Introduction to Evaluating and Assessing Mental Disorders

What you’ll learn to do: describe and discuss various psychological assessment techniquesDecorative image.

In this section, we discuss the “clinical method,” or an approach to understanding and treating mental disorders that begins with a particular individual’s personal history and is designed around that individual’s psychological needs. Taking a personal history along with a diagnostic interview allow the mental health professional to fully establish a¬†clinical diagnosis. You will see, as we discuss cases in future modules, that a comprehensive assessment can prove valuable in helping to understand the nature of an individual’s symptoms and potential directions for treatment.

Psychological assessment usually involves a comprehensive assessment of the individual. Psychological assessment can be seen as a formal evaluation of an individual’s cognitive, personality, and psychosocial functioning. The process typically involves checking the integration of information from multiple sources, such as tests of normal and abnormal personality, tests of ability or intelligence, and tests of interests or attitudes as well as information from personal interviews. In this section, we’ll learn more about diagnostic tools and assessment tools used to gather information about an individual.