Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment: Procedures to Enhance Client Outcomes

Filippo Aschieri, Francesca Fantini, Justin Dean Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Collaborative/Therapeutic Assessment (C/TA) paradigm represents a significant shift from the traditional aims and techniques of psychological assessment. C/TA deliberately employs a variety of evidence-based techniques intended to maximize the potential that the process of assessment will result in meaningful therapeutic benefits for clients. The empirical support for the effectiveness of the C/TA approach is promising and demonstrates direct intervention effects on such indicators as self-esteem and symptomatology, as well as improvements in constructs and processes salient to continued psychological care, including the therapeutic alliance, treatment readiness, and distress. C/TA has also been shown to increase participation and retention in subsequent indicated mental health services for populations that traditionally are difficult to engage. This chapter describes the history and evidence-based theory behind C/TA approaches; describes the steps and procedures of the semi-stuctured Therapeutic Assessment model, and presents a thorough discussion of the application of a variety of therapeutic techniques (e.g., circular questioning, scaffolding, psychoeducation, shame modulation, mentalizing) in the context of the C/TA paradigm that increase the likelihood that assessment will result in clinically relevant outcomes. These techniques are applied in a variety of therapy models in psychology but have only recently been explicitly used in the context of psychological assessment for adults, couples, and families with children or adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Treatment Processes and Outcomes in Psychology: A Multidisciplinary, Biopsychosocial Approach
EditorsS Maltzman
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Assessment


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