I became disenchanted with the traditional model rather quickly in graduate school when I realized that the assessments I labored over had little impact on patients' lives. Typically, they were used only to diagnose the patient. When I gave feedback to patients I recognized how little they took away from my efforts to explain their problems. I became aware that patients were having a variety of experiences during the "data collection" phase of the assessment that were vitally important in understanding them, and so I began to collaborate with them during the assessment process. We discussed important thoughts and feelings that were stimulated by the various tests I administered, and I found that this approach resulted in a dramatic change in what the patient took away from the assessment process. Many clients also developed an understanding of themselves that sharply illuminated their life issues, thereby giving them important self-knowledge. I compared this collaborative approach with the traditional (information-gathering) approach and realized that the latter approach offered little benefit to the patient/client, whereas the former approach seemed to motivate patients/ clients to deal with their identified life issues.