Singapore University of Social Sciences

Clinical Assessment in Counselling (COU501)


This course is designed to provide a theoretical and practical introduction on the following topics: Purposes, principles and processes of clinical assessment Professional issues of assessment Clinical assessment and initial intake Mental status examination Working with client resistance Role of diagnosis in assessment DSM-5 diagnostic criteria relating to anxiety, depression and other commonly encountered disorders Role of case conceptualization in assessment Case conceptualization: Biopsychosocial approach Case conceptualization: Cognitive-behavioural approach Case conceptualization: Solution-focused approach

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Assessment in counselling
  • Basic assessment principles
  • Communicating results
  • Initial assessment in counselling
  • Appraisal of personality
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Using assessment in counselling
  • Ethical and legal issues in assessment
  • Issues related to assessment with diverse populations
  • Case conceptualizations: an overview
  • Assessment and diagnostic formulations
  • Explanations and clinical and cultural formulations
  • Treatment planning and treatment formulations
  • Biopsychosocial case conceptualizations
  • Cognitive-behavioural case conceptualizations
  • Brief dynamic case conceptualizations
  • Solution-focused case conceptualizations

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the purposes, nature and process of assessment in counselling.
  • Examine the basic principles of assessment.
  • Appraise the implications of ethical and legal issues in assessment.
  • Propose guidelines for the selection, administration, scoring and interpretation of assessment results.
  • Assemble and organise test results meaningfully.
  • Evaluate the implications of ethical and legal issues in assessment.
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