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date: 27 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The main objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of clinical interviewing. Although clinical interviewing is often referred to as an art (Shea, 2007), the information in this chapter highlights the science of clinical interviewing as well. The chapter opens with a discussion of the general structure and content of clinical interviews that are typically conducted in mental health contexts. The reader is introduced to a variety of interviews that are used in the assessment of Axis I and Axis II conditions, including their psychometric properties; guidelines for the assessment of suicidality are also presented. This is followed by an overview of interviewing skills. Specifically discussed are ways in which information processing limitations, verbal and nonverbal cues, and style of questions can influence the clinical interview. We then turn to a discussion of case formulation, a core component of the clinical interview. Empirical research on the impact of training on quality of case conceptualization and on the association between case formulation and treatment outcome is summarized. The chapter closes with a brief overview of issues that may arise when interviewing certain populations, in particular, couples, individuals from diverse populations, and young individuals.

Keywords: Case formulation, clinical interviewing, couples, diagnostic interviews, diverse populations, interviewing skills, suicide risk assessment, young clients

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