545 + 523 Discussions

250 word discussion and 2 scientific references per discussion.


1) Courtney Glicken

Topic 5 DQ 1 (Obj. 5.1)

Counselors can face a number of issues when trying to assess for potential domestic abuse. One is the lack of training that counselors and health care providers receive in learning how to assess clients and in knowing the signs of abuse. Many times, counselors do not feel comfortable working with clients in abuse relationships (Jackson-Cherry & Erford, 2018). Another issue is that clients do not always disclose that they are being abused for a number of reasons (Todahl, Linville, Chou, & Maher-Cosenza, 2008), including, not considering what is happening to them as abuse and not feeling comfortable disclosing the information for fear of judgement or fear of danger. One way for counselors to overcome these struggles is to first, get the proper training. Even if the counselor is not in crisis counseling specifically, they will, at some point, deal with a client that is in an abusive relationship, so they need to be prepared to handle that situation. Second, establishing trust with a client and making them feel comfortable and safe will provide them a safe place to share their struggles. The counselor needs to create a therapeutic alliance with the client and this can be done by showing empathy, body language, attentive listening, and other counseling skills. Counselors can also seek guidance from a supervisor if they are feeling uncomfortable or unsure about a situation.


Jackson-Cherry, L. R., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Crisis assessment, intervention, and prevention (3rd ed.) New York, NY: Pearson.

Todahl, J. L., Linville, D., Chou, L. Y., & Maher-Cosenza, P. (2008). A qualitative study of intimate partner violence universal screening by family therapy interns: implications for practice, research, training, and supervision. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34(1), pp28-43. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/doc…

2) Virginia Houston

Topic 5 DQ 1 (Obj. 5.1)

Some challenges that counselors might face when assessing for intimate partner violence are: the assessment might be too intrusive and cause the client to pull back from attending sessions or not want to disclose the whole truth in the future; the assessment process might seem more like a criminal investigation rather than clinical assessment; fear that by performing the assessment, cause the violence to increase (Todahl & Walters, 2011). One solution to these challenges is to screen universally. If clients know that the counselor asks everyone the same questions, they will be less likely to think the counselor is singling them out because of their specific situation. “The American Medical Association encourages physicians to screen universally; their policy equates universal screening with prevention, preferring proactive procedures over a wait-and-see strategy” (Todahl & Walters, 2011, pg. 356).

Another challenge counselors face is lack of confidence in assessing for domestic violence. Many family therapists expressed high anxiety and low confidence in their capability to successfully intervene with IPV (Todahl & Walters, 2011). When therapists are trained in how to assess for IPV and educated on typical IPV statistics, behaviors, relationship dynamics, etc. they are more likely to screen for it. Assessment is also more common if everyone in an organization is following the same protocol. “Providers are much more likely to routinely screen for IPV when their work environment provides opportunities, support, and accountability to do so” (Todahl & Walters, 2011, pg. 361).

Todahl, J., & Walters, E. (2011). UNIVERSAL SCREENING FOR INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW.Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 37(3), 355-69. doi:http://dx.doi.org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.175…

3) Martin Doyle

Topic 5 DQ 2 (Obj. 5.2)

The cycle of abuse has three phases. Each phase has some specific signs and symptoms that a counselor may be able to pick up on to help them identify a potentially abusive situation. Tension-Building, Acute Battering Incident, and Honeymoon Phase are the three phases of the cycle of abuse (Jackson-Cherry & Erford, 2018). During the Tension-Building phase a counselor may notice things like one partner being extra compliant or careful around the other. They may see rationalizing, denying or excusing previous abusive behaviors. In general there will be a sense of stress and tension that is building in the relationship. During the Acute Battering Incident a counselor may see actual physical signs of abuse such as injuries, bruises, cuts, etc… The clients may call out of their counseling session with the counselor because of not wanting the injuries to be seen. The abused client may show signs of shock as well as more rationalization or denial. During the Honeymoon stage the abuser will typically show a lot of remorse, buy presents, and make promises to never abuse their partner again. Having a knowledge of this cycle can help you identify patterns in a couple and educate couples on the cycle and the situation that they are in.

Jackson-Cherry, L. R., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Crisis assessment, intervention, and prevention (3rded.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. ISBN-13: 9780134522715


4) Demetress Hall

Topic 5 DQ 1 (Obj. 5.1 and 5.2)


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a mental health resource published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to provide an easily assessible desk reference tool containing comprehensive information to explain, identify and classify mental disorders in order to standardize diagnoses, treatment and research. APA (2018) states the three main elements of the DSM are; descriptive text, diagnostic classification and criteria.

Description Text

APA (2018) explains that the DSM-5 outlines each disorder contains a detailed description of diagnostic features, associated features supporting diagnosis, subtypes, prevalence, development, risk factors, diagnostic measures, consequences, cultural and gender related issues, differential diagnosis and recording procedures.

Diagnostic Classification

The recognized list of mental disorders with a diagnostic code that is in sync with the International Classification of Diseases Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). codes are used by care providers, institutions and agencies to collect data and for insurance billing (APA, 2018).

Diagnostic Criteria Sets

The disorders also include diagnostic criteria of symptoms that must be exhibited and present for length of time. Symptoms and of each condition must be compared to rule out or to qualify for a specific diagnosis (APA, 2018).

Aiding in Diagnosis

DSM Cross-Cutting features to help professionals identify, classify and evaluate criteria to inform diagnostic decisions. For example, the diagnosis should be reliable, given the same set of client symptoms that more than one professional should perform assessment and arrive at the same DSM diagnosis (APA, 2018).


American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2018) About DSM–5. APA Website. Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/…

5) Ariel Glover

Topic 5 DQ 1 (Obj. 5.1 and 5.2)

It is extremely important for counselors to be aware of and familiar with the DSM for several reasons. This is a great point of reference to get a general idea of conditions that could be present with a client that a professional may need to verify with the Diagnostic Manual. In fact, several of the mental health conditions come with a variety of symptoms that must be present in an individual to categorize him/her as such. Therefore, by being familiar with the most recent version of the DSM, all mental health specialists can formulate their own assessment, unique to each client’s needs that are centered on the symptoms listed in the DSM for a specific condition. This will aid greatly in formulating an accurate diagnoses of a client and then proceeding with therapy based on the results from the initial assessment derived from the DSM qualifying criteria. For example, Cohen and Swerdlik (2018) suggests that “it permits clinicians and researchers to speak the same language by providing a kind of shorthand identification of patients’ varied psychological condition. A DSM-5 diagnosis immediately conveys key information about a diagnosed individual’s behavior, cognition, and emotions. It also conveys information about how extreme, problematic, troubling, odd, or abnormal the individual’s behavior is likely to be perceived by others” (p. 450). In other words, this is a great tool that aids in psychological assessments because it’s almost like a road map with explicit details of the route to take, but with regards to client and/or patients, clinicians and specialists can’t just take the DSM and not apply an individual’s behavior or actions with a specific perceived condition without thoroughly investing and assessing the individual so that the next direction for therapy can be mapped out as well.


Cohen, R. J. & Swerdlik, M. E. (2018). Psychological testing and assessment (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies


Define the following assessments and provide an example when each should be used:

  1. Forensic assessment
  2. Therapeutic assessment
  3. Psychological assessment
  4. Personality assessment
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