Essential Assessment Skills
Intro to assessment
Assessment is the foundation for treatment
Helps you uncover client expectations
Helps you understand how problems manifest and impact your client’s lives
Helps you figure out why the problem exists
Helps you select the best treatment for your client
Helps you evaluate how quickly therapy is bringing about change Challenges of doing an effective assessment
Beginning therapists may feel overwhelmed with the amount of info that is
obtained in assessment
using theory to inform one’s assessment
it can be a mistake to develop strong alliance with one theory and use that
theory for all situations
The right theory to use in each case will emerge from your assessment data
Assessment is an integrated process
New therapists may feel compelled to intervene before they have completed a
New therapists may doubt their assessment skills.
Biopsychosocial systems model
Systems perspective: we try to understand problems in the context of our client’s
Clients can become caught in rational patterns that create problems for them
Even in cases where the problem might be considered individual we still need to
look at the client’s relationships.
New therapists can make the mistake of putting to much emphasis on individual
factors. Whenever possible invite the couple or family to therapy.
e.g. A woman who had hyperthyroidism that was confused with depression
Medications can also have a psychological effect or side effect e.g blood
Health issues can exacerbate relationship problems
Since couples and families are composed of and created by individuals
psychological factors that affect individuals are vital to assessment.
Change in a family system happens when you work with an individual to
change and those changes go on to enact change in the entire family
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