Psychology

Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook

Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0393701522

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A "sink or swim" philosophy frequently prevails in mental health settings today.

As a life raft for beginners and their supervisors, Where to Start and What to Ask provides all the necessary tools for garnering information from clients. Lukas also offers a framework for thinking about that information and formulating a thorough assessment. This indispensable book helps therapeutic neophytes organize their approach to the initial phase of treatment and navigate even rough clinical waters with competence and assurance.

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skepticism to everything you’ve found out. Why? Because your job is to find out who that person really is, and the information in a file is only as useful and accurate as the competence and insight of the people reporting it. For example, I.Q. scores can easily be affected by the client’s mental state when the testing was done. Diagnoses often vary depending on the clinician, the purpose of the diagnosis, and the circumstances under which the client was seen. Intake information may have been

occasion? If so, who was that person, and how did the incident start? Is the prospective client a person who hit only his girlfriend? Or did he have constant verbal confrontations with his boss that eventually led to a violent outburst? Or did he never behave in an aggressive way until he was hospitalized last year? And lastly, you are going to pay particular attention to how recently this client was involved in an act that was dangerous or hurtful to another person, how severe the injuries

operative words here are “slowly but surely.” That is, you are going to ask questions in a deliberate and calm manner, reminding yourself at such times of two crucial facts: first, that people who are having thoughts of killing themselves are both relieved and grateful to have someone else bring it up; and second, that many people think about killing themselves from time to time but most of them neither wish to die nor actually take their own lives. REMEMBER You must find out what your legal

case, however, pursue information about how frequently those thoughts occur or occurred. For example, if the answer was “this morning,” then you would want to know whether the client had these thoughts yesterday, and if so, how many times. And if she had them yesterday, you want to know when she started having these thoughts and whether they are happening more or less frequently than before. Also, when she is having these thoughts, are they fleeting? Or do they seem to be coming with greater

will feel sorry she hit me yesterday,” or “I won’t really die, I’ll just scare everybody,” or “I won’t have to worry about my ex-husband’s bills,” or “My boyfriend will be sorry he dumped me and we’ll get back together again,” or “My sister will come home and find me.” Whatever the answer, respond to it by telling the client, in one way or another, that there are many other solutions to the problem that is making her feel so badly at the moment, but that your first concern is making sure that

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