Psychological Toolkit

Screeners

Department of Health recommends psychological measures provided below to assist health professionals in the screening for potential mental health conditions. There are quick to administer but results are only indicative of the focus area for attention and should be discussed with a psychologist.

For your convenience, Neurocog has made available online questionnaires that are automatically scored. Results can be printed. We also provide paper versions (PDF) for offline use.

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

K10 is a simple measure of psychological distress, which can be used to identify those in need of further assessment for anxiety and depression. The K10 measurement of clients’ psychological distress levels can also be used as an outcome measure and assist treatment planning and monitoring. The ten questions measure is designed to quantify the frequency and severity of anxiety- and depression-related symptoms experienced in the four weeks prior to screening.

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 42 (DASS-42)

The DASS-42 is a 42 item self-report scale designed to measure the emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The principal value of the DASS in a clinical setting is to clarify the locus of emotional disturbance, as part of the broader task of clinical assessment. The essential function of the DASS is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. Accordingly, the DASS allows not only a way to measure the severity of a patient’s symptoms but a means by which a patient’s response to treatment can also be measured.
This is a screening instrument and practitioners should make a clinical judgment as to whether an individual needs further assessment for anxiety and depression. High scores on the DASS would certainly alert the clinician to a high level of distress in the patient and this would need to be explored further within the interview process. Similarly, low scores on the DASS should not be a substitute for a comprehensive clinical interview.

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 (DASS-21)

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 (DASS-21): The DASS-21 is the short form of the DASS-42, a self-report scale designed to measure the emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The principal value of the DASS in a clinical setting is to clarify the locus of emotional disturbance, as part of the broader task of clinical assessment. The essential function of the DASS is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. Accordingly, the DASS allows not only a way to measure the severity of a patient’s symptoms but a means by which a patient’s response to treatment can also be measured.
This is a screening instrument and practitioners should make a clinical judgment as to whether an individual needs further assessment for anxiety and depression. High scores on the DASS would certainly alert the clinician to a high level of distress in the patient and this would need to be explored further within the interview process. Similarly, low scores on the DASS should not be a substitute for a comprehensive clinical interview.

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) – is a multipurpose instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression. The PHQ-9 is based directly on the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). The screener is brief and useful in clinical practice, it can also be administered repeatedly, which can reflect improvement or worsening of depression in response to treatment.

Exercises

These are the Neurocog System exercises available on the Neurocog mobile application or you can download them as a PDF worksheet here.

BodyScan

BodyScan links the physical sensations with emotions/feelings you have. For example, gladness can feel light, tingly and warm all over. While doing this exercise notice sensations in all parts of your body. Circle the part of the body where you feel the sensation then answer the questions following.

BreLax

BreLax is structured breathing which activates natural relaxation mechanisms. When stress reactions or fearfulness restrict the body you can focus on breathing to transition to a calmer state by releasing your breath all at once after a slow inhale, brief hold, shallow belly or chest breathing. Use with care and never when dizzy or ill.

CheckIn

CheckIn reveals flawed thinking by tagging disturbing ideas. Write ideas and events that increase your emotions, then match them against the list of false ones.

EmotionLog

EmotionLog lets you record and track 4 emotions and many feelings along with what they are about. EL can be used in conjunction with your sessions with your provider or when completing a Neurocog exercise. The EL tracks emotions and feelings towards yourself, other people and everything overall. First complete the BEFORE EL, select the emotion level and add feelings. Write what the emotions are about at the bottom. Then have your session with your provider or complete a Neurocog exercise and repeat the process in the AFTER EL.

FactCheck

FactCheck changes flawed ideas into less disturbing, more accurate ideas. Describe a situation that caused a negative emotion then go through the exercise and complete the questions asked.

LifeMap

LifeMap puts important life events and their emotional impact on a timeline. Write each event, choose the emotion you felt and your age when it happened.

NewCope

NewCope helps identify new coping strategies for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings. Describe an event that took place in the past, choose an emotion you felt, and say what age you were when it happened.

ProCons

ProCon identifies the long- and short-term positive and negative consequences of taking or not taking an action. Enter an action then select long or short term “pro’s.” Now enter the likely consequence. Do the same for negative consequences. Then do the same for not taking the action. Once complete the consequences of taking or not taking the action is clear.

WiseOwl

WiseOwl is a neutral perspective you practice to observe thoughts, feelings, people and events by seeing, listening, noticing and imagining.
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