What does a Clinical Assessment Entail ?

Our assessments are completed in two stages


Stage 1image001

We will firstly organize for the patient to complete a MAP online. The MAP is an online assessment and diagnostic tool for mood disorders. It incorporates nearly a quarter of a century of sophisticated clinical expertise in assessment, diagnosis and management planning for people with mood disorders (both depressive and bipolar disorders). In 2002 the Black Dog Institute, led by Professor Gordon Parker, conceived the MAP as a computerized assessment program that would capture the consolidated clinical expertise and decision making of clinical research psychiatrists who had worked at the Mood Disorders Unit (now part of the Black Dog Institute) since 1985.    A patient with a mood disorder spends approximately one hour entering information into into the online app. The data is transferred to the Black Dog Institute where a computer prepares a comprehensive report which is provided to the referring psychiatrist at The Lawson Clinic. The MAP report contains a wealth of information including important diagnostic probability decisions.

What sort of questions will the MAP ask?

The MAP will ask many questions about your background and your illness. As each person’s experience of depression is different, the program’s questions aim to build a picture of your unique experience.

A few examples of the types of questions you will be asked include:

• Questions about your physical health

• Questions about symptoms of depression and how those symptoms affect you

• Background information such as events that have had a significant impact on you

• Details about current and previous treatments (including medication and therapy) you
have tried.


The information provided will be kept strictly confidential. It will be used to compile a report which will be sent to your Lawson psychiatrist. The Black Dog Institute does not keep a copy of the report.

Stage 2mood2

Once the MAP report is at hand, the patient will meet with a psychiatrist at The Lawson Clinic where they will receive a thorough assessment of their mental health problem/s.

The patient can expect empathy, understanding, confidentiality and a sufficient time to express their thoughts and feelings.

After assessing the patient, and if the diagnosis is clear, the psychiatrist will inform the patient of the following:

•    Whether the patient has depression or bipolar disorder, and if so, what type it is.
•    Where relevant, the patient will be told why the illness developed at this point in time.
•    A management strategy will be recommended.

As The Lawson Clinic is a specialist treatment clinic, we are able to follow up with patients at regular intervals.

  • Contact Us

    It is necessary to have a referral from a GP or other medical practitioners, including Psychiatrists prior to making an appointment.

    Telephone: (02) 9418 4488
    International: 61+2+9418 4488