By: Katelyn Braatz, LPC

The first step of the counseling process is usually the intake assessment. The intake assessment allows for the therapist to ask a potential client questions and listen to them to get a clear understanding of the person and the issues that have brought them in. This process usually takes 45-60 minutes depending on how much detail the client is willing to share with the therapist. The intake assessment is an important part of the therapeutic process because it allows the therapist to decide if they can help the client. To this end, a therapist will use open-ended questions to encourage the client to talk about their current problems and feelings, asking such questions as: “How have you been feeling, What do you think has caused the current problems you are having or How often is this occurring in your life?”

This is then shifted to other questions pertaining to past psychiatric history (“Have you received counseling or been admitted to a mental health hospital before?”); trauma history (“Have you experienced an event that has caused distress in your life?”); family psychiatric history (“Is your mother or father diagnosed with a mental illness?”); medical conditions (“Do you suffer from any medical conditions such as back pain or headaches?”);  current medications (“What current medications are you prescribed and are you taking them as ordered?”); substance use (“Are there any substances you use or in the past”), family and social history (“Who is your primary support system, who is included in your family?”); developmental history (“Were there any delays in speech or in school”); Occupational history (“What is your highest level of education? Do you work?”); legal history (“Were you ever arrested?”); any current suicidal/homicidal/hallucinations (“Do you have thoughts of harming yourself or others or see/hear things that other people cannot hear or see?”).

After the session, the therapist will evaluate how often the client will have to participate in counseling and/or be referred to intensive outpatient program (IOP) which is a program that allows for a group setting with multiple participants. Once the client is given recommendations. They will then need to make a final choice in therapy.

If you are interested in counseling and schedule your assessment, please contact Exult Healthcare today.


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