The collateral interview is an opportunity for the psychologist to engage with someone who is familiar with you and can provide insights into your background. Typically, this individual is a spouse, parent, supervisor, or co-worker. These interviews assist the psychologist in gaining a comprehensive understanding of who you are and how that relates to your role as an employee.
According to Dr. Hill-Lee, collateral interviews are crucial in comprehending employees as complete individuals. They enable the psychologist to gain valuable insights into an employee’s typical behavior and characteristics.
What should be included in a psychological evaluation?
A psychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment that can include various components such as norm-referenced psychological tests, informal tests and surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation, and observational data 1. The specific components of a psychological evaluation depend on the questions being asked 1.
According to the APA Guidelines for Psychological Assessment and Evaluation, the following factors should be considered when conducting a psychological evaluation:
• Purpose: The purpose of the evaluation should be clearly defined.
• Informed consent: The client should be informed about the nature and purpose of the evaluation, as well as the limits of confidentiality.
• Cultural considerations: The evaluator should consider cultural factors that may impact the evaluation process.
• Data collection: Data should be collected from multiple sources, including interviews, tests, and observations.
• Data integration: Data from multiple sources should be integrated to form a comprehensive understanding of the client.
• Interpretation: Test results should be interpreted in light of other data sources.
• Communication of results: Results should be communicated in a clear and understandable manner 2.
The specific components of a psychological evaluation may vary depending on the context and purpose of the assessment.
A Fitness for Duty Assessment (FFD) is a mental health evaluation conducted by a psychologist to assess an employee’s mental fitness for a specific job. These assessments are typically performed when a situation arises that may hinder an employee’s ability to perform their job effectively.
Employers can request an FFD to manage workplace risk, safety, and productivity. For instance, if an employee who repairs high voltage lines at a power company threatens suicide, it would be appropriate for the employer to refer them for an FFD assessment. During this assessment, the psychologist would evaluate the risk of the employee acting on the threat and assess the safety of both the employee and others in the workplace.
An FFD consists of three main components:
• Clinical Interview: The psychologist conducts a one-on-one interview with the employee in a private office setting.
• Collateral Interview(s): The psychologist may also interview the employee’s close loved ones or significant others.
• Psychological Testing: The psychologist administers psychological tests and interprets the results.
The goal of an FFD assessment is to understand how these factors interact and determine whether an employee is currently capable of performing their job safely. Forensic psychologists, such as Selina Hill-Lee, PhD, from Pine Rest’s Forensic Psychiatric and Psychological Services, provide unbiased opinions based on historical information, interviews, and test results.
During the clinical interview, you will have an opportunity to discuss your childhood history, current struggles, and future plans with the psychologist. These evaluations typically revolve around a specific incident and allow you to directly address the identified incident from your perspective.