Assessment of psychopathology, including substance use disorder, plays an important role in the overall care of the client. Accurate and thorough assessment should enable the clinician to (a) reach a diagnosis of the client, (b) develop the client's case conceptualization and treatment plan, and (c) monitor treatment progress and treatment outcome. The overall goal for any assessment should be to better understand the specific disorder from which the client suffers. Assessment also provides a means for clinicians and researchers to share a common language in communicating about the client's diagnosis, case conceptualization, progress, and outcome.

Ideally, the assessment process provides the therapist and patient the opportunity to develop a facultative working relationship. For that reason, assessment is considered to mark the beginning of the therapeutic relationship. ...

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