The sign of an effective clinician is the ability to identify the criteria that distinguish the diagnosis from any other possibility (otherwise known as a differential diagnosis). An ambiguous clinical diagnosis can lead to a faulty course of treatment and hurt the client more than it helps. In this Assignment, using the DSM-5 and all of the skills you have acquired to date, you assess a client.
This is a culmination of learning from all the weeks covered so far.
To prepare: Use a differential diagnosis process and analysis of the Mental Status Exam in the case provided by your instructor to determine if the case meets the criteria for a clinical diagnosis.
Submit a 4- to 5-page paper in which you:
- Provide the full DSM-5 diagnosis. Remember, a full diagnosis should include the name of the disorder, ICD-10-CM code, specifiers, severity, and the Z codes (other conditions that may need clinical attention).
- Explain the full diagnosis, matching the symptoms of the case to the criteria for any diagnoses used.
- Identify 2–3 of the close differentials that you considered for the case and have ruled out. Concisely explain why these conditions were considered but eliminated.
- Identify the assessments you recommend to validate treatment. Explain the rationale behind choosing the assessment instruments to support, clarify, or track treatment progress for the diagnosis.
- Explain your recommendations for initial resources and treatment. Use scholarly resources to support your evidence-based treatment recommendations.
- Explain how you took cultural factors and diversity into account when making the assessment and recommending interventions.
- Identify client strengths, and explain how you would utilize strengths throughout treatment.
- Identify specific knowledge or skills you would need to obtain to effectively treat this client, and provide a plan on how you will do so.
Morrison, J. (2014). Diagnosis made easier (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
- Chapter 15, “Diagnosing Substance Misuse and Other Addictions” (pp. 238–250)
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