PSY240 Lecture 5
Chapter 4: Clinical Assessment
The Basic Elements in Assessment
• In the initial clinical assessment an attempt is made to
– Identify the main dimensions of a client’s problem
– Predict the likely course of events under various conditions
– Establish baselines for psychological functions so that the effects of treatment can be measured
• The goals of psychological assessments include:
– Identifying and describing symptoms
– Determining the chronicity and severity of problems
– Evaluating the potential causal factors in the person’s background
– Exploring the individual’s personal resources that might be assets in treatment
• A good assessment should include information on
– overall physical wellbeing
– intellectual functioning
– personality characteristics
– env’tal pressures
– env’tal resources
– Notable deficits
• Something you can notably tell?
– Personality deficits
• Use specific inventories
– Acceptance for help
– Social context
• Do they have any other type of support? Friends? Coworkers?
…… to name a few …..
• How clinicians go about the assessment process often depends on their basic treatment orientations
– Which perspective are they coming from?
• Biologically orientated will be different from someone who is Freudian. Humanist might say
“there’s some sort of blockage in your personal world” etc etc.
• For psychological assessment to proceed effectively, the client must feel comfortable with the clinician
– What makes an effective clinician?
– What kind of environment are they setting for the client?
Assessment of the Physical Organism
• Many psychological problems have physical components as
– Causal factors
• Chronic disease?
– Medical examination
– Data collection
• Therefore, it is often important to include a medical examination in the psychological assessment
• If organic brain damage is suspected, neurological tests can aid in determining the site and extent of organic
• The neurological examination may include
– An **EEG (dysrhythmia) PSY240 Lecture 5
• Placing electrodes on the head
• Recording brain activity/electrical rhythms
• If there is dysrhythmia, then the electrical rhythms are out of sync, there is some type of
– A CAT scan
• Xray of the brain
– A PET scan
• How the brain is functioning in terms of its metabolism
– Glucose activity
• Tells how the brain is
– A functional MRI
• Shows brain activity of various regions
• Getting information about OXYGEN, see if it is being utilized at various regions of the brain.
• The neuropsychological examination involves the use of
– an expanding array of testing devices
– Measurement of cognitive, perceptual, and motor performance
– Clues to the extent and location of brain damage
• Perception: can you make the sensations together?
• Sensation: auditory, visual, etc
• Cognitive: task that are associated w/ thinking/memory/etc
• Motor: walking, sitting, etc
• One popular neuropsychological examination, the Halstead-Reitan battery, is composed of the following tests:
– Halstead Category Test
• Examines concept formation
• Show subject lots of images (208), various geometric shapes
• Ask individual to say what they think they see “1, 2, 3, 4”
• Start forming concepts after a while to see a pattern
• Assess judgements, concept develop’t, impulsivity
– Tactual Performance Test
• Matching block items blindfolded
• Measuring sense of touch, tactile
– Rhythm Test
• Matching rhythms, see if able to concentrate, pay attention, and auditory capacity
– Speech Sounds Perception Test
• See if individual is able to understand spoken words
• Words are nonse