Counseling Certification Program
HUS 662: Therapeutic Counseling and Human Service Delivery Applications of
Clinical Assessment and Testing
Master of Human Services
Instructor: Dr. Effie Bastas
Phone: (215) 842-0678
Credit hours: 3
Office hours: W, Th 1-6
Pre-requisites: Master's degree in Human Services or related
field; eligibility for licensing as professional counselor.
description: This course will examine a variety of assessment and testing
methods, advanced interviewing procedures, and observational techniques associated
with the formulation of diagnostic impressions and treatment plans in human service
settings. Emphasis will be given to multi-modal and eclectic appraisals of cognitive,
affective, social, vocational, interests/aptitude, achievement, intellectual and
personality aspects of functioning. The course will also present frameworks and
models for the development of assessment practices. Attention will be given to
the function and origin of assessment and testing instruments and principles underlying
counseling and clinical practice in various human services settings. Additionally,
concepts identifying appropriate paradigms for diagnostic inferences will be covered.
Guidelines for conducting the assessment process in an ethical and considerate
manner will be presented. Much attention will be given to the implications of
clinical assessment and testing for diagnosis, clinical decision making and treatment
planning. The techniques, tools, instruments and models incorporated into the
course content will be elucidated in a pragmatic manner to be utilized by counselors,
clinicians and human service practitioners who might not necessarily administer
psychological tests, but will, nevertheless, be responsible for making clinical
judgements and interventions based upon an understanding of test results.
The purpose of this course is to convey a practical understanding of clinical
assessment and testing approaches and models to counselors, therapists, and other
human service practitioners who must make clinical judgments, diagnose clients,
frame interventions, and manage the course of treatment within a variety of human
service settings. The intention is to present an overview as well as detailed
characteristics of different types of assessment tools and tests, in order to
make them accessible to practitioners who utilize assessment data in the practice
of counseling and clinical interventions. The course will not teach participants
how to construct instruments but how to utilize assessment techniques and testing
results to enhance the effectiveness and outcomes of treatment and service delivery.
1. Explore historical developments and current trends in clinical
Distinguish the different types of tests of ability, intellectual functioning,
personality functioning, affective status, and cognitive functioning relevant
to clinical and counseling practice;
Explain the significance of projective tests, such as the Thematic Apperception
Test, in clinical decision-making;
Clarify concepts of validity and reliability as related to testing and assessment
in counseling and clinical settings;
Demonstrate the utility of accurate assessment data in making effective clinical
Delineate a variety of issues and concerns stemming from testing and assessment
practices with diverse, multicultural, and multiethnic populations;
Explore issues of racism, sexism, and other biases with respect to testing and
Student objectives: Students will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the origins and functions of psychological testing
and assessment in clinical practice;
Demonstrate an understanding of basic technical and methodological principles
underlying psychological testing and assessment;
Comprehend the nature, distinctions, and applications of different types of tests,
such as tests for ability, personality tests, interest and aptitude tests, tests
of intellectual functioning, tests for affect, and tests for identifying symptoms;
Explain issues of reliability and validity and why they are important concerns
for counselors and clinicians;
5. Identify observational techniques relevant to the assessment of behaviors in
Describe how to use interviewing and case histories along with information from
psychological tests in order to make clinical decisions;
Indicate how to use different psychological tests and assessment results to augment
other types of clinical observations, inferences, and interpretations.
to be covered: Historical perspectives in testing and assessment; recent trends
and issues; purposes of testing and assessment in counseling and clinical settings;
concepts and types of validity and reliability; basic concepts of measurement,
such as scales, distributions, measures of dispersion, and correlations; contexts
and uses of current psychological tests, such as education, career development,
and other human service settings; projective techniques as tools for clinical
interpretation; confidentiality; the role of testing and assessment in clinical
decision-making; guidelines for determining selection of psychological tests;
the assessment interview and case history; the mental status examination; behavioral
assessment strategies; self-report inventories; specific tests, including the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales, the Bender-Gestalt Visual Motor Test, the
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Rorschach, and the Thematic Apperception
Test; cultural biases and racism as barriers to objectivity; the clinical report,
guidelines and format.
1. Students will be expected to comply with established
principles and tenets of academic integrity as delineated by Lincoln University
Students will be expected to attend all classes. Three absences will constitute
a failure of the course.
Students will be expected to participate in classroom discussions, as well as
complete all in-class exercises, role-plays, and/or small group activities.
Each student will be required to give an in-class 20 minute oral presentation
identifying and describing a specific clinical assessment or psychological test,
analyzing the assessment technique or test, describing guidelines for conducting
and applying the assessment technique or test, and explaining its relevance to
the students' particular client population and agency setting. A summary of the
presentation must be distributed as a handout to the class.
Each student will be required to develop a clinical report using a fictitious
client and based on fictitious results from three assessment instruments that
the student will select.
Each student will submit a 10-15 page final paper discussing the role, significance,
and application of clinical assessment and psychological testing with respect
to the special population with which he/she works and the agency setting in which
the work is conducted. In addition to the instruments under consideration, the
paper must address issues regarding the history of psychological assessment and
testing, cultural biases, and racism. The paper must be written according to APA
Weeks 3-7 Oral presentations
7 Clinical report due
11 Final paper due
Assessment of student performance: Student grades
will be based on the following:
Clinical report 30%
Final paper 50%
The course will employ a variety of educational methods, including lectures, small
group discussions, presentations, and simulations. By utilizing various methods,
the course will foster learning that is active, participatory, and grounded in
practice. The integration of theory and practice will be emphasized.
A. & Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological testing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Groth-Marnat, G. (1999). Handbook of psychological assessment.
L.A., Meller, P.J., & Ponterotto, J.G. (Eds.) (2001). The new handbook of multicultural
assessment: Clinical, psychological, and educational applications.i San Francisco:
Ponterotto, J.G, Casas, J.M.,
Suzuki, L.A., & Alexander, C.M. (2001). Handbook of multicultural counseling.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
H. (2002). Encyclopedia of counseling. N.Y.: Brunner-Routledge.
B. (1995). Clinical assessment for social workers: Quantitative and qualitative
methods. Chicago: Lyceum Books.