- An Intake Interview -

After giving a lecture about intake interviews, in the next class meeting I offer my students the opportunity to conduct one themselves. First, I give them a few bits of information about the patient, named David, who is about to enter the room. Then I break the group down into small groups so they can discuss what they might ask David when he arrives. The patient, of course, is me playing the role of a psychiatric patient as best I can (I've played the same character many times now, and have developed him to the point where the role play is quite realistic). Any student at any time can ask David a question. When David leaves, the groups discuss the interview and must fill out an intake/diagnostic report that I handed out before David arrived. In order to diagnose the patient, the students are encouraged to refer to their textbooks.

After they complete the report, we talk about the results. This exercise never fails to generate a lively discussion.

Below is the text from the handout I give to the class for this exercise. If you have Adobe's Acrobat, here is the pdf file that contains the fully formatted handout I use in class.


University Hospital Department of Psychology

Intake Diagnostic Assessment Form

A. Patient Summary:

(place here a brief description of the patient you, the teacher, will be playing)

B. Multi-axial Diagnosis (adapted from DSM criteria):

1. Primary Diagnosis: __________________________________

2. Personality Disorder: _________________________________

3. Physical Disorder: ___________________________________

4. Severity of Psychosocial Stressors (check one):

_____ mild _____ moderate _____ severe

5. Highest level of functioning (check one):

_____ poor _____ fair _____ good

C. Recommendations for Treatment (select 3) :

____ medications
____ occupational counseling
____ psychoanalysis
____ encounter group therapy
____ supportive therapy
____ hypnosis
____ assertiveness training
____ prefrontal lobotomy

D. Assessment of prognosis (select 1):

____ good ____ fair ____ poor


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