Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning – CEFS 667

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Students become knowledgeable of the principles and practice of clinical diagnosis and the development of treatment plans using the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Emphasis is also placed on mental status, substance use, and risk assessment. Consideration is given to ethical, dimensional, relational, multicultural, and systemic issues important in diagnosis and treatment planning.


(CEFS 500 or COUN 500) and (CEFS 501 or MAAC 501 or COUN 501) and (CEFS 502 or COUN 502) and (CEFS 504 or MAAC 504 or COUN 504) and (CEFS 505 or COUN 505) and (CEFS 510 or MAAC 510 or COUN 510) and (CEFS 512 or COUN 512) and (CEFS 515 or MAAC 515 or COUN 515) and (CEFS 521 or MAAC 521 or COUN 521) and (CEFS 522 or COUN 522) and (CEFS 546 or MAAC 646 or COUN 646)


The Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies is committed to preparing students who can adequately meet the demands of a world that is becoming more and more impaired by sin, dysfunction, and pathology. We desire students who can interview, evaluate, and treat clients professionally, effectively, and ethically without violating their biblical worldview and in a way that integrates that worldview into their work. The intent of this course is to prepare students for the pragmatics of their clinical work in practicum and internship environments. Christian counselors should be competent in all areas of clinical work regardless of the setting in which they work. Being able to conduct an appropriate, professional, and clinically sound interview is the basis of all counseling. Based upon the data obtained in the interview counselors must be able accurately diagnose and plan a course of treatment for clients, essential skills for all counselors.

Method of Instruction: This 8-week course is delivered in an online format, with Blackboard® as the primary instructional delivery method. Students complete one module per week over the duration of the course.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Integrate course readings and class lectures with clinical case studies according to principles of the diagnostic process using DSM-5 and other diagnostic tools, with special consideration given to differential diagnosis, potential for co-occurrence, and multicultural issues (Program Learning Outcomes 1). A.6, C.2, D.2, D.5, G.1, K.1, L.1, & L. 2
  2. Utilize appropriate DSM-5 criteria when applying clinical interviewing skills to assess and treat identified disorders in an ethical and legal manner, with consideration given to multicultural issues and the potential for co-occurrence (Program Learning Outcomes 1, 4, & 5). B.1, C.2, D.2, D.5, G.1, H.1, H.2, K.2, & K.4
  3. Analyze clinical cases for co-occurring substance use disorders, other psychological disorders, and potential medical issues in an ethical and legal manner. A.6, B.1, G.4, H.3, & K.3
  4. Evaluate cases portraying crisis and traumatic events using various diagnostic tools to differentiate between diagnosis of mental disorders and developmentally appropriate reactions, with consideration given to multicultural issues. C.6, D.2, D.5, H.1, K.5, & L.3
  5. Analyze cases using methods of screening for addiction, aggression, and danger to self and/or others, as well as co-occurring mental disorders. 6, G.4, H.3, & K.3
  6. Conduct a psychosocial history to identify, describe different treatment modalities and placement across the continuum of care with ethical and legal considerations (Program Learning Outcomes 1, 4, & 5). B.1, D.1, H.2, H.4, & I.3
  7. Conduct clinical interviews to gain experience with various semi-structured and structured interviews, screening instruments, mental status examinations, and symptom inventories, with survey of various psychoeducational and personality assessment methods. G.2
  8. Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize client data from a biopsychosocialspiritual perspective into a professional report that includes psychosocial history, diagnosis, case conceptualization, and treatment planning. C.2, C.7, G.1, G.2, H.2, H.4, I.3, K.1, K.2, & K.3

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

The student will complete required reading and viewing of video presentations in the appropriate module/week according to the Course Schedule.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 350–400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge, including at least 2 citations from the reading/lecture materials. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words and include at least 1 citation from course materials or outside materials. Each reply to a classmate’s thread must provide 1 strength and 1 area of change found in another classmate’s thread. If the student cites a scholarly source not included in this course’s content, he/she must utilize current APA format for citation and list the reference at the bottom of the post.

Diagnosis Assignments (2)

The student will read and analyze 2 case studies. Each case study assignment will include identification of key issues and diagnosis of mental disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention. The student will use the provided template to complete each assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages.

Treatment Plan Assignment (ASSESSMENT BENCHMARK)

The student will read and analyze 1 case study. The assignment will include: identification of key issues, diagnosis of mental disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention and development of 1 Problem, Goal, Objective, Intervention sequence. The student will use the provided template to complete the assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages, with an additional page for the treatment plan sequence.

Case Study Assignment

A full case study will be used as the foundation for writing up the assessment of mental status, substance use, other possible addictive issues, and risk. Also included will be written sections of case formulation, diagnostic impressions, and treatment planning. The student will use the provided template to complete the assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages, with additional pages for the full treatment plan.


The examination will include 4 case studies with which students will complete a diagnosis and provide a rationale. The student will also pick 1 of the case studies and write a treatment plan. Since the exam is application-oriented, you may use your DSM and other resources, but may not consult with another person for help. The exam will be made available at the beginning of Module/Week 7. There is no time-limit for the exam, other than the due date of Friday of Week 8.

The purpose of the exam is to evaluate each student’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize client data and then apply the diagnostic criteria to a series of case studies in order to arrive at an accurate DSM diagnosis. Moreover, it evaluates the student’s ability to create appropriate treatment plans that are relevant to and adequately address a client’s diagnosis. This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes E & F.