Singapore University of Social Sciences

Clinical Assessment in Counselling

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 psychotherapy & counselling
  • Basic assessment principles in counselling
  • Clinical assessment and diagnosis
  • Initial interview communication principles
  • Using appropriate assessment tools and measures in counselling
  • Ethical and legal issues in clinical assessment
  • Issues related to counselling assessment with diverse populations
  • Case conceptualizations in counselling: An overview
  • Counselling assessment and diagnostic formulations
  • Explanations and cultural formulations in clinical assessment
  • Treatment planning and treatment formulations in counselling
  • Different theoretical case conceptualisations in psychotherapy

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the purpose, nature, process and basic principles of assessment in counselling.
  • Appraise different theoretical orientations of assessments in counselling.
  • Critique the importance of culture and contexts in assessment and formulation in a local context.
  • Discuss meaningful selection, administration, scoring and interpretation of assessment results.
  • Formulate case conceptualisations through interpretation of assessment results.
  • Evaluate the implications of ethical and legal issues in assessment.
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