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Beyond Generic Diagnosis

Why psychologists must go beyond diagnosis

In medicine the goal is a diagnosis, but in psychology, a diagnosis is not the whole picture. This is because each person’s psychological problems are expressed through the unique lens of their individual personality.  While in medicine, 10 people with a knee injury will get an MRI and look virtually the same, 10 people with ADHD will look very, very different. The anatomy and physiology of your personality is totally unique to you. For example, your ADHD symptoms are experienced, expressed, and controlled uniquely, depending on the personality they operate within. So, while MDs stop after they diagnose, a diagnosis for a psychologist is only the start of a more comprehensive process. Read my blog “Great psychological assessment goes beyond diagnosis.”

Why personality assessment matters as much as diagnostic assessment

You can tell a physician where it hurts in your body, but psychologists have to solve the puzzle of the origins of your pains. The source of the psychological pain is most often due to a collection of emotional, behavioral, personality, and social puzzle pieces that interact with each other. A mental health diagnosis (e.g., anxiety) tells you nothing about the origins of your distress, or about what puzzle pieces come together to create your anxiety. The great behavioral health practitioner takes time to identify each of the pieces, and helps you understand how they interact. 

Importantly, these pieces interact differently depending on the predominant personality characteristics making up your personality. A long-term solution to your problems is not solved by a shallow diagnosis.  It is solved after the professional helps you visually see how your symptoms operate within your overarching personality traits and tendencies. A mistake people make is assuming diagnosis is enough. It most often is not, especially if you want sustainable solution .   

Who can help you the most?

Counselors, social workers, life coaches, and psychiatrists will all tell you they can help you. Psychologists have undergone a much greater amount of education and training in how to assess the combination of biological, psychological, and social factors than any other behavioral health professional. Look closely at the track record of the professional, and what they have done to prove they are a trustworthy, diligent detective who goes beyond diagnosis. Dr. Brunner’s background, track record of research, and social profile are all immediately accessible to you.