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Improving Diagnostic and Clinical Interviewing 

Improving Diagnostic and Clinical Interviewing
Improving Diagnostic and Clinical Interviewing

Rhonda S. Karg

, Arthur N. Wiens

, and Ryan W. Blazei

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date: 11 April 2021

Chapter 3 discusses improving diagnostic and clinical interviewing, and how the purpose of a clinical interview is to give clients the opportunity to present their unique perspectives on the reasons they have sought help. From the standpoint of the interviewer, the purposes of a clinical interview are to gather information about the client and his or her problems, to establish a relationship with the client that will facilitate assessment and treatment, and to direct the client in his or her search for relief. The empirically supported and clinically tested guidelines to improve the efficacy and efficiency of interviews include preparing for the interview, determining the purpose of the interview, using structure in the diagnostic interview, administering screening instruments, explaining the purpose and parameters of the interview, using a collaborative interview style, listening to what the interviewee has to say, including a comprehensive analysis of the problem behaviors and character strengths, making sure the client understands the questions, challenging negative responses, using complementary assessment methods, differentiating between skill and motivation, considering base rates of behavior, avoiding biases, tailoring the interview to the client, delaying decisions until the interview is complete, preparing to end the interview and providing a proper termination, trying to disprove initial impressions, and seeking supervision/consultation as needed."

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