Initial Interview Techniques with children

2 min read

In psychology initial sessions with children, various interview techniques are used to gather information and establish rapport. Here are some commonly employed interview techniques:

  1. Play-based interviews: Younger children often communicate more effectively through play. Therapists may use toys, art materials, or games to engage the child in a playful and comfortable environment. This technique allows the child to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences indirectly.
  1. Structured interviews: Structured interviews involve asking specific questions in a predetermined order. These interviews may include standardized assessment tools or questionnaires designed to gather information about the child’s symptoms, behaviors, and functioning. Structured interviews provide a systematic approach to gathering data.
  1. Open-ended questions: Open-ended questions encourage children to provide detailed responses and share their thoughts and feelings. These questions typically begin with phrases like “Tell me about…” or “What was it like when…”. Open-ended questions allow the child to express themselves freely and provide valuable insights.
  1. Projective techniques: Projective techniques involve presenting the child with ambiguous stimuli, such as pictures or storytelling prompts, and asking them to interpret or create a story around them. This technique can help uncover underlying emotions, conflicts, or concerns that the child may not be able to express directly.
  1. Collaborative interviews: Collaborative interviews involve engaging both the child and their parents or caregivers in the interview process. This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the child’s experiences and perspectives while also involving the family in the therapeutic process.
  1. Non-verbal communication: Non-verbal cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, play a crucial role in understanding a child’s emotions and experiences. Skilled interviewers pay attention to these non-verbal cues to gain a deeper understanding of the child’s feelings and reactions.
  1. Developmentally appropriate language: Interviewers adapt their language and communication style to match the child’s developmental level. Using age-appropriate vocabulary and concepts helps ensure that the child understands the questions and can provide accurate responses.

It’s important to note that the choice of interview techniques may vary depending on the child’s age, developmental level, and presenting concerns. Skilled interviewers tailor their approach to meet the unique needs of each child and create a safe and supportive environment for effective communication.