History of the Presenting Complaint
The current symptoms of a presenting complaint are rarely adequately conceptualized or treated apart from the context in which they occur. Behavior, affect, and cognition are controlled by a variety of conditions, such as the effect of learning history, biology, personal and social relationships, cultural norms, innate strengths and weaknesses, socioeconomic background, education, and vocation. The therapist should be interested in current levels of functioning and conditions that affect current functioning at all times. Additionally, effectiveness of therapeutic intervention often increases when the therapist possesses knowledge of historical conditions associated with the presenting complaint. This chapter explores several historical events that affect many clients and suggests sources for obtaining historical data.