Originally Posted by erg923
Training someone to view psychological report writing as their time for intellectual masturbation seems quite useless to me, and actually a hindrance to the development of skills and efficiency/proficiency needed on internship and beyond/
I can say that at least in my case, writing lengthier (although admittedly by "lengthier," I mean 7 pages as opposed to 15) does force you to pay a great deal of attention to essentially every bit of information you've gathered. And especially for individuals who haven't yet had many/any opportunities to synthesize that amount of data, getting it all spelled out in written form first a few (dozen) times helps you to begin picking out what's important, and what is foregone/can be left out.
Even if the reports aren't ever actually given to anyone (i.e., they're only used as a trianing exercise, and the "real" reports are significantly shorter), I feel it to be a useful undertaking. But that's just me.
Beyond that, I don't necessarily think it behooves the trainee to immediately jump into having an efficiency-oriented mindset from the get go. Again, at least in my opinion and experience, having the opportunity (or even being forced) to spend a substantial amount of time on reports early on, and thereby have a chance to fully conceptualize a case, can help you practice those skills to the point that they happen much more quickly by the time you get to internship.
You of course don't want to be telling students that 15-page reports are going to be poured over by people in the real world. But allowing them to spend a good amount of time on a case early in their training, while providing the caveat that eventually they're going to need to essentially cut their reports in half, seems to work well for many of the students I've trained with.