Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service
The Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service at McLean Hospital offers diagnostic testing and comprehensive evaluations of cognitive abilities (e.g., memory, concentration, problem solving, language, etc.), 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.
Testing consists of formal, objective measures and evaluates a wide range of symptoms and diagnoses, such as neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia), mood and personality disorders, psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia), impaired cognitive function, and more.
Testing is especially useful in assessing complex cases, understanding the relationship of coexisting conditions, and helping to separate and rule out conflicting diagnoses. In addition, evaluations can be utilized by patients and/or their treaters to better understand why an individual may not be progressing their treatment efforts.
In most cases, testing is conducted on an outpatient basis, though can vary in length. If needed, assessments can be broken up into two days.
Most assessments are covered by insurance because of their medical necessity. 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 Mass General Brigham website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.
Who We See
The Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing Service is available to individuals age 16 and up with an array of conditions. Our evaluations are tailored to each individual and to the specific questions that brought the patient to our service. Our testing service best serves those who:
- Have impaired cognitive functions due to medical, neurological, or mental health issues
- Have emotional issues keeping them from functioning at optimal levels, or are older adults experiencing a change in functioning from previous levels
- Are not progressing in their mental health care and are looking for help in determining complicating factors
We offer testing for individuals whose cognitive function may have been impaired because of a stroke, brain injury, substance abuse, or other traumas. For adults and older adults with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, MS, or epilepsy, testing can help identify cognitive impairments to assist patients, their doctors, and their caregivers in ensuring appropriate levels of support and treatment.
Evaluations 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 or cognitive difficulties) 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. Contact the Accommodations Testing Service for more information.
Parents or guardians seeking assessments for children or adolescents should contact the Child and Adolescent Testing Service (CATS), part of McLean’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services.
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.
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.
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.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and other medical professionals working with individuals who have neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric or neurological conditions, or other medical issues can refer their patients to the service for evaluation and testing.
For more information or to make a referral, please contact:
Laura Igo, Administrative Secretary
A provider referral and insurance verification and/or preauthorization is needed prior to making an appointment. 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 and processed, our staff will be in contact with the patient to schedule an appointment or get additional information.