Consultation is available equally to those who have been tested and diagnosed with Psychodiagnostics and those that haven’t. Consultation serves as the third and final service, or consultation is arranged independently of assessment and diagnosis. In other words, consultation is a service in its own right in which, individuals and families, students and patients, therapists and physicians seek information about psychological data and disorders. Perhaps a person has received a diagnosis and wants a second opinion. Alternatively, a parent might have had his or her child tested by a district child study team, but feels uncertain as to the quality of the results or the accuracy of the findings; similarly, that same parent might want guidance on how best to act on those results. Finally, a psychotherapy practice or individual psychotherapist might want help understanding a report or test results.

Consultation brings information. Questions are answered and opinions obtained. Consultation is often needed to fully understand a diagnosis or disorder. After being labeled with a disorder, it is natural to want to know more about it. What are the features of the disorder? How common is it? Is there a known cause? Could it be something else? These are some of the questions that can be answered during consultation. After being diagnosed with depression, for example, a person might want to know more about why people become depressed (etiology), how long depression usually lasts (course), whether depression is found alongside other disorders (comorbidity), what might be some empirically demonstrated treatments for depression (treatment planning)? Similarly, a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with autism might want to discuss the possible causes and correlations of autism, or understand if and why the prevalence rates continue rising, or separate substantiated facts from fiction.

Those who have been already tested with Psychodiagnostics will be given a report that explains the presenting problem and answers the referral question. Sometimes questions arise in reaction to the report or the reader asks that a particular section be further explained. Often, there are brief questions about a diagnosis and its implications. These are natural extensions of the assessment and diagnosis process, which are informally addressed. Formal consultation, on the other hand, is something more extensive; namely, a face to face meeting at a scheduled time where more information can be had. For example, if one desires an hour long interpretive session in which the report is discussed section by section, this would be separately arranged. Such a meeting would be scheduled on a separate date after the assessments were completed and is considered a separate and optional consultation session. A consultation meeting is also often desired by those who have questions about a diagnosis or classification. In this instance the description or diagnosis is explained, put in context and any pertinent research, background information or controversies are addressed.

Consultation is often effective in providing information as follows:

  1. When a person is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: What is this disorder and why are so many being labeled? Could it be something else? How long can someone be expected to focus and sit still? What brain regions are affected?
  2. When a child is diagnosed with autism, questions abound: What is autism; how might it be treated; why are autism rates rising?
  3. When a student is diagnosed with a learning disability: What is a learning disability; is this student ‘slow;’ what areas of the brain are affected; how do I navigate the special education system?
  4. When an adult patient is diagnosed with a personality disorder: What is a personality disorder and how does it differ from psychological disorders? What is an Axis II disorder and why are they enduring dispositions rather than transient problems? Does a personality disorder go away? Can a personality disorder be treated? What is the nature of personality and why do people vary on traits such as agreeableness and conscientiousness?

Dr. Steven C. Hertler
10 Sycamore Avenue
Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey 07423

Second Location
218 Lorraine Avenue
Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043