Beyond the Checklist: A Series of Case Studies in Forming Diagnoses

CPC-681: Beyond the Checklist 

Format: Hybrid (partly synchronous, i.e. following a live lecture with a definite class schedule, and partly asynchronous, i.e. online and self-directed)

Cost: $895 + HST if attending all six sessions; otherwise, $195 + HST per session

Full Session: 895 +HST

Register for the individual sessions below.

Course Description

Over the course of their formal education, students and practitioners in the field of mental health are expected to learn how to form particular diagnoses. At the theoretical level, the ability to infer these diagnoses consists in matching a client’s symptoms to those of a known type of disorder, checking what one sees clinically against a specific set of criteria. At the practical level, however, these symptoms are often hard to identify and require an understanding beyond a “checklist” in order to do so. Not only may the same symptoms have differing presentations across various individuals, but “some symptom domains, such as depression and anxiety, involve multiple diagnostic categories and may reflect common underlying vulnerabilities for a larger group of disorders” (p. xli, DSM-5), requiring a trained clinician to bring their boundaries into focus.

Participants will be presented with a series of case studies that are intended to improve their practical diagnostic abilities, with an emphasis on some of the disorders most often encountered in clinical practice. Divided into six sessions, each day will cover a different symptom domain than the previous, using clinical examples and practicing interviewing skills in groups.

Each class will consist of four synchronous hours of learning, via Zoom, followed by two hours of independent study. Participants must attend all six sessions and complete all assigned evaluations, following which they will be awarded a Certificate in Diagnostic Interviewing.

The topics to be covered in this course are as follows.

Note: Register for each session by clicking on its title below:



Date (Winter 2022)


Anxiety Disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder)

January 28, 2022


Mood Disorders (Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar I & II)

February 11, 2022


Personality Disorders

February 25, 2022


Substance Use Disorders (Cannabis)

March 11, 2022


Adult ADHD

March 25, 2022


Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders (OCD, Hair-pulling Disorder, Skin-picking Disorder)

April 8, 2022

(Please note: while trauma is often present in the history and current circumstances of a client, this course will not focus on trauma as a separate symptom domain, but its impact and various manifestations in clinical encounters will be discussed in each session.)

Minimum Technical Requirements:

  • A working computer, with audio and video capabilities. (All students are required to have their webcams and microphones turned on during class times.)
  • The Zoom video-conferencing application
  • A quiet room free from background interference for the duration of the class

Contact Us

Students may contact a representative from our Faculty of Continuing Education at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.