Chapter 1. Acing Tests and Buying Guitars: The Case of John


You must read each slide, and complete any questions on the slide, in sequence.

The receptionist hands you the intake paperwork prior to your intake interview with your new client, John, and mentions that his parents have brought him in. They seem very worried about their son. You review the paperwork prior to beginning the interview.

Intake Paperwork

Psychological Clinic

Intake Paperwork

Client Name: John

Age: 20 years old

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Occupation: College student

Current living situation: I live in an off-campus apartment with my roommate

Why are you seeking services at our clinic?

My parents brought me here. They say they are worried about me. I’m not sure why they are freaking out so much. I feel like I have had a personality transplant. I do not feel like myself, and I am having a hard time concentrating, but I don’t think I am as sick as my parents think I am.

You will now ask John and his parents a number of questions you would typically ask during the intake interview. As you conduct the interview with John, begin to think about his symptoms, what his diagnosis might be, and later, what type of treatment might be most helpful to John. Take notes in the box provided as you listen to John’s responses.

Hi John.It’s good to meet you and your parents. What we are doing today is called an intake interview. I’m going to have you tell me what brought you here today, and I’m going to ask you some informational questions that I ask everyone who comes to the clinic. This information will tell me how best to help you. This may mean continuing to come to see me for therapy at this clinic, or it may involve referring you to another mental health professional or facility. Let’s start. Tell me about what brought you to the clinic today.

My parents made me come. I don’t really know why. The only thing I can think of is [pauses] … I feel like I’ve had a complete personality transplant, maybe in like the last few weeks or so. I don’t think I’m a super creative or original person, but all of the sudden I have, like, so many ideas about ways I could improve my life, ideas for new projects.... [interrupts himself] like, I had this awesome idea! I am going to start a business buying and selling musical equipment on Craigslist. So I bought a bunch of old guitars online. I’m going to fix them up and resell them for a profit. Problem is -- I used my credit card to buy them… and my parents found out because they get the bill. [turns to parents, somewhat angrily] They don’t believe in me at all! They can’t see what a great idea this is! I was going to fix them up before they got the bill, but then I got an even better idea! I was watching TV late one night -- I don’t really need much sleep these days -- and I saw this great opportunity! I could become an online advertising salesrep! I had to pony up a bit more cash up front for that, so I put that on the credit card too, but it’s totally fine, … totally.. .-- I know it’s a “sure thing” and I’ll be able to make this money back and then some before the next payment is due.