People do not have to have a mental health illness or disorder to access help. Lives are so busy and complex that there is a significant need for many people to ‘talk to someone’ so that they can sort out feelings,
As professionals within the mental health field – therapist, clinical counsellor, social worker, psychologist or EAP professional – you are in an honoured and unique position to hear your clients’ stories.
Time and money constraints are a given for many clients so the trend is to work short–term with a professional. When issues appear again in the future, clients will have that trusted professional to go to.
Using best practices when conducting a Comprehensive Assessment will allow you to gain:
1) Understanding that the Comprehensive Assessment is the most important clinical function in the counselling or therapy process. Once this is understood then your clinical work is clear.
2) A focused and streamlined method to conduct a comprehensive assessment.
3) New insight to help you and your client identify the real issue(s) that has brought him/her into counselling. Remember rarely is the presenting issue the real issue.
4) An awareness of all other stressors that are troubling the client. Once you have identified the root cause of the client’s distress, other related stressors are also identified.
5) An appreciation of where to focus so that a treatment or action plan can be developed for the client to activate between sessions. In this way, clients can begin to experience small successes and build confidence as the real work happens once the client leaves your office.
Knowing best practices in conducting a comprehensive assessment will allow you, the mental health professional, to work with your clients in a more confident, focused and successful manner. In so doing you will build your professional reputation to stellar levels.