Basic Issues in Interviewing and the Interview Process



The ability to conduct an efficient and effective clinical and diagnostic interview is arguably one of the most valued skills among mental health professionals. It is during the interview that the clinician learns about the difficulties and challenges experienced by the client and begins to form the foundations of a healing professional relationship. Although the metaphor is not a novel one, the job of the interviewer may be likened to that of a detective trying to collect enough data and organize the clues to “solve the mystery,” in this example, the presenting problem of the client. The most important aspect of this detective metaphor is that effective interviewers (detectives) are served well by their natural curiosity (truly wanting to understand all aspects of the client’s experiences, no mater how painful or uncomfortable) and the thoughtfulness of their approach (being guided by strategies and principles for gathering data while also forming an emotional connection with the client).


Clinical Interview Mental Health Professional Diagnostic Interview American Psychological Association Therapeutic Relationship 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel L. Segal
    • 1
  • Andrea June
    • 1
  • Meghan A. Marty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA

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