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From The CriticsReviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D. (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This book explores the psychiatric interview in four distinct categories: general principles, the psychiatric history, and interviewing for diagnosis and/or treatment. This is a 2nd edition and the 1st was originally published in 2001.
Purpose: "The book's purpose is to educate mental health professionals in the art of the psychiatric interview. Yes, these are worthy objectives. Yes, the book does meet the author's objective."
Audience: "The book is aimed at beginning mental health professionals including interns, residents, social workers, etc., according to the author. I agree with this target audience. The author is a credible authority.
Features: The text opens with the four goals of the diagnostic interview. The author proceeds to break down the interview into its component parts from introduction to conclusion. He considers all aspects of the interview from dealing with the difficult patient to asking about sex to establishing a therapeutic alliance. The interviewing for diagnosis is an especially well-done section. The pocket cards and data forms for the interview are very useful.
Assessment: This is an excellent text for beginning mental health professionals. It starts by emphasizing the therapeutic alliance and stating that the interview is more about treatment than diagnosis (a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly). The tips and pearls provided throughout are very good. The breakdown on difficult patients and how to interview for diagnosis is well written and easy to understand. I wish that I would have had this book when I began and would highly recommend it to anyone starting in the field.