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In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Essay Questions
Kristy Bazzanella
Liberty University

Essay Questions Assessment is a vital component in the counseling process. Use of both informal and formal assessment methods ensure that clinicians judgments are non-biased, and when utilized correctly aide in formulating of case conceptualizations and treatment plans (Whitson, 2013). The primary purpose of assessments, for the counselor, is to obtain information to effectively counsel clients. According to Whitson (2013), once all information is gained, the counselor, can “either formally or informally, diagnose the client” (p.285). It is critical that the counselor choose assessments that are both reliable and valid. The choice of assessment type and instrument will vary depending on the presenting problem, age, and cognitive and developmental state of client. Assessments will also vary according to settings. For example, the choice of assessment instruments utilized by a school counselor will differ greatly from the assessments utilized in a drug treatment or psychiatric facility. Assessments can have either a negative or positive impact on treatment planning. Counselors who use informal assessment techniques, such as unstructured interviews may find that the information gathered is not reliable and, therefore, prone to error (Whitson, 2013, p.111). Inexperienced counselors who use unstructured interviews have been observed to focus on minor issues and have failed to collect adequate data. Unstructured interviews often take longer than structured interviews. Whitson (2013) observed that clinicians tend to be biased in their decision making and must ensure that they gather information with both sound and objective techniques (p.114). Checklists and rating scales are often combined with interviews in order to assess clients. Standardized checklists and rating scales are often

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