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Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in Social Work Practice

Fourth Edition

Jacqueline Corcoran and Author Joseph Walsh

Publication Date - 08 July 2022

ISBN: 9780197559109

592 pages
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

An exceptionally clear, in-depth, and affordable exploration of sixteen major mental disorders from leading clinician and authors Jacqueline Corcoran and Joseph Walsh


In Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in Social Work Practice, seasoned practitioner-scholars Jacqueline Corcoran and Joseph Walsh provide an in-depth exploration of sixteen major mental disorders that social workers commonly see in practice, including anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. They skillfully integrate several perspectives in order to help practitioners meet the challenges they will face in client assessment, and present a risk and resilience framework that helps social workers understand environmental influences on the emergence of mental disorders and the strengths that clients already possess. The authors also catalog the latest evidence-based assessment instruments and treatments for each disorder so that social workers can intervene efficiently and effectively, using the best resources available. Students and practitioners alike will appreciate the wealth of case examples, evidence-based assessment instruments, treatment plans, and new social diversity sections that make this an essential guide to the assessment and diagnostic processes in social work practice.

New to this Edition

  • New contributors bringing their expertise on Gender Identity Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and OCD
  • Updated content on Dementia, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Eating Disorders
  • New case studies accompanying every chapter


  • Teaches social work students about the common mental health disorders they may see in practice and how to diagnose them
  • Balances the need for social workers in mental health to be proficient at diagnosis and to be critical of the DSM and the medical model of which it is part
  • A biopsychosocial risk and resilience perspective is used to discuss mental disorder etiology

About the Author(s)

Jacqueline Corcoran, PhD, is Professor of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University and a licensed clinical social worker.

Joseph Walsh, PhD, is Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work.


"This is an excellent textbook. Overall, the quality of the text comes from the ability of the authors to bring a social work lens to the work of assessment and diagnosis using a manual that is based in a Western, medical model approach to mental health (the DSM 5). Each chapter addresses risk factors, protective factors, and resilience, as well as cultural considerations. The case examples, treatment plan ideas, lists of assessment tools and measures, and focus on evidence-based treatment are all significant strengths of the text." -- Eileen Dombo, Associate Professor of Social Services at The Catholic University of America

"Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis in Social Work Practice is an excellent text covering the most important topics relevant to social workers conducting behavioral health assessments. The writing is crystal clear and the text provides all of the important diagnostic information for each disorder from a social work lens. The provision of relevant epidemiological information, co-morbidities and disorder specific risk and protective factors from a biological, psychological and social lens are extremely helpful." -- Michael Mancini, Associate Professor at Saint Louis University School of Social Work

Table of Contents


    1. Introduction
    2. Social Work and the DSM: Person-in-Environment versus the Medical Model
    3. Intellectual Disabilities
    4. Autism Spectrum Disorder
    5. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
    6. Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
    7. Bipolar and Related Disorders
    8. Depressive Disorders
    9. Anxiety Disorders
    10. Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
    11. Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
    12. Eating Disorders
    13. Gender Dysphoria
    14. Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders
    15. Substance Use Disorders
    16. Neurocognitive Disorders
    17. Personality Disorders


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