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Clinical Interviewing and Assessment


Admission requirements

This course is only open to Master students Clinical Psychology.


Students develop clinical interviewing and diagnostic skills, using semi-structured interviews, mental status examination and standardized interviews, e.g. the MINI. The course provides exposure to psychopathology syndromes via clinical interviews with trained actors. Theoretical and practical issues in assessment and diagnostics will be discussed. Oral and written reporting of findings is also covered. The focus of this part of the course is on Axis I disorders, however issues regarding Axis II will also be discussed.

Course objectives

This course aims to prepare you for conducting diagnostic interviews during your clinical internships. At the end of this course, your knowledge and skills of diagnostics, interviewing and reporting should be at a level required for the initial phase of your internship. Another aim is the further development of your professional attitude.

Specific aims are to:

  • Increase knowledge and skills regarding clinical diagnostic interviewing. Assessment of psychiatric signs and symptoms; psychosocial interview; mental status examination

  • Learn how to report data from diagnostic interviews in letters to general practitioners. Learn the advantages and limitations of various interviewing methods, in particular a clinical interview versus a standardized clinical interview

  • Increase knowledge and skills regarding assessment of symptom dimensions

  • Increase knowledge of MMPI-2

  • Further development of a professional attitude


Clinical Interviewing and Assessment (2011-2012):

Mode of instruction

Seminars, plenary instruction meetings, demonstration videos. Students will practice skills and techniques in roleplays and with trained actors.

Plenary instructions will be in English. Seminars with only Dutch students will be in Dutch.

Assessment method

Active participation during seminars, assessment by instructor of knowledge of theory and diagnostic criteria, interviewing skills during seminar and final exam, and written reports.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • Morrison, J. (2008). The first interview (third edition). New York: Guilford Press.

  • Syllabus, available at Blackboard.


Master’s introduction and enrolment day

Make a reservation in your agenda so you will not miss any information that you will need during your master’s programme MSc in Psychology. Please consult the Agenda master meetings

Exam registration

Registration for the (re)exam is not automatic. Students, who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the (re)exam

Contact information

Mw. Prof.dr. B.M. Elzinga
Room: 2A05a
Telephone: 071 527 3745