Date of Award

12-2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare clients' assessment of two different counseling intake procedures used by clinicians. This study compared a Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) intake intervention with an intake intervention constructed from the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I). The SCID-I is one of the most widely used diagnostic interviews and reflects a "gold standard" in formulating accurate diagnoses. The SFBTintake intervention developed for this study stands in stark contrast to the SCID-I and its primary objective, evaluation of the problem. SFBT is a strength-based model that maintains a positive and future-oriented focus. This model is deliberate in its focus on initiating and maintaining discussions of strengths, resources, and solutions as opposed to problems.

Many mental health agencies believe that a comprehensive psychological intake interview or assessment, in which information is gleaned from a broad arrayof areas is essential in determining the client's appropriateness for counseling and planning a successful course for treatment. However, little attention has been given to the intake interview or assessment, as well as different intake procedures and their impact as experienced by the client.

Client assessments of the SFBT and the SCID-I intake intervention were examined with regard to counselor attractiveness, expertness, trustworthiness, and total effectiveness; session depth, smoothness, positivity, and arousal; outcome optimism and goal clarity; and client's current level of distress.

The sample consisted of 30 clients, which included 16 female and 14 male participants. An equal number of participants received the SFBT and SCID-I intakeintervention. This study employed a mean comparison design in which participants' outcome scores on the two intakes were assessed. Participants were randomly assigned to either treatment A (SFBT intake) or treatment B (SCID-I intake). A series of t tests was conducted on each of the dependent variables based upon the mean scores from the participants within the SFBT and SCID intake groups. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between the two intake assessments, thus suggesting that the SFBT intake intervention was comparable to the SCID-I intake intervention in regard to the selected outcome variables.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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