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Clinical Interviewing and Assessment


Entry requirements

Only open to Master students specialisation Clinical Psychology and Research master’s students track Clinical Health Psychology

This course is offered twice a year


Students develop clinical interviewing and diagnostic skills, using semi-structured interviews, mental status examination and standardized interviews, e.g. the MINI and CPRS. 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 most prevalent DSM-5 psychological disorders.

Course objectives

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

Specific aims are to:

  • Gain knowledge regarding clinical diagnostic interviewing; assessment of psychiatric signs and symptoms; psychosocial interview; mental status examination;

  • Learn how to report data from diagnostic interviews;

  • Learn the advantages and limitations of various interviewing methods, in particular a clinical interview versus a standardised clinical interview;

  • Gain practical skills regarding clinical diagnostic interviewing: assessment of psychiatric signs and symptoms, psychosocial interview, mental status examination;

  • Further development of a professional attitude, ethical aspects of psychodiagnostic interviewing;

  • Identify and assess psychopathological (DSM-5) disorders.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.

Exams (if applicable)

You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

  • Five 2-hour lectures

  • Six 4-hour seminars. Students will practice skills and techniques in roleplays and with trained actors. Lectures will be in English. Seminars with only Dutch students will be in Dutch.

You will be scheduled to a workgroup on one of the following days:

  • Block 2: Monday (13.15-17.00) or Thursday (13.15-17.00)

  • Block 4: Monday (13.15-17.00) or Thursday (13.15-17.00)
    Please take into account that scheduling could occur in any of these timeframes and that you will have to be available during those times. We will take into account language preference (Dutch or English), but not personal preferences.

Assessment method

Performance during this course will be rated in a 1-10 grade. The final seminar is an exam. Successful completion of this course and the final grade depends on:

  • Attendance plenary sessions, lectures and seminars.

  • Active participation during seminars, including feedback to group members and self-evaluation (20%).

  • Assessment by instructor of knowledge of theory, diagnostic criteria of DSM-5 disorders and interviewing skills during the course, including the exam (50%).

  • Written reports (30%).

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

  • Morrison, J. (2014). The first interview (Fourth edition). New York: Guilford Press.

  • Syllabus, course materials and information available on Brightspace.

  • DSM-5 American Psychiatric Association (2013)

Contact information

Course coordinators:
Drs. Jacqueline Guicherit-Dicke
Dr. Anne van Giezen