Course and Procedure of Pre-Treatment Assessment
Once a prospective patient has contacted the Center, a psychotherapist conducts an initial telephone interview. The telephone triage interview, lasting thirty minutes to three-quarters of an hour, first determines whether the treatment needs of the prospective patient can be met. If the answer to that question is "no" referrals are then offered. If the Center can provide treatment then the interview is an initial stage of establishing a working alliance-relationship. The telephone interview begins with asking the caller to describe the reasons for seeking services for their child, or her/himself. The initial set of questions is intended to gain an impression of how the patient is functioning in broad terms. The interviewer follows then with questions which seek specific descriptions of the patient's current emotional and behavioral functioning. Basic demographic information and billing information is collected thereafter, if both the caller and the interviewer feel s/he is then comfortable to come to the office to begin the several hours of interviews which will span several appointments.
With an emphasis on one's developmental histories the interviews begin the process of developing a comprehensive understanding of the nature and reasons for the patient's illness. The Adult Attachment Interview is a mainstay in the Center's armamentarium of instruments used to collect histories. Upon completing these interviews, the patient is scheduled for the pre-treatment psycho-diagnostic assessment. The treatment phase begins in earnest at the time of providing the patient with both verbal and documented results of the psycho-diagnostic assessment. Depending upon the nature of the illness, mid-treatment assessments may be conducted to determine treatment progress.