Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis: Overview

Clinical assessment refers to the collection and evaluation of evidence related to the abilities of an individual to manage important aspects of his or her life. Diagnosis refers to the observation of symptoms related to an individual’s mental and behavioral functioning to establish whether the individual meets the established criteria for a particular mental health disorder. Professionals who seek to understand individuals with mental health disorders, as well as those who work directly with such individuals, need to be familiar with the various processes used in conducting clinical assessments and the major taxonomies used to classify and diagnose mental health disorders, as well as the controversies and pitfalls associated with each activity. The following sections summarize the process of clinical assessment, review the major diagnostic ...

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