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)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013r). Substance related and addictive disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.dsm16
Gowin, J. L., Sloan, M. E., Stangl, B. L., Vatsalya, V., & Ramchandani, V. A. (2017). Vulnerability for alcohol use disorder and rate of alcohol consumption. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(11), 1094–1101. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16101180
Reus, V. I., Fochtmann, L. J., Bukstein, O., Eyler, A. E., Hilty, D. M., Horvitz-Lennon, M., … Hong, S.-H. (2018). The American Psychiatric Association practice guideline for the pharmacological treatment of patients with alcohol use disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(1), 86–90. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.1750101
Stock, A.-K. (2017). Barking up the wrong tree: Why and how we may need to revise alcohol addiction therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1–6. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00884
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