Intake Interview Guidelines

Presenting Issues: What the client came for, in their own words, on their terms. Use quotes. Delineate into specific problems, symptoms, goals. Why seek therapy now? Identify specific precipitating factors in this timing.

History of Presenting Issues: When started, what was going on, how progressed, qualifiers, timing, prior treatments, interrelationships to other life issues.

Personal History: See biography guidelines.

Family History: See biography guidelines.

Formulation: Typology; psychodynamic, experiential, archetypal, somatic, existential, phenomenological, mapping of issues; identify life pattern tendencies; lifestyle/life quality picture; psychological mindedness; relationship capability; regression capability; spiritual openness; spiritual emergence potential and issues; emotional openness; cognitive development; bodily orientation; sexuality/eros themes; transference/countertransference issues; commitment issues; ambivalence issues; authority, discipline and containment issues; sociopolitical orientation &/or projection tendency; dependency/autonomy issues; control issues; boundary issues; borderline &/or narcissistic tendency; trauma severity; dysfunctional tendency; addictive tendency; scapegoat tendency; depressive/anxiety tendency; suicidality; psychotic potential; dissociative potential; somatization problems; acting out tendency; social network and supports (family, friends, finances, social services, dependents); ego strengths and weaknesses; appropriateness for therapy, including results of other therapies; prognosis; cautions; medication issues.

Plan: Type of therapeutic approach (e.g. relationship building, immediate depth work, ego building, psychodynamic focus, life focus, bodywork, emotional release, cognitive focus, spiritual focus, expressive arts, support/challenge, couples, homework, reading/movies); individual, group, workshops; weekly/ biweekly, etc; timing issues; therapist gender issues; other psychotherapy related modalities (e.g. rolfing, chiropractic, massage, Vipassana, contact improv); other health related modalities and issues (e.g. naturopathy, detox, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, good allopathic practitioner); prior treatment info; interfacing with other health care providers and support system; consultations; supervision issues.