ccmh544 | Graduate

Introduction To Clinical Assessment

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This course introduces students to models and tools of assessment and diagnosis for the purpose of developing competency in evaluation and treatment planning for professional counseling practice. Students learn about and practice intake assessment techniques, mental status examinations, using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, outcome-based treatment planning, and behavioral analysis. Emphasis is placed on writing clear, accurate, and useful assessments and treatment plans. Multicultural and ethical issues in assessment are also explored.



This graduate-level course is 8 weeks This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 8 weeks

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    Introduction to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for Multiaxial Diagnosis

    • Articulate the process of differential diagnosis.
    • Demonstrate how Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders decision trees are used.
    • Describe the use and application of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system.
    • Articulate the major diagnostic categories of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classification system.
    • Explore and use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders multiaxial diagnosis procedures.

    The Clinical Assessment Format and Interviewing Skills for Assessment

    • Review the various elements contained within the assessment of adults.
    • Identify the elements and relevance of developmental histories of children and adolescents.
    • Demonstrate the elements of the structured clinical interview.
    • Describe the purpose and administration of mental status examinations.
    • Examine considerations in assessing different cultural groups.
    • Explore interviewing techniques for specific assessment situations.

    Legal and Ethical Considerations in Assessment

    • Identify and describe the legal and ethical concerns when assessing and diagnosing clients, considering the ramifications of labeling clients.
    • Examine the ethical issues that arise when working as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team.

    Introduction to Treatment Planning

    • Define treatment plan and discuss the core elements of a treatment plan.
    • Identify the characteristics of evidence-based treatment planning.
    • Examine the use of assessment and diagnosis to guide treatment planning.
    • Recognize the role of ongoing assessment in modifying treatment plans.
    • Demonstrate the synthesis of assessment, diagnostic, and treatment planning skills through application to case studies.
    • Discuss the influence of culture on diagnosis and treatment planning
    • Explore the influence of theoretical orientation on treatment planning.

    Working Collaboratively With Clients in Developing, Monitoring, and Modifying Treatment Plans

    • Identify the importance of personal characteristics, client motivation, and environmental factors in treatment planning.
    • Describe how to work with clients to create personalized, behaviorally-defined, realistic, and measurable treatment goals.
    • Delineate possible actions to take on fulfillment of the treatment plan, such as termination of the therapeutic relationship, development of a second plan with more advanced goals, and development of a maintenance plan.

    Substance-Related Disorders

    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for substance-related disorders.
    • Investigate the comorbidity of substance-related disorders with other Axis I and Axis II conditions.
    • Survey assessment instruments for substance-related disorders.
    • Identify the features of substance-related disorders as a diagnostic category.

    History and Purpose of Assessment and Diagnosis

    • Examine the history and importance of clinical assessment and diagnosis.

    • Define clinical assessment and identify its elements.
    • Identify the purpose and use of assessment and diagnosis.
    • Describe the concepts of mental disorder, normal, and abnormal behavior.

    Adjustment Disorders

    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for adjustment disorders.
    • Survey assessment instruments for adjustment disorders.
    • Differentiate adjustment disorders from mood and anxiety disorders.
    • Identify the features of adjustment disorders as a diagnostic category.

    Anxiety Disorders

    • Identify the features of anxiety disorders as a diagnostic category.
    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for anxiety disorders.
    • Survey assessment instruments for anxiety disorders.

    Mood Disorders

    • Identify the features of mood disorders as a diagnostic category.
    • Discuss the prevalence of suicidal behavior among individuals with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders.
    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for mood disorders.
    • Survey assessment instruments for mood disorders.

    Crisis Intervention

    • Introduce assessment techniques for suicidal clients and strategies for protecting those clients.
    • Identify psychosocial needs of clients in crisis.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of procedures and techniques used in crisis intervention, including interventions with suicidal, severely mentally ill, non-severely mentatlly ill, and intoxicated clients.

    Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

    • Survey assessment instruments for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
    • Identify the features and typical developmental course of schizophrenia.
    • Describe the key features and differences among the different subtypes of schizophrenia.
    • Discuss the differences between schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

    Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders

    • Identify the features of dissociative disorders and somatoform disorders as diagnostic categories.
    • Evaluate criteria and demonstrate the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning process for dissociative disorders and somatoform disorders.
    • Differentiate between schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder.
    • Survey assessment instruments for dissociative disorders and somatoform disorders.
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