What information is critical to collect at the outset of or early on in the interview process. Explain the upsides and downsides/concerns of having to gather this information and address related issues in a first session.
Clinical interviewing takes practice and balance, because you must gather a large amount of very personal information, and explain some technical details about things like confidentiality, before you are able to take the time to really establish a therapeutic relationship with the person being interviewed.
In a clinical interview, you are attempting to determine what concerns/diagnoses the client presents and what factors in the client's life relate to these concerns. However, you also must collect quite a bit of required information, and you must also present important information to the client.
Typically, the clinical interview will begin with the professional providing an introduction and explaining their qualifications. The professional is then expected to explain, to the best of the client's understanding, the nature of the interview, the rules of confidentiality, and the agency's standard practices. This information is critical to make sure that the client is giving informed consent to proceed, but discussing issues of confidentiality and the legal situations in which confidentiality might have to be broken can make some clients uneasy, and this discussion takes up time that you would often rather be spending finding out more about the patient. Still, it's necessary information and can't be ignored. Confidentiality is one of the basic ethical concerns of all medical and mental health professionals, and discussing it at the initial interview is very important.
It is then usual to ask the interviewee about the reason for the interview: what are the person's primary concerns that they would like to address, or were they referred by someone else to be assessed for something?
Often, this will lead into the interviewee explaining quite a bit about their present illness/problem and sometimes can lead to an extensive discussion of the person's current living situation, medical problems, family problems, history, etc. While all of this information is relevant, as an interviewer, you do have to collect certain ...
The clinical interviewing information collections are provided. Related issues in a first session are provided.