Therapeutic Assessment in Psychological Triage Using the PAI
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This case illustrates the utility of incorporating therapeutic assessment in a triage context that typically involves a focus on gathering information. A man referred to our clinic by a local mental health center was seen by our assessment team for a triage that includes the administration of a single psychological test, the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Although this triage must rapidly gather information to determine client suitability and treatment assignment, we still attempt to work with clients to collaboratively develop goals for this assessment that include addressing questions that are central concerns for the clients. In this case, the test results suggested a severe disorder that accounted for many phenomena that he had been experiencing but had apparently been reluctant to share. The information gathered led to a referral to a different treatment program that could provide pharmacological and more intensive forms of treatment. However, the collaborative bond formed between the assessor and the client during this triage was sufficiently strong that it was our assessor to whom the client turned in a subsequent crisis precipitated by a symptomatic exacerbation. This case illustrates complementary information gathering and therapeutic goals of assessment even in the context of a brief assessment.
author list (cited authors)
Brown, J. D., & Morey, L. C.