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Clinical Assessments

Clinical assessments help psychologists evaluate clients when they are looking for more clarity around their problems and struggles.

Why Are Clinical Assessment Needed?

Clinical assessment is a process used by mental health professionals, primarily psychologists, that involves the use of assessment tools, such as interviews, tests, and observations in the evaluation of patients. An assessment allows a better understanding of how a person thinks, learns, feels and behaves. The main purpose of clinical assessments is to help psychologists diagnose their client when they present with a problem and are looking for greater clarity around their struggles. Identifying if the client has a mental health struggle clarifies what treatment they may require and what type of intervention or counselling may be most appropriate; this also depends on their symptoms and/or struggles.


Mental health presents with a variety of “behavioral, emotional, or physical discomfort that is often difficult for a clinical practitioner to understand initially. Usu­ally, in mental health settings a clinical psychologist attempts to understand the nature and extent of the patient’s problem by a process of inquiry that is similar to the way a detective might approach a case by col­lecting evidence and using inductive and deductive logic to focus on the most likely factors. Assessment of mental disorders is usually more difficult, more uncer­tain, and more protracted than it is for evaluation of many physical diseases. Yet, early assessment of mental health problems is extremely important in clinical prac­tice. No rational, specific treatment plan can be insti­tuted without at least some general notion of what problems need to be addressed” ( From psychology iResearch).

A better way to think of a clinical assessment is to think about when you visit your family doctor. You may be experiencing pain in your stomach, feeling tired, difficulties with eating, and other experiences that are not typical. Your doctor may ask you to get blood work done. They want to investigate a variety of possible explanations for this.  A clinical assessment is psychology's version of blood tests! It helps us to "rule out" or consider what the cause of the symptoms may be.

The Process Of A Clinical Assessment

  1. Conducting a clinical interview

  2. Choosing a battery of tests

  3. Administering, scoring, and interpreting tests

  4. Integrating and conceptualizing information gathered from test results, the clinical interview, behavioral observations, and other sources

  5. Writing a psychological assessment report

  6. Providing feedback to the individual assessed


Depending on the information, a diagnosis may or not be provided based upon the alignment of symptoms to the Diagnostic and Statistical manual (DSM-V)

For more information on clinical assessments, contact our client relations team.

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