Clinical Needs Assessment

This assessment, conducted by a registered psychologist, typically takes 2-3 hours.1  In this process, the psychologist first does a detailed clinical interview with the client.  In this interview, the psychologist learns about the client’s background and mental health goals.  The interview gathers information about: the client’s mental health history, any vulnerability factors (such as genetic conditions, trauma history, etc.), physical health and medications, substance use, current life circumstances, etc.

Psychometric measures are also used in this assessment.  These measures gather information about mood, anxiety, and symptoms of other mental health conditions including:

  • Trauma and stress disorders, such as PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders, such as alcohol and drug use, and behavioural addictions like gambling addiction and gaming
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia, and
  • A range of other possible conditions.

In some cases, further assessment is needed, in the form of a comprehensive assessment.

1. In some instances, specially trained social workers and counsellors can also carry out this type of assessment.  In cases where the client’s goals and presentation are less complex, 2 hours is often sufficient.  In more complicated situations, 4 hours may be needed, and there may be a recommendation for further specialized assessment, such as ADHD testing, or other forms of psychodiagnosis.