Structured interview is a specific set of questions that can be asked to any person to help diagnose an abnormal psychological disorder. Before I began my structured interview I read through the set of questions to get the flow of the interview. I also tried to imagine what a person might hold back about and made some side notes on how I would try to encourage the patient to give more information. I have not given many formal interviews such as the structured interview. If I were to become a clinician I would probably prefer the unstructured format. However I did learn several things about clinical interviews and there were things that I did and did not like. In the following paragraphs I will describe my trial experience.
I conducted both structured interviews at a coffee shop where I thought neither of us would feel uncomfortable about talking. I wanted to make the situation feel real instead of reading from a script. Therefore, both of us had read the cases and were adequately prepared to answer all questions. Before starting I also read up on the style in Comer and some from the internet. I learned that I should not deviate from the script but only try to entice further explanation of the situation, feelings or emotions. It was also a common rule for the interviewer to not share their own beliefs and opinions.
During the interview with Connie I was able to get a good picture of the past and present events that occurred to cause her emotional troubles. From my questioning I was able to identify 6 symptoms of depression. These included; depressed mood, diminished interest, weight loss, fatigue, feeling of worthlessness, and distress/dysfunction to social life. The vignette was so compelling that it made it incredibly easy to diagnose her as a major depressive. Her story seemed almost text book. I hear of women getting into a marriage and immediately realizing they made the wrong decision, but to read the story and then hear someone explain...
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