Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy
“A sensitively crafted intake assessment can be a powerful therapeutic tool. It can establish rapport between patient and therapist, further the therapeutic alliance, alleviate anxiety, provide reassurance, and facilitate the flow of information necessary for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.”
—Pamela Bjorklund, clinical psychologist
Whether you are treating patients for physical ailments or clients for mental health issues, the assessment process is an inextricable part of health care. To properly diagnose clients and develop treatment plans, you must have a strong foundation in assessment. This includes a working knowledge of assessments that are available to aid in diagnosis, how to use these assessments, and how to select the most appropriate assessment based on a client’s presentation.
This week, as you explore assessment and diagnosis in psychotherapy, you examine assessment tools, including their psychometric properties and appropriate use. You also develop diagnoses for clients receiving psychotherapy and consider legal and ethical implications of counseling these clients.
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Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Chapter 3, “Assessment and Diagnosis” (pp. 95–168)
Chapter 4, “The Initial Contact and Maintaining the Frame” (pp. 169–224)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (1995). Practice parameters for the psychiatric assessment of children and adolescents. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from https://www.aacap.org/App_Themes/AACAP/docs/practice_parameters/psychiatric_assessment_practice_parameter.pdf
American Psychiatric Association. (2016). Practice guidelines for the psychiatric evaluation of adults (3rd ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. Retrieved from http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.1176/appi.books.9780890426760
Walden Library. (2017). NURS 6640 week 2 discussion guide. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/nurs6640week2discussion
Walden University. (n.d.). Tests & measures: Home. Retrieved February 6, 2017, from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/testsmeasures
Note: This database may be helpful in obtaining assessment tool information for this week’s Discussion.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015a). Counseling competencies—The application of ethical guides and laws to record keeping [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Provided courtesy of the Laureate International Network of Universities.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 23 minutes.
Discussion: Assessment Tools
Assessment tools have two primary purposes: 1) to measure illness and diagnose clients, and 2) to measure a client’s response to treatment. Often, you will find that multiple assessment tools are designed to measure the same condition or response. Not all tools, however, are appropriate for use in all clinical situations. You must consider the strengths and weaknesses of each tool to select the appropriate assessment tool for your client. For this Discussion, as you examine the assessment tool assigned to you by the Course Instructor, consider its use in psychotherapy.
Analyze psychometric properties of assessment tools
Evaluate appropriate use of assessment tools in psychotherapy
Compare assessment tools used in psychotherapy
Note: By Day 1 of this week, the Course Instructor will assign you to an assessment tool that is used in psychotherapy.
Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide.
Consider the asessment tool assigned to you by the Course Instructor.
Review the Library Course Guide in your Learning Resources for assistance in locating information on the assessment tool you were assigned.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!
By Day 3
Post an explanation of the psychometric properties of the assessment tool you were assigned. Explain when it is appropriate to use this assessment tool with clients, including whether the tool can be used to evaluate the efficacy of psychopharmacologic medications. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
NB: Assessment tool to be used: Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test.
Assessment tools have two primary purposes: 1) to measure illness and diagnose clients, and 2) to measure a client’s response to treatment.
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