Assessment Of Chronic Depression

When therapists work with patients with chronic depression, the assessment process can be challenging on a number of fronts. Generally speaking, a patient comes to therapy with a long history of the disorder, and there is a lot of ground for the therapist to cover in terms of gathering sufficient information to make sense of current problems, sharing a treatment rationale with the patient, and devising an initial formulation of the development and maintenance of the disorder. A further consideration is the fact that patients with chronic depression can be vague or evasive when giving information, as well as interpersonally sensitive, especially in novel social situations such as assessment. These two factors alone mean that the pacing of the interview needs to be slower, with more time and attention given to rapport building. This latter point is especially important given the interpersonal sensitivity that characterizes many patients' presentations can be disruptive to the process of systematic information gathering.

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