Dr. Scott Gustafson, PhD, ABPP
Dr. Gustafson treats a wide array of situations. He specializes in “empirically supported treatments”, that is, treatments that have been shown to work through clinical research. Every situation is unique, but there are commonalities and underlying principles that are at work, Dr. Gustafson works with these principles to help his clients get better. With over thirty years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families, he uses a combination of humor, self-examination, and principles of change to help people achieve their goals. He is one of only seven Board Certified Clinical Psychologists in the state of Mississippi, and has trained hundreds of psychologists across the country on advanced scientifically supported assessment and treatment techniques.
"I actually started my education in physics. I gravitated to psychology because the science behind it is so interesting, and so deep, that I fell in love with it. My main professional love is watching my clients face the very things that trouble them, learn to understand themselves and their environment, and to develop more mastery in the process. If you understand how something works, you can learn to fix it yourself."
Psychological testing — also called psychological assessment — is the foundation of how psychologists better understand a person and their behavior. It is a process of problem-solving for many professionals as they try to determine the core components of a person’s psychological or mental health problems, personality, IQ, or some other component. It is also a process that helps identify not just the weaknesses of a person, but also their strengths.
Psychological testing measures an individual’s performance at a specific point in time: right now. Psychologists talk about a person’s “present functioning” in terms of their test data. Therefore, psychological tests can’t predict future or innate potential.
Psychological testing is not a single test or even a single type of test. It encompasses a whole body of dozens of research-backed tests and procedures of assessing specific aspects of a person’s psychological makeup. Some tests are used to determine IQ, others are used for personality, and still others for something else. Since so many different tests are available, it’s important to note that not all of them share the same research evidence for their use — some tests have a strong evidence base while others do not.
Although, psychological assessment is something that’s typically done in a formal manner only by a licensed psychologist, the actual testing may sometimes be administered by a psychology intern or trainee studying to become a psychologist. Depending upon what kind of testing is being done, it can last anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to a full day. Testing is usually done in a psychologist’s office and may include paper-and-pecil assessments as well as computer-generated ones.