A little understood fact about contemporary mental health treatment in our country is the large gap between incidence rates of mental illness and the treatment rate. In other words, many people suffering from Bi-polar Disorder, Depression or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder do not realize that they have a diagnosable and treatable disorder. They just think that the way they are is normal, even though unpleasant; that life is difficult, and that is the way life is.
I have treated many people who are totally amazed how much easier life becomes and how enjoyable life is after successful psychotherapy often combined with some type of psychotropic medication. A whole new world opens up to them. I feel sad when I think about the many years that these people have needlessly suffered.
I have practiced psychotherapy for over thirty years. For several of those years I did not have the expertise or training to administer mental health screening instruments. I deeply regret those years of not having psychometric tools. While the clinical experience of a psychotherapist is critically important, having objective psychometric results are also essential.
Having Mental Health Screening: A Community Service as part of my website is my way of giving back to the community at large a small token of my deep appreciation for a lifetime of blessings as a psychotherapist. Click here to go to the Mental Health Screening instruments or read on to learn how I use psychometric instruments in my clinical practice to increase effectiveness and treatment results.
The Value of Empirical Clinical Assessment in Psychotherapy
We define assessment as the process of systematically collecting information for the purpose of making a clinical diagnosis in order to create an effective treatment plan.
Ongoing – continuous
Multi-Dimensional: Integrating the input from:
Objective or Empirical psychometric instruments
Family member and client input, i.e., their perspectives
The therapist’s clinical observations flowing from professional training and experience
The presence of illness/psychopathology
The severity of the illness
Possible co-morbidity with substance abuse
Give the client a stronger voice in articulating issues
Develop an appropriate treatment plan
Referrals to other specialists as appropriate
Psychometric Instruments are used as guides to determine: