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Clinical interviewing is a widely used assessment method among school psychologists and mental health professionals. Clinical interviewing involves a formally arranged meeting between an interviewer and interviewee to achieve specific goals. Sattler (2001) distinguished between the following four types of interviews (along with the main goal of each):

  • Clinical assessment interview—evaluates an individual's emotional and behavioral functioning and makes recommendations about treatment
  • Psychotherapeutic interview—relieves an individual's emotional stress and fosters change through treatment
  • Forensic interview—investigates specific questions about an individual or family and provides an expert opinion for a legal decision, such as child custody or determination of child maltreatment
  • Survey interview—collects data regarding specific questions or variables of interest to a researcher, such as the prevalence of different disorders or diseases in epidemiological surveys

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