Importance Of Assessment And Diagnosis

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Before explaining the role and importance of assessment and diagnosis in case conceptualization and treatment planning, assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization and treatment planning should be defined. According to Erford (2010) assessment is the systematic gathering of information to understand the issues that bring people to counseling. Diagnosis is the identification of a problem that becomes the target of the counseling intervention. Case conceptualization refers to how professional counselors understand the nature of clients’ concerns, how and why the problems have developed, and the types of counseling interventions that would be helpful. Treatment planning provides a road map for the counseling process (Erford, 2010). Assessment and diagnosis play the most important role in case conceptualization and treatment planning because it allows the professional counselor to gain a better understanding about the client’s issues and needs. Professional counselors’ assessment involves intake interviews, test and inventories, behavioral observations and relevant information from other sources (Barlow & Durand, 2003; Nystul, 2006). According to Erford (2010) the assessment process helps the professional counselor put together a diagnosis and set up a treatment plan. Professional counselors also need to consider how issues such as race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, family structure, trauma, and sexual and gender orientation affect a client’s presenting concerns and what impact these variables have on the acceptability of , and the access to, counseling (Erford, 2010). Clients are being misdiagnosed due to managed health care guidelines. According to Braun and Cox (2005) managed care guidelines determine whether and how counselors deliver services and whether services are reimbursable. When insurance reimbursement is denied because managed care
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