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by: Gina

Assessment PSYC 3005 31


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About this Document

These notes cover the assessment of patients, as well as beginning to talk about diagnosis and classification of mental illnesses
Abnormal Psychology
Donalee Brown
Class Notes
Psychology, abnormal psych
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gina on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3005 31 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Donalee Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
Assessment, Classification, and Diagnosis Example Case Study Angela – 22  Lived at home with mom  Employed as administrative assistant at insurance company  Had past experience with ‘the blues’  She sought help because these bouts of despondency were getting worse than they had been  We need to discern what are the symptoms/behaviors of this o She categorized it at severe depression o Frequent crying spells (About 2 months without going away) o Hard to concentrate on job o Difficult falling asleep at night o Loss of appetite o Realized she had broken up with a boyfriend about the time when the symptoms started  Clients can’t always say what’s wrong with them, a therapist’s job is to ask the right questions that get down to the symptoms  This step is assessment, which is always followed by diagnosis, which leads to treatment  If one preceding step is done incorrectly, the following steps with be done incorrectly  The treatment won’t work for the patient Assessment  Collection of relevant information Determines how and why a person is behaving abnormally Assessment, Classification, and Diagnosis  Evaluates ongoing treatment  NOT JUST DONE AT THE BEGINNING – we need to constantly asses if the patient is making progress in their treatment, it’s an ongoing process Assessment Tools  Depends on theoretical orientation  Categories o Clinical interviews o Tests (In order to be helpful, these needs to be standardized) o Observations  Ex. A psychodynamic therapist would use psychodynamic assessments to get to the heart of the patient’s issues  By using standardized way of observing and assessing patients, we help to assure that the correct data is being collected no matter the status of the psychologist  We need these tests to be consistent, reliable and have validity Clinical Interviews  Detailed first contact with client  Information is gathered – as much detailed information as can possibly be gathered o These can last an indefinite amount of time o These interviews are changing, for example, there is a rise in the trend of receiving counseling over the phone or email o This is the best way to get to know someone  It’s easiest to pick up on how a patient is feeling when you speak with them face to face  Expectations about therapy are discussed o It’s important that an expectation is established so that the client understands that this is a process, they won’t feel better right away Assessment, Classification, and Diagnosis o Reassure that what the patient says is confidential, but in cases like when a patient may be harmful to themselves or someone else, other people may need to be contacted o Make sure you tell them that if they tell you something about them breaking the law, they need to know in order to build trust  Structured or unstructured o Asking open ended questions is unstructured therapy o In a structured therapy session, you would be asking close ended, preplanned questions  YOU CANNOT JUDGE A CLIENT – you need to learn to look through the patient’s perspective  A patient does not need to stick with the first therapist they go to – if they dislike the therapist it would be beneficial for them to try a different therapist because they need to be comfortable with the therapist in order to make progress in their treatment  Mental Status Exam – This is mostly observational  A quick snapshot of the person’s mental status  Know about their… o Awareness o Orientation x 3 – You want to know they’re oriented to where and when they are currently  Person  Place  Time o Attention span o Memory – Present a series of numbers/objects, tell them to try and remember it, and circle back to it a few minutes later o Insight/Judgment – Observe their actions and how they act o Current Mood - o Appearance Assessment, Classification, and Diagnosis Tests  Devices or instruments used to gather information about clients and their behavior  All have to be well validated and reliable  Projective Tests o TAT – Thematic Apperception Test o HTP – House Tree Person Test (This one is kind of iffy) o Rorschach Test  Neurological Test  Bender Gestalt Visual Motor  See if there’s a change in behavior brought about by brain activity  Check for organic diseases  Personality Test  MMPI – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory  Physiological Test  Gathers information from inside the body (Blood pressure, heart rate, skin reactivity)  These are important because certain mental states, like stress, can affect a person physiologically Observations  Naturalistic o Put patients in a natural setting and observe what happens o You could ask a patient to observe themselves Assessment, Classification, and Diagnosis  Ask them to record what they do throughout the day (like a diary or something)  Structured o Systematically observe behavior o Usually done in an artificial setting (office, lab) o Watch the Stanford prison study DSM – 5  Definition of mental disorder o The accepted standard for defining mental disorders  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual  Determine that a person’s psychological state and behaviors constitute a mental disorder  It’s important to diagnose a patient so you know how to treat them correctly  It is very important to get the correct diagnosis  All science relies on classification systems – this is psychology’s classification system Treatment  Begins with assessment  Use diagnostic information to choose techniques of therapy  Influenced by theoretical orientation  Symptoms – signs, a person’s complaint as to what’s wrong with them


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