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Summarising and clarifying

During the interview, it is often helpful to clarify points, in order to ensure that the information is accurate. For example: ‘When you say that you were suspended by your arms, in what position were they?’ Alternatively the individual can be asked to recreate the position, but it should be borne in mind that doing so could provoke uncomfortable feelings or other reactions in the individual.

At the end of each session, it generally helps to summarise the key points, to ensure that they are clear. This sometimes has the additional benefit of getting the individual to remember details that add to the narrative.

In medico-legal cases, it may be helpful to have an opportunity to meet with the individual again to review any questions or inconsistancies. This also provides an opportunity to follow up any clinical problems that may have been identified in the evaluation.