Red Flag Evaluation: Interview Skills for Client Encounters



Spot the Red Flags Earlier during Assessments

I heard the news about my friends’ pastor who was shot seven times by a mentally tormented man.  Apparently, he had been seen for ‘counseling’ and had significant symptoms of psychosis prior to this incident.  We live in a society where we really need to be prepared to address such matters effectively.  So, I felt moved to compose this information for assessment efforts.  I would encourage anyone who has a vital role in social service or ministry to review this brief tutorial. By gaining the skills of “how” to evaluate ‘Red Flags’ in a presentation, the encounter can lead to better decisions for needed referrals.  In the very least, it may help clarify conditions for seeking a higher level of care. It may, in fact, assure a greater margin of safety and possibly save a life.

What I will cover in the linked slideshow is a technique I have often used in making assessments and interview evaluations of clients that presented for intervention in both inpatient and outpatient settings. This outline will be a very visual and useful tool to remember how to dissect a type of psychological interview. It is also very useful in writing up a brief psychological report based on your observation. Furthermore, this will help to clarify key areas of high risk and red flags for referrals of troubled clients to a higher level of care. 

Topics which will be addressed include affect (presenting emotion), mood (subjective emotion), the setting of presentation ( as aligned to affect and mood), cognitive content (thoughts), Cognitive stream (flow of thought), and evaluation of harm risks. Only mental health professionals can make a formal diagnosis and recommend treatment protocols. However, I offer this guide to help anyone in serving in a variety of social support settings. 

You can find the article below.

May God bless you who provide such valuable service to others.

Greg E. Williams, MD

Red Flag Assessment

About Me…..

Business Owner (LifeBank), Doctor (MD), neuroscientist, Medical Officer (D/C), Student of Life

Completed my Medical Studies;   awarded an M.D from the American University of the Caribbean in 1997. A graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University; double Major in Psychology(B.A.) and Sociology (B.A.).

Greg E. Williams, MD


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