The clinical interview is an interpersonal process designed to simultaneously initiate a therapeutic relationship and gather assessment information. It has been and remains the default entry point for patients (or clients) seeking mental health treatment. The clinical interview constitutes the first opportunity for clinicians to build a therapeutic alliance and conceptualize the patient’s presenting problem. It is also commonly known as the intake or initial interview.

Professionals from diverse training backgrounds such as psychiatry, psychology, counseling, and social work all conduct clinical interviews as a part of their usual and customary professional practice. As a consequence, the clinical interview has become a remarkably flexible and ubiquitous procedure that varies greatly depending on practitioner discipline, the clinical setting, the patients’ problems, and the overall purpose of ...

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