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Assessment Interview. First step in assessment process: learn as much as possible about the person and their problem(s). Reasons: 1. to illuminate the causes 2. to predict probable course of disorder 3. to help the clinician decide on treatment strategies. Clinical Interviews.

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assessment interview

Assessment Interview

First step in assessment process: learn as much as possible about the person and their problem(s).

Reasons:

1. to illuminate the causes

2. to predict probable course of disorder

3. to help the clinician decide on treatment strategies

clinical interviews
Clinical Interviews
  • Are idiographic – tailored to the client’s unique needs
  • Conducted face-to-face – provides both verbal and nonverbal information (gestures, restlessness, discrepancy between statements and behaviors, etc.)
  • Often the first contact between the client and the clinician
assessment interview3
Assessment Interview
  • The clinician’s first tasks are to
    • Establish rapport
    • Gain client’s trust, respect and confidence
    • Present a nonjudgmental and accepting attitude
assessment interview4
Assessment Interview
  • The particular information desired depends on the clinician’s theoretical orientation.
  • Psychodynamic: needs and fantasies, memories of past events and relationships, how the client shapes the interview (process)
  • Behavioral:
    • S: stimuli that trigger the abnormal behavior
    • O: organism – self-image, thoughts, etc.
    • R: responses
    • C: consequences
assessment interview5
Assessment Interview
  • Cognitive – assumptions, interpretations, cognitive coping skills
  • Humanistic – person’s self-concept, unique perceptions
interview formats
Interview Formats
  • Structured – a series of prepared questions
    • Allows clinicians to cover the same issues with every client
    • Can compare the responses of one individual with another

Advantages: standardized approach, increased reliability

Disadvantage: may fail to reveal important information unique to the client

Tends to be preferred by behaviorists

interview formats7
Interview Formats
  • Unstructured – the clinician asks open-ended questions, then follows interesting leads

Advantage: allows clinician to focus on important/unpredictable topics

Client’s style and choices are seen as important information, in their own right

Disadvantage: may overlook important clinical information

Tends to be favored by psychodynamic and humanistic therapists

interview formats8
Interview Formats
  • Semi-structured – consist of a set of structured questions, but the clinician is allowed to follow up on important/unanticipated topics
  • Increases reliability, while providing flexibility to handle unique situations
  • Ex: Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SCID-II)
limitations of clinical interviews
Limitations of Clinical Interviews
  • Information may be pre-selected by the client (agenda)
  • Client may be unable to provide needed information (distorted perceptions, depression, psychosis, lack of insight)
  • Subjectivity of interviews (bias, halo effect, confirmatory bias, primacy effect, tendency to overemphasize negative information
  • Effect of interviewer variables (race, sex, age, appearance)