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June 1968

The Briefest Psychiatric Encounter: Acute Effects of Evaluation

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
From the Family Development Section, Child Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. After June 30 Dr. Jacobson will be at the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(6):718-724. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740060078010

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

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