NRNP 6640-14 Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

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NRNP 6640-14 Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

NRNP 6640-14 Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

“A sensitively crafted intake assessment can be a powerful therapeutic tool. It can establish
rapport between patient and therapist, further the therapeutic alliance, alleviate anxiety,
provide reassurance, and facilitate the flow of information necessary for an accurate
diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.”
—Pamela Bjorklund, clinical psychologist
Whether you are treating patients for physical ailments or clients for mental health issues,
the assessment process is an inextricable part of health care. To properly diagnose clients
and develop treatment plans, you must have a strong foundation in assessment. This
includes a working knowledge of assessments that are available to aid in diagnosis, how to
use these assessments, and how to select the most appropriate assessment based on a
client’s presentation.
This week, as you explore assessment and diagnosis in psychotherapy, you examine
assessment tools, including their psychometric properties and appropriate use.
Photo Credit: [Wavebreakmedia Ltd]/[Wavebreak Media / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images

Learning Resources
Required Readings
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-
to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing
 Chapter 3, “Assessment and Diagnosis” (pp. 95–168)
 Chapter 4, “The Initial Contact and Maintaining the Frame” (pp. 169–224)

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (1995). Practice parameters for the
psychiatric assessment of children and adolescents. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved

American Psychiatric Association. (2016). Practice guidelines for the psychiatric evaluation
of adults (3rd ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. Retrieved from

Walden Library. (2017). NURS 6640 week 2 discussion guide. Retrieved from

Walden University. (n.d.). Tests & measures: Home. Retrieved February 6, 2017, from
Note: This database may be helpful in obtaining assessment tool information for this
week's Discussion.

Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015a). Counseling competencies—The application of
ethical guides and laws to record keeping [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Provided courtesy of the Laureate International Network of Universities.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 23 minutes.

NRNP 6640-14 Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

NRNP 6640-14 Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy

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Discussion: Assessment Tools
Assessment tools have two primary purposes: 1) to measure illness and diagnose clients,
and 2) to measure a client’s response to treatment. Often, you will find that multiple
assessment tools are designed to measure the same condition or response. Not all tools,
however, are appropriate for use in all clinical situations. You must consider the strengths
and weaknesses of each tool to select the appropriate assessment tool for your client. For
this Discussion, as you examine the assessment tool assigned to you by the Course
Instructor, consider its use in psychotherapy.
Learning Objectives
Students will:

 Analyze psychometric properties of assessment tools
 Evaluate appropriate use of assessment tools in psychotherapy
 Compare assessment tools used in psychotherapy
Note: By Day 1 of this week, the Course Instructor will assign you to an assessment tool that is
used in psychotherapy.
To prepare:
 Review this week's Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide.
 Consider the assessment tool assigned to you by the Course Instructor.
 Review the Library Course Guide in your Learning Resources for assistance in
locating information on the assessment tool you were assigned.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be
able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the "Post to
Discussion Question" link and then select "Create Thread" to complete your initial post.
Remember, once you click Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post
anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking Submit!
By Day 3
Post an explanation of the psychometric properties of the assessment tool you were
assigned. Explain when it is appropriate to use this assessment tool with clients, including
whether the tool can be used to evaluate the efficacy of psychopharmacologic medications.
Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
Read a selection of your colleagues' responses.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues by comparing your assessment tool to theirs.
Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria
To access your rubric:
Week 2 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion

Week in Review
Now that you have:
 Analyzed psychometric properties of assessment tools
 Evaluated appropriate use of assessment tools in psychotherapy
 Compared assessment tools used in psychotherapy
Next week, you will:
 Evaluate the application of current literature to clinical practice
Next Week

To go to the next week:
Week 3

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