Assignment: Practicum – Week 2 Journal Entry
- Develop diagnoses for clients receiving psychotherapy*
- Analyze legal and ethical implications of counseling clients with psychiatric disorders*
* The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 4.
Select a client whom you observed or counseled this week. Then, address the following in your Practicum Journal:
- Describe the client (without violating HIPAA regulations) and identify any pertinent history or medical information, including prescribed medications.
- Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), explain and justify your diagnosis for this client.
- Explain any legal and/or ethical implications related to counseling this client.
- Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
BY DAY 7 OF WEEK 4
Submit your Assignment.
Week 2: Assessment and Diagnosis in Psychotherapy
“A sensitively crafted intake assessment can be a powerful therapeutic tool. It can establish rapport between patient and therapist, further the therapeutic alliance, alleviate anxiety, provide reassurance, and facilitate the flow of information necessary for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.”
—Pamela Bjorklund, clinical psychologist
Whether you are treating patients for physical ailments or clients for mental health issues, the assessment process is an inextricable part of health care. To properly diagnose clients and develop treatment plans, you must have a strong foundation in assessment. This includes a working knowledge of assessments that are available to aid in diagnosis, how to use these assessments, and how to select the most appropriate assessment based on a client’s presentation.
This week, as you explore assessment and diagnosis in psychotherapy, you examine assessment tools, including their psychometric properties and appropriate use. You also develop diagnoses for clients receiving psychotherapy and consider legal and ethical implications of counseling these clients.
Photo Credit: [Wavebreakmedia Ltd]/[Wavebreak Media / Getty Images Plus]/Getty Images
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014).
Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
- Chapter 3, “Assessment and Diagnosis” (pp. 95–168)
- Chapter 4, “The Initial Contact and Maintaining the Frame” (pp. 169–224)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013).
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Note: It is highly recommended that you use this resource as a reference guide throughout the course. You will access this text from the Walden Library databases.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (1995). Practice parameters for the psychiatric assessment of children and adolescents. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
American Psychiatric Association. (2016). Practice guidelines for the psychiatric evaluation of adults (3rd ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. Retrieved from
Walden University. (n.d.). Tests & measures: Home. Retrieved February 6, 2017, from
Note: This database may be helpful in obtaining assessment tool information for this week’s Discussion.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2015a). Counseling competencies—The application of ethical guides and laws to record keeping [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Provided courtesy of the Laureate International Network of Universities.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 23 minutes.