Chapter 17: Nonverbal Behavior and Psychiatric Observation
Michael R. Privitera
Nonverbal behavior and psychiatric observation It is the evaluation of both verbal and nonverbal behaviors that allows for the optimal psychiatric assessment of patients and for one to determine the patient's potential imminent risk to self and others. I say this as a psychiatrist with 31 years of experience in the field of assessments and treatment of mental disorders. This experience has ranged from inpatient and outpatient care of psychiatric patients to the assessment and treatment of “psychiatric” manifestations in medically or surgically ill patients. Some of the treatment modalities used include individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy. I apply a variety of psychotherapy theoretical constructs within these modes; the specific approach chosen depends upon the situation and setting. I prescribe psychotropic medications—such as antide-pressants, antipsychotics, antianxiety medication, and mood-stabilizing medications—and also apply somatic treatments such as light therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and many other emerging biological treatments. Training to become ...