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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Psychotherapy
Page(s) 284 - 290
Title of proceedings Psychotherapy
DOI 10.1037/pst0000081

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Since the programmatic Rosenhan study, there is a broad discussion of how to actively construct clinical realities on both “insane” and “sane” perspectives. To inform patients about the output of the psychometric questionnaires assessed at intake is a required task in many clinical routines. Information processing bias toward psychopathology may impact many clinical communications and thus lead to clinical errors. Based on an output of the commonly used Symptom Check List 90, case examples demonstrate various grades of balanced and unbalanced alternatives of how to consider the psychopathological as well as the unproblematic poles of Likert scales in discussing psychometric questionnaires at Session 1. We provide one clinical error related to client information at intake assessments and offer four therapeutic tasks that can serve as observable quality indicators of how to facilitate a balanced picture of the patients’ burdens and capabilities: (1) validate individual problems, (2) isolate individual problems, (3) validate individual strengths, and (4) break through black and white thinking.