What is involved in a comprehensive psychiatric assessment?

A comprehensive psychiatric assessment is conducted to obtain a holistic understanding of you as an individual and to best determine a personalised treatment plan for you.

It may take a few appointments to complete the comprehensive assessment as I gather information about your symptoms, behaviours and experiences to formulate an impression and diagnosis. It may also involve using rating tools, questionnaires, a medical check-up (by your GP), other tests, and a review of your previous medical records. At times, it can be helpful for me to speak with someone who may know you well to gain a better understanding of your situation (with your consent).

Initial Appointment

The initial appointment is for the purpose of an initial evaluation. It usually involves asking about your current symptoms and situation, medical and mental health history, current and past treatments, family history and developmental history. After this evaluation, I will offer some first impressions of what our work might include and an initial treatment plan.

Follow Up Appointments

Follow-up appointments may be used as part of the assessment and treatment process. These appointments are important in being able to provide good care and implement the recommended interventions. The duration of these appointments will depend upon the complexity of the issues and whether we are setting aside time for therapy.

Preparing for a comprehensive psychiatric assessment

It can be helpful to think about some of the following things before your initial assessment:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • How often do you experience these symptoms?
  • Is there anything that makes your symptoms better or worse?
  • How long do the symptoms tend to last?
  • What are the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that trouble you?
  • Has any recent stress, life changes or an event been associated with the time you developed these symptoms?

What information can a comprehensive psychiatric assessment provide?

The assessment process can provide an understanding of your symptoms and clarity around diagnosis. It may determine factors that could be contributing to and perpetuating the condition. In a holistic assessment, your strengths are also identified so they can be built upon to best promote your well-being. This understanding forms the basis for developing a personalised treatment plan that can help you in your recovery.

What is involved in a comprehensive psychiatric assessment?

Following a comprehensive psychiatric assessment, a holistic and personalised treatment plan would be recommended to address your individual needs. The treatment plan may involve, for example, prescription medication, supplements, plant-based medicine, psychological interventions, optimisation of habit and lifestyle factors like sleep, diet and exercise, mind and body practices and spirituality.


Principles of a holistic treatment plan

A holistic treatment plan considers all aspects of a person – mind, body and spirit. It personalises treatment for the individual and takes into account the person’s preferences and recovery goals. It integrates the best that conventional and complementary medicine offers to restore balance and achieve optimal mental wellness.

Related Information


Integrative Psychiatry