This chapter presents the assessment process, which generally takes place in the first one to eight sessions of treatment. An assessment involves gathering information about the client's current life, symptoms, stressors, and historical events. Clinicians in training often view the process of assessment as separate from developing a therapeutic relationship with the client. The process of assessment generally results in increased empathy for the client's difficulties and coping strategies. An assessment can also serve to structure the sessions when the initial presentation is scattered or volatile. In these situations, a structured assessment process helps contain the client's chaotic presentation and reduces the client's anxiety as well as ours. Outside observations are usually included in the assessment when working with children and sometimes with adults enrolled in a residential or day treatment program. When working with children and adolescents, information from teachers and school counselors should always be included in the assessment.