What is the difference between a Psychiatric and Diagnostic Evaluation?
A psychiatric evaluation is an initial assessment performed by a licensed and trained mental health medical provider with the goals of diagnosing and providing treatment recommendations to improve an individual’s mental wellness. The evaluation is comprehensive relative to an individual’s life history, current level of function, and includes consideration of other potential contributing factors, such as underlying medical/health conditions. Medication, in addition to other wellness-focused interventions or supports may be recommended based on the diagnosis and the treatment plan. Follow-up appointments with a medical provider in mental health are typically referred to as “medication management,” although our goal focuses on holistic health, including outside of “medication.”
A diagnostic evaluation is an initial assessment performed by a licensed and trained professional (“therapists” – non-medical practitioners) with the goals of clinically diagnosing and providing treatment recommendations to improve an individual’s mental wellness. This evaluation is comprehensive though does not aim to rule-in or rule-out contribution of medical/health conditions as they relate to a mental health diagnosis, as would a psychiatric evaluation. Some mental health concerns and symptoms can be adequately diagnosed and treated with therapy alone. However, some individuals may require or optimally benefit from therapy when seen concurrently by a trained, mental health medical provider. This varies based on the individual and their wellness needs.