Now I'm even more confused

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, May 17, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just called our mental health dept to ask about the evaluation- specificaly about trying to make sure the evaluator has correct hx on me as suggested by my previous psychiatric in order to be sure the assessment would be as accurate as possible. Well, it seems that when they do different things depending on whether or not psychological testing was ordered or a mental health evaluation was ordered. Verbally, the judge ordered a mental health evaluation but the MST guy wrote on paperwork MMPI. The lady today told me this was not the same thing and I ask when was the MMPI given and she said it wouold be ordered in cases where they think a person might be lying or when they don't know what the diagnosis is or if they think there might be an underlying psychosis.

    So now I don't know how to proceed- she said I could talk to MST guy's supervisor but I doubt that would do any good and would probably just add fuel to the fire. She said I could get previous mental health records and have them sent there but since these were from over 20 years ago, I don't think there is any way I could get them in a reasonable amount of time.

    The first issue though is if they view a mental health evaluation and this test differently, and the judge verbally said and the court order said a mental health evaluation but MST guy wrote up to do an MMPI, what should I do? Second thing, if psychiatric had told me that in order for any mental health assessment to be accurate, they would need to know my hx but if the issue is that courts don't believe me and I can't prove it (at least within a reasonable amount of time), so the courts will only allow info to be provided by them, it seems like this is doomed to be inaccurate. If they think I'm lying, why not order a Lie detector test instead? Furthermore, my previous psychiatric (PhD level who also did testing), said this MMPI should only be administered by a qualified tester but the lady on the phone today said it would be given by a clinician- does that sound right? The biggest concern though is that it sounded clear that they don't include a clinical interview or getting hx from person when it's court ordered and credibility is in question and I guess that's the issue they are having with me.

    ETA: I guess shouldn't have titled this thread that now I'm more confused. It did help clarify things to know that if I was getting a real mental health evaluation, there would be a clinical interview and review of hx with me, etc. I still find it a little annoying though that judge ordered "mental health evaluation" and MST guy put in for MMPI if this is considered two different things by the mental health dept. I wonder if I am allowed to ever learn the results of it.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I know you have doubted my support in the past so I hesitate to post. Can't help myself. Sorry.

    You can only make notes of what took place in Court. You can not confront the testers even if they are illiterate. You can not anticipate what results may show up. You can not obsess that the new person or people will disagree with the therapist you had years ago that you liked so much.

    You really need to just get it behind you, like a trip to the dentist. Chances are it won't be as bad as you anticipate and the longer you wait the more your anxiety and stress will build.
    The Board family supports you. You are not alone. Just remember that alot of times what we spent days, weeks, years dreading...turns out to be bearable and brief. Good luck. DDD
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK- I called MST guy. Now things have changed again. He said the mental health people have met with judges a few weeks ago and told the judges that they want to be the ones to determine who gets what test, if any. He said there had been friction in the past between judges and mental health dept regarding what to give when a judge ordered an evaluation. I guess that explains why one thing was written in the court order last year and I was basing my expectgations on that but a different thing was put thru the mental health dept so it didn't seem to be adding up. So they have tried to establish a policy where if a judge orders an evaluation, the person starts with a clinical interview and then it is decided what if any tessting will be done. Of course, I have to pay for this, too which is a thorn in my side. Anyway, I guess funding - or lack thereof- has solved this problem because I will be starting with a clinical interview next week to discuss hx and so forth. Oh- and our mental health dept has stopped providing out-patient therapy for adults except in a small percentage of cases. MST guy said not to worry so much about that being ordered yet.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A clinician is likely a licensed therapist.. .that's a standard term I've heard used by many mental health professionals in referring to one another. There's no reason think they wouldn't be a qualified tester.

    Your anxiety over this is obviously off the charts, and I have to agree that in all likelihood, the test and its outcome isn't likely to be nearly as bad as you think it will be. I had the MMPI or something like it 20 years ago, when the court ordered evaluations on myself and the kids' dad and myself in a custody battle. It was pretty painless, and the results were provided to me (or to my lawyer at the time). It's not used to diagnose, as far as I know, it's just a tool for evaluation and identify general issues. The fact I was in therapy at the time influenced the court, I was simply ordered to continue working with my own therapist.

    Can you see your most recent therapist for a "check-up" to help you through this, and also to establish that you are already in therapy? Voluntarily getting help before the test will go a long way in showing good faith to the court that you are working through your own issues (in their mind, whatever perceived issues they think you have). Also, in my experience judges don't tend to touch that relationship by ordering someone into treatment with a brand new therapist.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well I'm not worried abbout this at all anymore- I must not have said that outright in my last post. My concern had been about having a test to determine mental health treatment without including info that would be needed tto make a correct assessment. That is what was planned last year. They are not going to do that now. They might end up giving the test or another one still but it will be after the clinical interview so I have no problem with that. Obviously, I am willing to address a real problem as long as it's diagnosis'd appropriately and not based on someone elses biased opinion (who is not a mental health prof). If I'd had to go to court for a show cause last year, I had a letter from the therapist I was seeing then to prove what you are suggesting, Crazy. MST guy asked is I was seeiing a therapist now and I told him no because I did not have insurance anymore. That's when he said the county mental health dept doesn't even provide therapy to adults anymore in most cases. Then he added that I shouldn't worry about it because it might not be an issue if the psychiatric evaluation'ing me sees that I go to a therapist when necessary. He asked why I was seeing a therapist last year and I told him my stress level had gone thru the roof due to a increasing crisis situation with difficult child and I wanted to get help clearing my head to make sure I was making good decisions regarding difficult child and not making bad choices out of a reaction to stress. That was true and the letter the therapist wrote then said I was seeing her to discuss matters pertaining to my son.

    But, even if I was still going to have to take the MMPI without a clinical interview (which again, all info I have rec'd says that is a very bad idea for a psychiatric to do and can most definitely lead to inaccurate results), I still felt better about that after learning that it wasn't meant to be the type of mental health evaluation that I had been envisioning based on those words written on the court order.

    Oh- as far as the tester- I think the MMPI is one of those tests that they say should be interpreted by a psychiatric - not just any licensed therapist- siimilar to the idea that if we have our difficult child's tested, we can have more faith in results if it is done by a PhD level psychiatric than by the ed spec at the school district.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010