THE PSYCHIATRIC evaluation or diagnostic interview is widely regarded as a dynamic, interpersonal process. In the past, investigation has been concentrated on how an understanding of this process enhances the ability of the interviewer to determine what is going on and what is going wrong, and to decide and facilitate what can or should be done about it.1 What happens to the patient as a result of this experience, however, largely has been neglected from a research standpoint. A search of the literature of the past ten years turned up no papers at all on the subject.
It is not rare for individual therapists to see a patient in a one- or two-session evaluation, refer the patient elsewhere, and receive a report that fairly dramatic changes have taken place in several aspects of the patient's life. The following two patients were seen in
Jacobson G. The Briefest Psychiatric EncounterAcute Effects of Evaluation. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(6):718-724. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740060078010