Functions of Therapeutic Interview

Kevin is a 26-year-old male who is suffering from anxiety, depression, and racing thoughts. Kevin was a victim of bullying all through school and has an unfulfilling social life. He has insecurities and appears to have low self-esteem. Kevin’s is in search of purpose and desires to a acquire sense of belonging. Kevin indulges in alcohol and marijuana to pass the time and to compensate for the amount of time he spends alone.




Assignment Details


Note: Your written critique of your mock interview will be your Final Paper submission for the course.

·  For this assignment, you are to conduct an initial interview with a fake client in which you will develop rapport, identify current concerns, and provide some structure for future treatment if deemed necessary.

·  The person you interview must use a FICTITIOUS problem and they must not be anyone you know from a professional interaction. They should have a well-developed fake identity prior to beginning the interview (presenting concern, age, ethnicity, family, work, etc.).

·  The mock interview should be a minimum of 45 minutes long. You will record the interview and upload to Blackboard or email me your recording. Your paper will not be graded without submission of the videoed interview.

·  You should use the skills outlined in your book to facilitate engagement, initial stress reduction, establishing rapport, obtaining clarity regarding why the client is seeking services, and assessing what stage of change the client is in.

·  I will not be evaluating your skills; YOU will be evaluating your skills which will require you actually review the video after you conduct the interview. I will evaluate your ability to evaluate your skills.

·  Your written critique should be three to five double-spaced paged. You should begin by providing an overview of the client’s concerns, then discuss your formulation of the problem, then identify the techniques (as discussed in your book) that facilitated the therapeutic process and whether you stuck to the “flow” of the session (see below) and finally outline what you could have done differently. Use APA style.

The Egan text does not discuss the natural “flow” of the therapy session. I believe that an awareness of this structure assists therapists with maintaining purpose and structure in treatment. Below is an overview of this structure as outlined by Kanfer and Schefft (1988).

Functions of the Therapeutic Interview:

1) Information Gathering-connecting current concern with multiple facets of the person

1. Not limited to the first session

2. What is the client’s current life situation?

3. What is the client’s background and family history?

4. Gather info about the client’s educational, social, medical, and occupational history.

2) Assessment

5. Analysis of client’s current complaints, resources, skills, and assets

6. Clarification of the problem (what precipitates it and what maintains it)

7. Assess motivation for change

8. How do education, social, medical factors, etc. affect current presenting concern?

9. Can this client self-regulate emotion/behavior?

Updated: 08.03.18

f. What type of supports does this client have?

3. 3)  Information giving

1. Directive

2. Brief

3. Always check in with client to be sure the information you provided was understood

and correctly interpreted

4. 4)  Instigation of change

1. Re-evaluate goals

2. Practice change behaviors in session

5. 5)  Production of change

1. Assigned homework

2. Description of next step

3. Review/identify improvements

Structure Across Sessions

1. 1)  Early Sessions-primary task of the clinician is to structure the interactions where changes are planned, evaluated, and supported. Therapeutic alliance is the main agenda

1. 2)  Middle-facilitate action in client’s daily life

1. 3)  Later Sessions-client takes primary responsibility in direction session

Structure of the Therapeutic Hour

1. 1)  The opening

9. Eases the client into the treatment structure

9. Between session events and moods are considered and used for transition into the


1. 2)  Preparation of the central theme

10. Identifies goals for the session

10. Assists client with participation in the process

1. 3)  Engagement and resolution of the central theme (this will not be paramount in the initial

interview-the central theme at this point is if the client will continue with treatment)

11. Deals with the current problems and strategies to resolve it

11. This is the period of highest emotional intensity of the hour

1. 4)  Recapitulation and summary

12. Reviews what was discusses (using client’s words)

12. Prepares for tasks to be completed to address concerns

1. 5)  Winding down and closing

13. Assist client with disengaging from the therapeutic process

13. Re-enter life setting

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