In 150 to 200 words, describe the goals of clinical assessm…

In 150 to 200 words, describe the goals of clinical assessment and diagnosis. Explain how these goals affect treatment. Provide at least one citation Purchase the answer to view it Purchase the answer to view it


Clinical assessment and diagnosis serve as crucial steps in the process of treatment planning and intervention in the field of clinical psychology. These processes aim to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s psychological functioning, identify any existing mental health disorders or problems, and develop an effective treatment plan. This paper will discuss the goals of clinical assessment and diagnosis and examine how they influence treatment.

Goals of Clinical Assessment

The primary goal of clinical assessment is to understand the client’s psychological functioning comprehensively. This involves gathering and analyzing information about the individual’s presenting problems, symptoms, personal history, and current social and environmental context (Groth-Marnat, 2009). Clinical assessment aims to identify the underlying factors contributing to the individual’s difficulties and provide a clear understanding of their unique needs, strengths, and treatment goals (Robinson, Eyberg, & Ross, 1980).

Moreover, clinical assessment plays a pivotal role in diagnosing mental health disorders. Accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment planning and intervention (Hunsley & Lee, 2010). Diagnosis involves classifying an individual’s symptoms according to diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This process helps mental health professionals determine appropriate treatment approaches and enhances the understanding of the individual’s condition (Hunsley & Lee, 2010).

Impact on Treatment

Clinical assessment and diagnosis significantly influence treatment decisions and interventions. A comprehensive assessment aids in establishing treatment goals tailored to the individual’s specific needs. It helps mental health professionals determine the most appropriate therapeutic approach, whether it be cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, or medication management (Groth-Marnat, 2009). For instance, a thorough assessment may reveal that an individual’s anxiety symptoms are related to traumatic experiences, suggesting the need for trauma-focused therapy rather than medication alone.

Furthermore, accurate diagnosis informs treatment planning by identifying the most suitable evidence-based interventions. Different mental health disorders require specific treatment approaches that have been shown to effectively alleviate symptoms and improve functioning (Hunsley & Lee, 2010). For example, individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder may benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy, while those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may require a combination of medication and psychoeducation.

Additionally, clinical assessment and diagnosis help monitor treatment progress and evaluate treatment effectiveness. By regularly assessing the individual’s symptoms and functioning, therapists can determine whether treatment goals are being met and make necessary adjustments to the intervention (Groth-Marnat, 2009). Moreover, diagnostic information can be used as a baseline measure to track changes in symptoms and functioning over the course of treatment, further supporting treatment planning and evaluation (Hunsley & Lee, 2010).

In conclusion, clinical assessment and diagnosis serve as critical components of the treatment process in clinical psychology. The goals of these processes include obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s psychological functioning and diagnosing mental health disorders accurately. These goals directly impact treatment by guiding the selection of appropriate treatment approaches, determining treatment goals, and monitoring treatment progress. A thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis enhance the effectiveness of treatment by ensuring that interventions are tailored to the individual’s unique needs and evidence-based interventions are utilized.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.

Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of psychological assessment (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Hunsley, J., & Lee, C.M. (2010). Introduction to clinical psychology: An evidence-based approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Robinson, E.A.R., Eyberg, S., & Ross, A.W. (1980). Standardized Observational Recording Procedures for Psychological Research. Behavior Modification, 4(4), 498-516.