Assessment is an ongoing process throughout the counseling relationship, requiring the client’s full participation. The purpose of continuous assessment is to understand the client in relationship to how they function within their environment; and helps to create a plan of care so that the individual can maintain, improve or promote self-change, environmental changes or both. The assessment is repeated either quarterly or yearly to ensure that it is up to date and to measure the progress of the client.
Behavioral assessment is an approach that focuses on the interactions between situations and behaviors for the purpose of effecting behavioral change. There are several tools available to use in behavioral assessment allowing for a deeper understanding of why a behavior is occurring. A primary method used during the behavioral assessment is interviewing. More specifically, it is how we identify a problem behavior, the situational factors that maintain the behavior, and the consequences that result from the behavior. During the interview we attempt to obtain a general picture of the presenting problem and of the variables that seem to be maintaining the problematic behavior.
Observation is also a technique of the behavioral assessment. It is often used to gain a better understanding of the frequency, strength, and pervasiveness of the problem behavior as well as the factors that are maintaining it. It provides the clinician with an actual sample (rather than a self-report) of the problematic behavior. The behavioral assessment is an ongoing process, occurring at all points throughout the treatment.
Crisis services include 24 hour, seven days a week (24/7) toll free telephone line answered by a trained crisis specialist with face to face crisis service capabilities including, but not limited to: triage, intervention, evaluation, referral for additional services/treatment and follow up services. In a crisis we assess for risk of harm of suicide, homicide, injury to self or others. During a crisis intervention process, these are the seven stages of working through a crisis:
● assessing lethality and safety needs;
● establishing rapport and communication;
● identifying the major problems;
● dealing with feelings and providing support;
● exploring possible alternatives;
● formulating an action plan; and
● follow up measures.
Assessment of danger to self or others should continue throughout any crisis assessment, crisis intervention, and crisis stabilization process.
A structured way of describing a patient’s current state of mind under the domains of appearance, attitude, behavior, speech, mood and affect, thought process, thought content, perception, cognition, insight, and judgement. The purpose is to obtain a comprehensive cross-sectional description of the patient’s mental state. Data are collected through a combination of direct and indirect means such as;
Cultural differences between the examiner and patient must be taken into consideration, as different cultural backgrounds may be associated with different norms of interpersonal behavior and emotional expression.