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 counselling
  • Basic assessment principles
  • Communicating results
  • Initial assessment in counselling
  • Appraisal of personality
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Using assessment in counselling
  • Ethical and legal issues in assessment
  • Issues related to assessment with diverse populations
  • Case conceptualizations: an overview
  • Assessment and diagnostic formulations
  • Explanations and clinical and cultural formulations
  • Treatment planning and treatment formulations
  • Biopsychosocial case conceptualizations
  • Cognitive-behavioural case conceptualizations
  • Brief dynamic case conceptualizations
  • Solution-focused case conceptualizations

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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