of bariatric surgery candidates has become the norm within most weight loss surgery programs.

There are several other important reasons, one of which is to ensure that you have the most successful outcome! A psychological assessment can be very useful for bariatric surgery candidates, as it clarifies your personal strengths, as well as identifies any potential problems that can be addressed prior to surgery. We can also help identify areas where you might need support after surgery, such as with mood changes, lack of family support, or triggers for past emotional eating. We also want to make sure you have a complete and realistic understanding of the effects of surgery and that you will be able to comply with your surgeon’s instructions and recommendations following your procedure.

Our role in your weight loss journey is provide helpful information to your weight loss team and maximize your success. It’s important to note that your surgeon will make the ultimate decision as to whether or not to proceed with your surgery.

What can I expect during my Bariatric Pre-Surgical Evaluation?
The pre-surgical psychological assessment typically requires 3 to 3.5 hours of your time. The first part can be completed online from your home computer. During your initial phone call with our office, you will be given a login and password to be used with our Secure Online Portal to complete your registration forms and questionnaires. You will then be scheduled to come in to our office to complete some psychological testing (computerized personality inventories) and an interview with Dr. Garcia-Bravo to discuss your medical history, mental health history, and family/social history. You will also be asked about your reasons and motivation for seeking surgery, your current and past eating patterns, levels of activity, and other factors affecting your surgical outcome.

Our hope is for you to experience a truly collaborative process during your assessment- one in which we are working together to help you understand yourself better, assess your strengths, and identify any barriers you may need to address in order to have the best surgical outcome. We’ll be able to provide you with individualized recommendations and treatment planning, which can help your weight-loss team and enhance your long-term health outcomes.

After your interview and testing is completed, the results of your evaluation will be sent to your referring physician’s office within 5 to 7 business days. Feedback sessions are also available at your request.

Chronic Pain Pre-Surgical Evaluations

The Importance of Psychological Assessment for Pain Patients:
Medical patients with chronic pain are often required by their doctors and insurance companies to participate in a pre-surgical psychological assessment, particularly those who are considering receiving a spinal cord stimulator implant. Before being considered as a candidate for a spinal implant, it is important to explore the various psychological factors that may be affecting your pain level and how you experience your pain. Some of these important factors include stress, tension, pacing your activities, and strategies for coping with pain. The goal of this assessment is for you to receive maximum benefit from your surgery. Your doctor also wants to make sure you have a complete and realistic understanding of the effects of surgery and that you will be able to comply with your doctor’s instructions and recommendations following your procedure.

What can I expect during my Chronic Pain Pre-Surgical Evaluation?
The pre-surgical psychological assessment typically requires 3 to 3.5 hours of your time. The first part can be completed online from your home computer. During your initial phone call with our office, you will be given a login and password to be used with our Secure Online Portal to complete your registration forms and questionnaires. You will then be scheduled to come in to our office to complete some psychological testing (computerized personality inventories) and an interview with Dr. Garcia-Bravo to discuss your medical history, mental health history, and family/social history. You will also be asked about your reasons and motivation for seeking your medical procedure, your coping resources and abilities, expectations for pain relief, and other factors affecting your outcome.

Our hope is for you to experience a truly collaborative process during your assessment- one in which we are working together to help you understand yourself better, assess your strengths, and identify any barriers you may need to address in order to have the best surgical outcome. We’ll be able to provide you with individualized recommendations and treatment planning, which can enhance your long-term health outcomes.

After your interview and testing is completed, the results of your evaluation will be sent to your referring physician’s office within 5 to 7 business days. Feedback sessions are also available at your request.

Personality & Emotional Functioning Assessments

What are the benefits of a Psychological Assessment?
The main goal of a psychological assessment is to help patients understand themselves better and find new solutions to their problems. Our hope is for you to experience a truly collaborative process during your assessment- one in which we are working together to help you gain insight into your psychological and emotional functioning, assess your strengths, and identify any barriers keeping you from reaching your goals. A psychological assessment can also assist in determining a diagnosis and developing an effective course of treatment with your psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist.

What can I expect during my Psychological Assessment?
A psychological assessment typically requires 2 to 3 hours of your time. The first part can be completed online from your home computer. During your initial phone call with our office, you will be given a login and password to be used with our Secure Online Portal to complete your registration and intake forms. You will then be scheduled to come in to our office to complete some psychological testing (computerized personality inventory) and an interview with Dr. Garcia-Bravo to discuss your medical history, mental health history, and family/social history.

Dr. Garcia-Bravo uses psychological assessments to provide clarity and help patients understand themselves in deeper ways. In addition to discovering new solutions to current or long-standing problems, psychological assessments can also provide helpful treatment information for referring professionals, such as your psychologist or psychiatrist. They are often very helpful in clarifying a diagnosis and generating treatment recommendations.

Assessments are conducted in a timely manner and include detailed written reports, which can be sent to your referring physician or psychiatrist at your request within 1-2 weeks of testing. Feedback sessions (if requested) are also available within 1-2 weeks of testing.