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Assessment (Part II)

Contributor: Yvette McBride Thomas

Assessment—the procedures and processes of collecting information and measures of human behavior outside of test data .

  • Can be obtained “through a variety of formal and informal techniques including standardized tests, diagnostic interviews, projective personality measures, questionnaires, mental status examinations, checklists, behavioral observation, and reports by significant others (medical, educational, social, legal, etc.)”
  • The concept of assessment emphasizes the humanness of counseling…a total picture of the person being evaluated.
  • “The term assessment is being used increasingly to refer to the intensive study of an individual, leading to recommendations for action in solving a particular problem.”
  • The goal of the assessment process is a comprehensive evaluation of individuals, usually in the present.
  • Often it includes a formulation of a treatment plan that will result in positive and predictable outcomes.
  • Ways to conduct assessments include:
    • Structured clinical interviews
    • DSM-IV-TR (2000)—Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
    • Mental Status Exam (MSE) is being “increasingly used by counselors in work settings requiring assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders”
  • Overall, assessment is crucial because it allows counselors not only to determine what a client’s problem is but to learn the client’s orientation to problem solving.
Resource: Gladding, S.T. (2011). Counseling: A comprehensive profession (7th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson-Merrill.
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