You are here

Print
Stock photo

Diagnostic Services

The Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service at McLean Hospital offers diagnostic testing and comprehensive evaluations of cognition (e.g., memory, concentration, problem solving, judgment), emotional functioning, and personality. These assessments are conducted via interviews, paper-and-pencil tests, and some computerized tasks, all of which are administered and interpreted by our experienced neuropsychologists.

For more information or to make a referral, please call 617.855.3183.

Testing is available to address a wide range of symptoms and diagnoses, such as psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lewy body), mood and personality disorders, impaired cognitive function, and more. We also specialize in testing for students with academic or learning difficulties who are seeking accommodations for standardized exams, such as the SAT or MCAT, as well as assessments for individuals who may not be progressing in psychotherapy. In most cases, assessments are conducted on an outpatient basis and can range from 2 to 12 hours. If needed, testing can be broken up into two days.

Most assessments are covered by insurance because of their medical necessity. However, accommodations testing is a self-pay service. We understand that navigating the insurance system can be challenging, which is why we assist prospective patients to help determine eligibility. We welcome your questions and concerns and have a dedicated staff to help you. McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans. More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Partners HealthCare website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s financial assistance policy.

Neuropsychological and psychological testing at McLean dates to the early 1900s, when the hospital founded its first lab dedicated to the science of measuring capacities such as cognition and knowledge (also known as psychometrics). McLean’s Neuropsychology Department has been offering outpatient neuropsychological and psychological testing since 1994, and psychodiagnostic testing has been a regular part of inpatient services since the 1960s. Over the years, thousands of individuals from across the country and around the world have come to McLean to draw on the hospital’s expertise in this area.

Staff in the Neuropsychology Department have years of clinical experience devoted to better understanding cognitive, psychological, and emotional difficulties, and we are especially comfortable assessing highly complex cases that involve multiple contributing factors. Our doctors are also engaged in mental health research and in the training and teaching of psychology fellows and psychiatry residents. McLean’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Adult and Geriatric Clinical Neuropsychology, a two-year training program focused on neuropsychological evaluations with adult and older adult patients, has graduated more than 40 fellows since 1995.

Who We See

The Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service is available to individuals age 16 and up. Our evaluations are tailored to each individual and are designed to help a wide range of conditions. Our testing service best serves those who:

  • Have impaired cognitive functions due to physical or mental health issues
  • Are not progressing in their mental health care and are looking for help in determining complicating factors
  • Seek accommodations for standardized academic exams

We offer testing for individuals whose cognitive functions may have been impaired because of a stroke, brain injury, substance abuse, or other traumas. For adults and older adults with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, MS, or epilepsy, testing can help identify cognitive impairments to assist patients, their doctors, and their caregivers in providing appropriate support and treatment. Our expert staff can help individuals better understand their cognitive strengths and vulnerabilities, assist with clarifying complex diagnostic questions, and provide guidance to the individual’s doctors concerning medication and treatment.

Neuropsychological and psychological testing can be invaluable for people who may not be progressing in psychotherapy. In these cases, a referral to our service can help determine whether cognitive and/or emotional issues are hindering a patient’s progress. Testing may also be used to help the individual’s therapist better understand any complicating factors (e.g., underlying personality traits) and adjust treatment approaches and medications as appropriate. For individuals with psychotic disorders—such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder—cognitive and psychological testing can be used to guide decisions on treatment and medication.

Students with anxiety disorders, ADHD, or other learning issues may require accommodations for taking standardized examinations such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT. Our evaluations can assess whether a student needs separate exam space, extra time, or other arrangements. Based on results, we can provide necessary supporting documentation.

Program Leadership

Donald A. Davidoff, PhD, Chief, Neuropsychology Department

Dr. Davidoff is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His responsibilities include management of clinical and administrative staff, clinical care, and training of post-doctoral fellows and psychiatry residents. Dr. Davidoff’s research interests include memory functioning, aging, nonverbal learning disability, hoarding, and cognition and mental illness.

Allen Schiller, PhD, Assistant Director, Consultation Liaison Service; Director, Neuropsychology Training

Dr. Schiller is an instructor in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He manages the day to day operations of the Neuropsychology Department, including all referrals, and coordinates the post-doctoral training program. Dr. Schiller also works with adults and older adults and provides other clinical and consultative services as a senior neuropsychologist.

Location

The Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service is located on McLean’s Belmont campus, in South Belknap, Floor 3. For more information on directions and parking, please visit our Maps & Directions page.

Referrals

Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and other medical professionals working with individuals who have neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric conditions, or other medical issues can refer their patients to the service for evaluation and testing. Students seeking an evaluation for accommodations for standardized exams may contact us directly.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact:

Laura Igo, Administrative Secretary
Phone: 617.855.3183

A provider referral is needed prior to making an appointment, except for those seeking exam accommodations. Clinicians should fill out and return the Clinician Referral Form. Patients or clinicians should fill out and return the Patient Insurance Information Update Form. Once both forms are received, our staff will be in contact with the patient to schedule an appointment or get additional information.