Handbook of Assessment and Treatment Planning for Psychological Disorders

Handbook of Assessment and Treatment Planning for Psychological Disorders

Handbook of Assessment and Treatment Planning for Psychological Disorders

Handbook of Assessment and Treatment Planning for Psychological Disorders


This comprehensive reference and text provides detailed guidelines for conducting multimodal assessments of individuals suffering from frequently encountered psychological disorders. The contributors, leading scientist-practitioners, address the growing need for assessment approaches that are brief, easy to implement, and psychometrically sound. A wide range of tools and techniques are considered, including structured and semi-structured interviews, self-report measures, psychophysiological measures, observational techniques, and more. Of crucial importance, the book also demonstrates how assessment results can effectively be used in planning evidence-based interventions and monitoring the outcome of treatment. Providing essential knowledge to guide clinical decision making, this volume is an ideal companion for psychologists, psychiatrists, and other practitioners in today's demanding health care environment. An important reference for clinical researchers, it will serve as a text in graduate-level courses.


With the increased role of managed care in recent years, clinicians have been under pressure to provide services in fewer sessions and to demonstrate the effectiveness of their interventions. In the context of psychological treatments, there has been a movement to develop criteria for identifying empirically valid (or evidence-based) treatments and to use those criteria to select interventions for particular conditions (Chambless & Ollendick, 2001; Weisz, Hawley, Pilkonis, Woody, & Follette, 2000). Increasingly, clinicians are recognizing that not all treatments are equally effective for all psychological problems. Many are seeking specialized training to provide empirically supported treatments (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders, interpersonal psychotherapy for depression, dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder).

At the same time, there has been increased recognition that treatments shown to be useful in research settings may not always be as effective when used in typical clinical settings (Seligman, 1996), where patients often have somewhat different presentations than individuals admitted to clinical research trials. In other words, findings from treatment efficacy studies do not always produce exactly the same outcomes when the same strategies are used in the community. Although there is increased awareness of the importance of training in empirically supported treatments, there is also recognition that these treatments need to be researched in the clinical settings where they are most likely to be used (i.e., effectiveness studies).

The recent shift in emphasis to empirically supported treatments has important implications for assessment, an essential component of almost every clinician's training and practice. Only through the process of assessment can a practitioner thoroughly identify the parameters of a patient's problem, choose an effective course of treatment, and measure the outcome of treatment. Just as it is important to select treatments that are supported through controlled research, it is equally important that clinicians use assessment techniques with proven reliability and validity for answering the most important assessment questions. However, it is also important that assessment strategies be brief, practical, and psychometrically sound for the population and setting where they are to be used.

The purpose of this book is to provide clinicians, researchers, and students from a wide range of disciplines with detailed guidelines for assessing individuals suffering from psychological disorders. In addition, chapters discuss how assessment results can be used to select effective interventions and how a clinician can use standard assessment tools to measure the outcome of treatment.

This book is different from other books on assessment in a number of ways. First, traditional psychological assessment texts often emphasize general assessment strategies designed to measure broad aspects of personality, cognitive functioning, and psychopathology. Although these traditional, nonspecific strategies for assessment may be appropriate in settings where nonspecific treatments are likely to be delivered, they often do not provide . . .

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