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Assessment and Diagnosis
The purpose of this paper is to provide a synopsis of the importance of assessment and diagnosis in the counseling process. In the first two sections, the roles of assessment and diagnosis as they relate to case conceptualization and treatment planning will be explored. The potential implications of misdiagnosis will be the focus of the final section.
Becoming acquainted with a potential client’s history, personality and present concerns is necessary in forming a foundation for counseling interventions. This information gathering phase is referred to as assessment (Mears, 2010). While some mental health professionals will use an interview as their primary assessment tool, others will utilize testing or symptom checklists to gather relevant data (Mears, 2010). It is important for the counselor to be thorough in this process, regardless of the manner in which the information is gathered.
A comprehensive review of the information gained in the assessment leads to case conceptualization. Mears (2010) refers to this process as “the way professional…