Expressive Therapies in Mental Health

Many people who are diagnosed with mental issues show an extreme liking for or talent in the creative arts. It only makes sense that some of the alternative treatments incorporate this natural tendency. Below I cover three such alternative treatments. Often each is combined with more traditional methods, but not always.
Art Therapy: Drawing, painting, and sculpting help many people to reconcile inner conflicts, release deeply repressed emotions, and foster self-awareness, as well as personal growth. Some mental health providers use art therapy as both a diagnostic tool and as a way to help treat disorders such as depression, abuse-related trauma, and schizophrenia. You may be able to find a therapist in your area who has received special training and certification in art therapy.
Dance/Movement Therapy: Some people find that their spirits soar when they let their feet fly. Others-particularly those who prefer more structure or who feel they have “two left feet”-gain the same sense of release and inner peace from the Eastern martial arts, such as Aikido and Tai Chi. Those who are recovering from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse may find these techniques especially helpful for gaining a sense of ease with their own bodies. The underlying premise to dance/movement therapy is that it can help a person integrate the emotional, physical, and cognitive facets of “self.”
Music/Sound Therapy: It is no coincidence that many people turn on soothing music to relax or snazzy tunes to help feel upbeat. Research suggests that music stimulates the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals (opiates and endorphins). This stimulation results in improved blood flow, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing, and posture changes. Music or sound therapy has been used to treat disorders such as stress, grief, depression, schizophrenia, and autism in children, and to diagnose mental health needs.

Understanding Single Parent Psychology and Mental Health

Extramarital pregnancy, divorce, and abandonment of one parent are some reasons why there are single parents. What most people don’t know is, these occurrences are life-changing as they can be traumatic for the single parent and the child, making them often misunderstood. That makes the study of a single parent’s psychology and mental health important.

Studies have reported that there are more child and adolescent problems for households with single parents rather than those with the “normal” set-up. While most single parents may disagree, it is understandable why the statistics say so.

For one, a single parent has limited time in his hands. Managing a household with another person is difficult in itself. What more if you have to do it alone. That’s why it is important for a single parent to make a daily or weekly schedule of his activities. That way, he can find time to do all the things that need to be done, including some time off for leisure and relaxation.

Also, a parent may have financial problems, as he is the only one earning for the family. He must learn to save his money by learning to set aside a portion of it as it comes. Also, he must learn to make a few sure investments.

Of course, if one becomes a single parent because of a divorce or death of the spouse, there are more problems that he needs to face. It is normal for him to feel sad or depressed, so allow him to have some time to grieve. Friends can help in the moving on process. This is also devastating for the child, so the parent must learn to show his support to the child instead of focusing on his grief alone. Parent and child can help each other to shorten grieving time.

Lastly, the single parent may feel alone and rejected. So he must learn to nurture himself. Eat and sleep well. Exercise on a regular basis, or engage in a sport that you like. Join a church group or association in your community.

To minimize incidence of child problems like school dropouts, early pregnancy and juvenile behavior, a single parent must learn to communicate well with his child. Spend more quality time with him. Engage in an activity that you both can enjoy. Regularly monitor his progress in school.

What resources are available for the single parent? He may join a group or organization of single parents like him. In this venue, members can share and discuss their common problems and experiences such as coping with divorce and raising kids. Educational activities like lectures by professionals and training seminars as well as other recreational activities are organized to help the single parent cope with his situation.

There are also websites which support single parents. Many parent resources can be found in the internet like chat rooms, forums, newsletters, articles and other forms of literature that they can share.

Knowing single parent psychology and mental health will make us understand single parents and their children better. Being a single parent is a challenging job. With limited time and finances, he has to cope with the challenge of raising a child as well. But with tolerance and understanding from people around him, the job will not be as difficult as it is already.

Hobbies for the Elderly to Maintain Mental Health

Elderly people respond to mental health differently than younger people. They are prone to developing more psychological disorders and can cope less effectively to triggering factors of mental impairments.

Let’s first take a look at how an old person lives-

Retiring could be one of the most enjoyable but dreaded years in the life of a person. Anybody who no longer has definite roles to take apart from being an older member of the society begins to question their own importance, sometimes even existence. Since a retired person no longer holds a job, he is free to use his time on any activity he chooses. The problem though is that he cannot establish a certain activity that would make life for him enjoyable for the rest of his life. He also feels that he is no longer important since his children who used to depend on him have already taken up their own lives, sometimes living him without company.

On most cases, people who are old are alone. They sulk into life without purpose, without direction, without the sense of worth. Slowly, they will have experiences that would negatively affect their mental health. They then become depressed, lonely and more prone to developing psychological disorders. Since the society give too little importance to the elderly people, it tends to disregard them. Until they become debilitated enough due to sickness, disorders and old age that the society begins to notice them. But then, by that time, it is already too late.

The usual life of the elderly is marked by the lack of support that will introduce them to activities that will revitalize their lives. They can no longer put up with their old activities since their bodies, by nature, are deteriorated enough to hinder them from moving and performing like they did before. However, old age should not always be like this. Old people should try to look for newer activities in their lives that would make the rest of their days enjoyable and worthwhile.

They say “you cannot teach old dog new tricks”. This is a myth. An old person who is willing to learn will learn by all means regardless if his body or his mind limits him. Here are some of the hobbies that an elderly could do to increase his mental health:

Keeping your brain active will make you feel healthy

For some people, the mere fact that they are thinking and can still conceptualize thoughts drive them to be crazy about life. It is never too late to learn to write and for people who used to enjoy writing during their younger years, it is never too late to bring back their attitude towards literature.

Reading could also be a fun activity that would easily let the time pass. Old people who enjoy reading are apparently happier than those who sat idly on their couches throughout the day.

The music of your life

Your fingers may not have the same dexterity they had when you were younger but this doesn’t mean that you can no longer enjoy music. You can learn to play music instruments. The piano, for example, requires too little energy output but the internal satisfaction it provides is high. Also, listening to music could make you think of familiar thoughts that would drive you through the memory lane. This would allow you to meditate on your life. For most people, knowing the fact that they have lived their life well make them satisfied and at peace with themselves. Internal peace is central to achieving the right balance in life.

Pick up your old hobbies

Did you enjoy gardening as a kid or collecting things as a teenager? You can bring back those old hobbies. After all, you already have enough investments in the past that it would no longer be hard for you to start again.

It is often the case of losing the zest for life when one gets old. But through regaining your appetite for life through hobbies for elderly, you might find again that life is worth living for.

Mental Health Statistics: How Common Mental Disorders Are

At any time of the year, there is one person in every group of five people who has a diagnosable mental disorder. This means that 1/5 of all families in the United States have family members who are experiencing developing or aggravated symptoms of mental impairment. This translates to approximately 20% of the American society.

Mental health or the lack of it is experienced by all types of people in America- from children to elderly, from Native Americans to Hispanics, from physically healthy individuals to those who have chronic diseases.

General statistics

a. Nearly 9% of the American general population suffers from all forms of phobias.

b. 5% have major depression

c. Nearly 4 million individuals suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

d. 2 million Americans have Schizophrenia

e. MAnother 2 million have Bipolar Disorders

f. MNearly 2.5 million have Panic Disorders

Statistics on the Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Children

- It is estimated that around 7 to 12 million children have symptoms of psychological disorders.

a. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – 5% to 10% of the children population is diagnosable with ADHD. It is the most prevalent clinical disorder among children. Half of all children with this psychiatric disorder do not receive diagnosis.

b. Manic Depression – 30% of all children aged 6 to 12 ld who have manic depression are likely to develop Bipolar Disorder, a type of disorder that has symptoms of mania or a sense of “high” on activity plus periods of depression.

c. Conduct Disorder – 10% of all American children have conduct disorder.

d. Depression – In every group of 33 children there is one who has symptoms of clinical depression

e. Learning Disorders – Almost 20% of all American children have learning disability. Half of them have diagnosable ADHD.

f. Suicide – Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among children.

Statistics on the Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Young People

a. General Data – Nearly 75% of all young people who suffer from mental disorders do not get the help they need. Like in the general population, 1 in every 5 adolescent have a diagnosable psychological disorder which include minor depression, drug-dependence, Attention Deficit Disorder, Anorexia Bulimia, Hypochondriasis, Gender Identity Disorders and Eating Disorders, and more aggravated disorders.

b. Anorexia Nervosa – This disorder is more common among females than males affecting an average of 150 individuals in any given time. Thus, 1% of all female young people population is affected by anorexia nervosa and 10% of all affected individuals die due to suicide, cardiac arrest and starvation.

c. Bulimia Nervosa – One to three out of 100 people show signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa.

d. Anxiety Disorder – 10% of the young adult population have anxiety disorders.

e. Depression – One in every eighth individuals have clinical depression. One in every five young people have emotional problems and 30% of all adolescents who were diagnosed for emotional problems are depressed.

f. Juvenile Delinquency – More than 150, 000 American teenagers are under the criminal justice system. The majority of them have more than two mental disorders. 57% of all juvenile delinquents have reported of prior hospitalization associated with their mental problems.

g. Schizophrenia – In every 1000 adolescents, there are three people who are suffering from Schizophrenia.

h. Serious Emotional Disturbances – 10% of all young adults have severe disturbances in their emotional states.

i. Suicide – For ages 15 to 24, this is the leading cause of death. There are at least 500, 000 individuals who take their own lives yearly.

Statistics on the Prevalence of Mental Disorders in Adults

a. Depression – Depression is the leading psychiatric disorder among elderly affecting 5% of the entire elderly population.

b. 6.5 million Adult people have severe mental disorders.

c. In every group of 100,000 people, there are at least 240 of them suffering from a type of mental illness

d. 6000 adult Americans commit suicide each year

e. Approximately 1 million old Americans suffer from organic mental disorders

f. An estimated 15% of the adult population experience dementia

g. 1 million adult Americans have severe Alzheimer’s disease

What Effects Does Nutrition Have On Mental Health

It has been an enduring belief that nutrition plays a significant role in the state of mental health of an individual. But is this true or not?

Recent as well as previous researches have proven that nutrition (or the lack of it) does have effects on how a person’s brain functions, his moods and his behaviors.

Say for example, a person who has skipped a meal is observably weak, out of focus and irritable. This case worsens when extended to a certain period of time when the person becomes severely moody and indifferent to the demands of his environment thus showing decreased speed in reaction time.

These behaviors occur due to the lack of nutrition supply to the brain. The brain requires high energy and nutrient supply. It comprises, in fact, 20% to 30% of all the energy consumption of the body during rest periods. Thus, any change in diet or nutrition level of the body directly reflects in the mental functioning.

Chronic energy deprivation, such as the case of malnourished people, results to the eventual shutting down of the body by decreasing its activities and redirecting all its energy sources towards the systems that require higher energy supply. This results to altered levels of activities, changes in hormonal levels, lessened immune system efficiency and transport of nutrients and oxygen to certain body parts, all of which could directly or indirectly influence mental health. People with extremely low nutrition are more likely to become sad, depressed and emotional as compared with those who have adequate nutrition.

Newborn babies and fetuses are also susceptible to brain damage if they are subjected to lack of necessary nutrition. The type and degree of damage is dependent on the severity of malnutrition. Also, malnutrition among babies has proven to produce low level of intelligence, cognitive defects as well as functional abnormalities.

Protein, carbohydrates, lipids and vitamins all have individual effects on the brain. Lack of supply of these necessary nutrients result to alterations in the activities of the neurotransmitters, a chemical component in the brain that transmit one nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another. Malfunctioning of the transmitters could influence a person’s mood, thinking and even sleep patterns. Additionally, deficient levels of nutrition may result to nerve cell damage that could disrupt cognitive and mental functions.

Neurotransmitters are partly made of amino acids, the building block of protein. Trytophan for example, makes up the neurotransmitter serotonin. If the required amino acid is lacking, the functions of the neurotransmitter could not be executed affecting the normal functioning of the brain. In case of deficient protein consumption and failure to supply the necessary amino acid to make serotonin, the body would experience low mood and perhaps, aggression. On the other hand, diseases that could cause the build up of certain amino acids could lead to brain damage thus affecting the mental health of an individual.

Mood regulation could also be associated with the sufficient intake of dietary fats. Some studies have yielded inconclusive results on the correlation between serotonin level and intake of omega-3 fatty acids, a certain type of fat found only in white fish to stress and symptoms of bipolar disorder (a mood disorder having the representations of both mania and depression).

Directly or indirectly, nutrition has an effect on mental health. Changes in the nutritional intake of a person could lead to alterations in the mental health and vice versa.

Perspectives on Mental Health Recovery

If you have a chronic disease like heart attack or diabetes, you will have to live life with it. You will learn to adjust after each attack and would know the signs that there is an acute attack budding. The same is true with recovery from a mental illness. You cannot expect that during treatment, you will be a renewed man. Symptoms would still be apparent and you would experience things that are sometimes hopeless and debilitating but still you have to adjust through them. And with each adjustment, you would feel that you are starting to move forward, leaving your mental illness behind.

Mental health recovery is all about improvement from a bad case to something better. It is a continuous process and definitely not a linear one. You would move from square one to square two but you should always be ready to move one step back. You would learn newer ways to control the symptoms of your mental illness and would have insights on how to cope with them. There would be a lot of disappointments and errors the results from these errors are oftentimes rewarding.

Mental health recovery is a lifelong process as much as mental illness took years to develop sometimes even decades. A person could struggle through years of being controlled solely by a mental disorder and will have to face a lifelong effort to get out of it. You may achieve a life beyond the chains of your previous mental illness symptoms but you would still have to bout with intermittent attacks of symptoms.

One crucial factor to all kinds of illnesses is early intervention. Someone who presents symptoms of schizophrenia during earlier stages have a better chance of easier recovery with early intervention than someone who has aggravated case. Likewise, any signs of relapse that are recognized and treated early could define the barrier between going through the same disorder again or completely shutting all doors towards total recovery.

However, recovery from a mental disorder is just one of the many parts of the process. A person suffering from mental illness should also work to restore his mental health or sense of well-being.

Many individuals who have histories of mental illness often resort to a life that is withdrawn from the public due to social stigma and discrimination associated with the mental disorder. This leads to impaired sense of self-worth thus invaliding the whole idea of recovery.

For most people, the hardest stage of the recovery process is not the beginning but the end. In this stage, a person has to reclaim everything that he has lost during the entire period he had the mental illness plus every lost opportunity that he would have taken prior to the onset of symptoms.

Sadly, reclaiming these bits of life is far harder than all the aspects of recovery combined. Going back to “what could have been” takes a very long time as well as mending the damages caused by the mental illness due to very limited opportunities opened to people who have suffered a mental disorder.

But this shouldn’t be. You may not be able to go back to your previous job or do the things that you used to do but you could redirect your life to something different but equally rewarding. This has happened before to other people, it will happen to you.

3 Major Focuses of Recovery for Optimized Mental Health

Focus on the Individual

The focus of recovery should be on the person or the individual and not the process of treatment. There is a constant shift in the manners by which people suffering from psychological disorders are being treated. During the past centuries, due partly to the drive to establish more reliable and effective treatment methods, most mental health professionals fail to focus on the process occurring in a patient, the changes he is undergoing throughout the treatment and the improvements that are associated with the treatment. Instead, the common point for most practitioners is the process of treatment itself- whether or not one treatment is more effective than the other or whether or not a specific therapy could actually work for all patients.

It is a good thing that mental illnesses are viewed now from the sufferer’s perspectives rather than the technicalities of the treatment or therapy. Individuals have various presentations of a mental disorder. Thus needing individualized forms of recovery treatments that are curtailed to the person’s preferences, unique characteristics such as resiliency, strengths and weaknesses, cultural background and experiences.

Focus on the Community

It should be grounded on peer support – External support is invaluable in the process of recovery. Knowing that there are other people who, like the patient, also struggle to achieve the state of well being they want to achieve. It helps for them to know that there are people who cares for them, who wants to see them gain back their life and who shares the same sufferings as they do.

There should exist a mental health support group that would guide and enlighten the patients with the reality of the psychological disorder. This also provides the mutual support that is needed in gaining skills and knowledge on the disorder which is a contributory factor towards improvement.

Focus on Issues Surrounding Mental Wellness

It should be well-directed – A direction set by both the mental health providers and the patient should be prepared during the initial stage of recovery. The patient determines the pace of healing while the mental health professional facilitate the direction.

It should be non-linear – This perspective adheres to the belief that a recovery process is both an end and a process. It is not the usual step-by-step process that has varying levels. In mental health recovery, it is possible that a person who has already overcome the symptoms of a mental disorder could still be troubled by the relapse of the same symptoms. It is, in fact, a trial-and-error process with the promise of development and usual setbacks.

It should be holistic – The concept of holism should be fully integrated into the process of recovery. Recovery from a mental disorder does not only cover specific and separate issues like biological or psychosocial aspects of the disorder. Instead, it affects a person in an extensive manner. Thus recovery should also focus on the micro as well as macro issues surrounding the disorder.

Lastly, the process of recovery should be empowered by hope matched by the motivation and willingness to break free from the mental illness. This could only be achieved when all individual factors – the perspective of the individual and the direction he is taking, the support of external groups such as the family and peers and the right frame of mind.

Alternative Mental Health Care Solutions

A patient of psychological disorder would usually get his treatments through medication and services of a mental health institution or facilities. However, advocates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine believe that there are less intensive, more holistic approaches that could be rendered to these patients in conjunction to their medical treatments. While they do not have approved therapeutic claim and there are no conclusive proofs that these alternatives really work they have been practiced for years and have yielded significant positive results in their own fields. Here are the suggested alternative solutions to mental health care:

Slowing down

Daily stressors contribute to the development of several mental health disorders. In fact, stress itself is considered as a threat to mental health. It disrupts sleep, thinking and rest and it usually affects the way we function everyday. Thus it is suggested to adopt several methods that will help lessen and manage the negative stressors we are exposed to everyday.

Biofeedback – This method is normally used in treating mental health disorders such as phobias, panic and anxiety. This works by controlling the involuntary muscle functioning such as skin temperature and heart rate and by controlling muscle tension.

Massage therapy – This method advances the belief the tapping, rubbing, and brushing the skin and muscle groups could relieve pent up emotions and internal tension. People suffering from severe cases of stress and post-traumatic disorders are usually advised to take get massage therapy regularly.

Visualization – Another method to lessen tension and stress is to redirect the perception and the individual techniques on visualization. This works by entering into a deep state of relaxation where the person could create relaxing and “friendly” images that will contribute to his well-being and lessen the occurrence of unwanted thoughts that are detrimental to one’s mental health.

Traditional alternative approaches

Ayurdeva – Imported from Indian Traditional Medicine, Ayurdeva is a holistic approach to caring your mental health. This seeks balance on the body energies rather than on the symptoms that affect the body. This system of traditional treatments includes yoga, a widely practiced alternative solution in the Western world these days. Yoga makes use of postures, exercises, stretches and meditation to achieve the balance of body energies.

Native American approaches – Cleansing rituals and chants are part of the Indian Health Services Programs that are focused on treating people suffering from depression, stress-related disorders and anxiety disorders.

Acupuncture – Used in treating many other ailments in the body, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical approach that could also be used as treatment to mental disorders. This makes use of needles with various sizes that are inserted to different pressure points in the body to be able to control its flow of energy.

Diet and Nutrition

According to studies, diet and nutrition affects the manner by which our brains work. If it is deprived with certain nutrients, the brain may fail to function the way it should be.

Vitamin and nutrient intake – According to some studies, there are specific vitamins that our brain needs in order to produce other chemicals that are crucial in maintaining our moods. Also, some vitamins are important in preventing the development of neurological and degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, proper intake of these vitamins and minerals plus supplementation of essential nutrients are highly recommended to maintain mental health.

Mental health care does not only need to include medical treatments, support of other approaches is also needed to maximize the possibility of patient recovery.

Benefits of Mental Health Support Groups

Unlike physical disorders, mental illnesses are often not recognizable and difficult to identify. This makes these disorders a lot harder to understand leading the sufferers to believe that they are alone in their suffering and that help is unavailable. Top these with their own conviction that there is no way to heal them and that the disorder is too embarrassing.

These beliefs are true to most mental health patients making it hard for them to seek treatment or comfort, to say the least.

In response to changing these views, mental health support groups were created to help patients know that there other people experiencing the same disorders that they experience which lead them to seek treatment. These also make them feel that there is hope to their suffering and could motivate them to stick to their treatment. For some, its their groups that provide the support system they lack.

What is a Mental Health Support Group?

A support group is a gathering of people with a common goal or interest. Translated into mental health, it is a group of people who have similar sufferings and provide moral and emotional support to people like them. Usually, these support groups focus and specialize on a specific condition. For example, it is rare to find a depression support group that also covers schizophrenia. This need to specialize is driven by the fact that a psychiatric or mental disorder is a very complicated issue thus requiring a specific direction.

Support groups could be used in conjunction with formal and professional treatment and are often confused with group psychotherapy sessions. Group therapy is different in support group in such a way that the former requires a formal and pedagogical setting. This forms a group of people with similar disorders and subjected under the guidance of qualified mental health professional.

A support group could be formed by anyone who has a need to establish this type of group or who have a particular interest on the services that could be gathered from this group. It could be a patient of a specific mental disorder, a family member of someone who has a mental illness- virtually anybody. More organized support groups, however, are formed by mental health providers, non-profit organizations or mental clinics. Oftentimes, this type is controlled by a facilitator or a moderator who is knowledgeable enough in the field as to qualify him to manage the group.

Members of a support group are usually patients of mental illnesses. Someone suffering from unipolar or bipolar disorder is normally found on support groups focusing on these specific disorders or on a broader disorder like that of depression.

The most popular format of support groups is through internet which is broader in scope both in audience and varieties of topics. However, a customized but very limited type of support group is the person-to-person format or through telephone. Lack of more personalized support is the common disadvantage of joining online support groups.

A mental health support group could augment the professional treatment you receive but the services you get from this group should never be treated as substitute to your medical and psychological treatments. This group could open you up to reality and may even give you new hope, but remember that treatment for a mental illness is not all about will power.

Mental Health Tests as Important Assessment Tools

Central to mental health assessment is the use of reliable and validated assessment tools. Among them are the mental health tests.

In order to accurately conduct diagnosis, prognosis and assessment of symptoms, mental health professionals have developed various types of tests that are apt to the needs of each mental health issue. Obviously, only the subjects within the concern of a specific issue are covered in the tests. Here are some of the basic categories of mental health tests:

Neuropsychological Tests

If a neuropsychological cause is suspected in an individual, the clinician would use a paper-and-pencil test to determine any deficit in sensorimotor and cognitive capacities. These may include a tendency to disregard one or several items in a visual field or attention problem. Among the most common neuropsychological tests is the Bender-Gestalt Test which aims to asses the person’s sensorimotor skills by making them reproduce nine drawings.

A person who may have a diagnosable mental illness may be able to reproduce different figures, change the positioning of the figures drawn or change the parts of some of the figures copied. After this activity, they would be asked to remember the image. Most people with mental disorders usually have memory deficits. While this test may not sufficiently identify the specific type of brain damage among people assessed, it is a reliable tool to conclude that a person may or may not have brain damage.

Intelligence Tests

While the use of intelligence tests is usually more productive in educational and industrial settings, it is however useful in determining whether a person is mentally healthy or not. In the clinical setting, these tests are used to have an insight on the person’s intellectual capacities, strengths and weaknesses especially when mental damages are suspected. These tests normally were designed to measure basic intelligence, abstract reasoning, verbal fluency and spatial memory. Results from intelligence tests are used in identifying to which bracket of intelligence a person belongs. People with relatively low scores on IQ tests have some forms of mental disability while those scoring way beyond the average individual may have lower susceptibility to the development of mental disorders. However, this should not be taken as a generalization.

Symptom Questionnaires

The most prevalent type of test these days, symptom questionnaires is used by clinicians and laymen alike. In their original forms, symptom questionnaires are used to directly asses whether a person manifests or feels symptoms of a specific disorder. However, such questionnaires could also cover a wide variety of symptoms from different mental disorders.

Personality Inventories

These are questionnaires that are helpful in assessing people’s typical manner of behavior, thinking and feeling. These provide the fundamental information on assessing a person’s well-being (a very important aspect in mental health), ways of coping, self concept, perception, attitudes, beliefs and vulnerabilities.

Versions of these personality tests are normally seen on online resources. In fact, many people get their mental health assessments from these resources. While these may be helpful as self-help tests, many of the mental health tests on websites are not validated and may have low reliability. These are powerful tools however many are not tested for their validity and reliability. If these two important concepts of psychological testing are not met, the purpose of the test may be defeated.

In case you are using online tests, please be aware that it should be PhD-certified or PhD-approved. Any other types of certifications confirming that someone expert in the field of psychological testing has given his approval of the tests are helpful.