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Assessment

Clinical assessment is usually part of an initial interview and typically includes completion of a personal questionnaire, enquiry into one's history, and review of mental state.  However, particular assessment techniques, including personality inventories, can be used to focus on understanding areas of functioning, diagnosis, or to assist in answering specific referral questions.  Assessment can involve a formal process involving administration of stimulus materials to a client by a clinician in accordance with standard procedures.  When such assessments or inventories are used, clients must complete them in a controlled setting, either under observation or in interaction with the clinician.

Assessment inventories most frequently involve responding ‘true’ or ‘false’ to questions by using a pencil to fill in a bubble on an answer sheet.  Sometimes questions ask the client to rate items on a number scale or to fill in a blank.  Some assessments may involve the clinician presenting stimuli that call for the client to respond by manipulating (eg, block puzzles or drawing) or by verbalizing (eg, providing information or explanation).  Depending upon the purposes and instruments selected, assessment techniques may take as little as 10 minutes or as long as several hours for the client to complete.

Once assessment materials have been administered, they are scored and profiled by the clinician.  The clinician then interprets the results in the context of the overall clinical assessment and information about the client.  In most circumstances results are included in a written report, and an informing interview is provided by the clinician to the client to help explain the results.

As specialized assessment techniques, particularly personality inventories, involve proprietary materials, and time to administer, score, interpret, and report, appropriate fees are associated with them.  You are encouraged to discuss any questions about assessment inventories and procedures with Dr Zuessman.