Psychological Injury Consultants are health professionals experienced in the diagnosis of PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. To determine whether someone has PTSD (or another psychological injury), our consultants conduct comprehensive, face-to-face psychological assessments that include clinical interviews, structured diagnostic interviews, and psychological testing. The interviews assess the history of potentially traumatic events and determine whether the person’s reaction to a potentially stressful event meets the criteria for PTSD a different psychological disorder, such as major depression or another anxiety disorder.
The difficulties related to posttraumatic stress are thoroughly assessed in terms of three symptom areas: reexperiencing (e.g., distressing dreams, intrusive thoughts); avoidance (e.g., efforts to avoid thoughts, places, people that are reminders of the event); and hyperarousal (e.g., irritability and anger, difficulties with memory and concentration, difficulties falling and staying asleep). Assessments also determine the frequency and severity of these symptoms, as well as the level of disability caused by these symptoms in areas such as at work, in relationships, and in social activities. Consideration is taken to assess for other co-occurring conditions as it is very common for PTSD sufferers to also meet criteria for other psychological disorders.
Importantly, for these assessments to dependably gauge the presence, frequency and severity of PTSD or other psychological symptoms, our consultants are guided not only by an individual’s self-reported symptoms, but also objective indicators, including established diagnostic questionnaires and interviews, the professional literature, and current research.