Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What to Expect from a Psychological Evaluation

You may be asked to meet with a psychologist for a "psychological evaluation". A psychologist is different from a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist has a medical degree (M.D.), and they primarily prescribe medication, although some also conduct psychotherapy. A psychologist has a doctorate in psychology (a Ph.D. or Psy.D.), and they provide evaluations and conduct psychotherapy.

If you are interested in serving as an egg donor or traditional surrogate, the aim of the psychologist is twofold. The psychologist would like to gather as much information as possible so the recipient couple is prepared. For example, should there be a family history for learning disabilities, the recipient couple can learn about possible warning signs. Consequently, should their child develop academic difficulties, the recipient couple could then proceed with appropriate treatment. It is important to remember that psychologists know there is no perfect person and that it is extremely rare for a person to have a family history devoid of any psychological problems. The psychologist is trained to remain neutral, and is interested in providing acceptance and support. A well-seasoned psychologist knows it is more credible if a person has had a bump or two along the road and/or if a donor/surrogate speaks of at least one relative who has experienced some sort of psychological problem. It is best to be honest. It is far better to honestly portray yourself and your family than to cover up what you fear could disqualify you. It is likely you will be disqualified if you are inconsistent in your responses. The psychologist is also interested in determining your stability. Couples who seek out an egg donor or surrogate are very serious about wanting a successful outcome. Some couples have tried to have children for five or even ten years, by the time they reach this step. It is imperative you are certain you can and want to take this journey to completion. The psychologist will try to determine whether or not you will follow through by not only asking you about your feelings about serving as an egg donor/surrogate, but also by looking for patterns of stability in your past. The psychologist will also spend time discussing with you the psychological ramifications of serving as an egg donor/surrogate. This portion of the interview is for your benefit. Regardless as to your motivation, helping a couple have children is a wonderful gift. Your desire to be a part of the miracle of life puts you in a very special, cherished category. You deserve to understand how this experience might affect you. It is also important you learn enough about this process in order to make the right decision for you. Should you have any questions, please ask them. Serving as an egg donor/surrogate is a decision that will affect you for the entirety of your life. It will most likely be comforting for you to receive answers to any questions you might have.

To read more please click on the link.

Dr. Barb

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