FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know if an assessment is needed?

​​There are many factors to consider to determine whether a psycho-educational assessment is a good use of a family’s time and financial resources. At the initial appointment, the psychologist will discuss the pros and cons of assessment based on your specific referral concerns. The psychologist may suggest other services instead of or in addition to assessment to help address concerns that may be better supported by other professionals. While we often do not have ideal life circumstances, it may not be the best time to conduct a psycho-educational assessment if the client is experiencing:

  • Significant mental health challenges and/or recent hospitalization due to mental health concerns.
  • Grief due to a recent loss of someone close to them.
  • Active substance abuse
  • Significant life stressors (e.g., divorce, illness of a family member, domestic violence).

If you are unsure whether it is a good time to pursue a psycho-educational assessment, due to certain life stressors, the psychologist can speak with you, at your initial appointment, about the risks and benefits of doing the assessment now or waiting until a later date. At Compass, we want to ensure that our assessments produce meaningful results that clients can use to make decisions going forward.

How much do assessments cost?

The cost of psychological assessments can greatly vary based on what the client’s concerns are, what questions they want answered, how much testing is involved and what kind of documentation the client will need (e.g., a report versus a summary letter). Costs for assessment can range from approximately $1200 to $3800.When you call to schedule your initial appointment we can provide a general estimate of cost. At the initial appointment with the psychologist you will received a more specific estimate based on the plan that you make with the psychologist.

Are psychological services covered by extended health insurance benefits?

If you have extended health insurance for psychologists, please check with your insurance provider to determine how much coverage you have and how the coverage is reimbursed (i.e., does your provider have a maximum amount reimbursed per visit?). We can discuss billing specific to your benefits plan at the initial appointment.

What should I expect at the first appointment?

When you come to your first appointment with the psychologist, expect to spend about 1.5 hours. The purpose of this appointment is to understand what type of services you are looking for and to create a plan that involves assessment approaches that will help to answer your referral questions. The psychologist will take a history of the presenting concerns and discuss with you the pros and cons of different types of assessment. Once a plan is made, you and the psychologist will book further appointments that may involve additional interviewing and standardized testing. The psychologist will provide an estimate of the number of hours and the total cost for the assessment plan that was agreed upon. To make the assessment process as smooth as possible please bring report cards from kindergarten to the current grade, as well as any other assessment reports, which could include speech therapy, occupational therapy, or other psychological assessments.

What should I tell my child about the assessment process?

It is important to approach psychological assessments from a positive and strengths-based perspective. You may want to explain to your child that they will be meeting with a psychologist to complete different activities that help them and the psychologist figure out how best they learn. Some of us learn best through listening and reading, while others learn best by watching others or working with their hands to create something. With the activities that your child will complete, there are no right or wrong answers, because it is about how your child uniquely learns and processes information. Try not to use the word “test” and remind them just to do their best.

Can Compass provide an assessment for clients outside of the Calgary area?

Yes! When you call to schedule your first appointment we can arrange times that work for you and your family and decrease the amount of travel that is needed to attend appointments. For example, we can schedule two days back-to-back to work with you to complete all or most of what is required for an assessment. Some appointments may also be completed online using a secure platform.

What is the cancellation policy?

If an appointment is cancelled with less than 48 hours notice or if a client does not attend their appointment, a cancellation fee of one billable hour will be charged. If the client is sick or dealing with an unexpected emergency a cancellation fee will not be charged. Please provide as much notice as possible if you need to reschedule/cancel your appointment.

Is the Compass office wheelchair accessible?

While the main psychology office is located on the second floor of the building and is not wheelchair accessible, we can arrange alternate accessible space to meet with clients who are wheelchair users or who have mobility challenges.