A Practical Guide for Counselors and Clinicians
Edited by Michel Hersen, Vincent B. Van Hasselt
Routledge – 1998 – 248 pages
This book offers clear and direct answers to the questions most frequently asked by students and trainees learning how to talk to clients and extract critical data from them. Its development reflects the old adage that "necessity is the mother of invention." For many years, the editors taught beginning level mental health clinicians. They found, however, no text to be satisfactory--including a number that they themselves were involved in producing. Some were too difficult; some were too simplistic; some were too doctrinaire; still others had missing elements.
Written in a reader-friendly "how-to" style, the chapters in Basic Interviewing are not weighed down by references. Rather, each contributor suggests readings for students and instructors who wish to pursue questions further.
After the initial overview chapter, there are 12 chapters addressing the nuts-and-bolts concerns of all clinicians that can be particularly vexing for neophytes. They cover a variety of issues from the most specific--like how to begin and end interviews--to the more general--like how to build rapport and identify targets for treatment. Throughout, rich clinical illustrations facilitate the pragmatic application of fundamental principles. Beginning graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology, social work, and other allied mental health fields, as well as psychiatric trainees, will find this text to be an indispensable companion.
"This is a 'user friendly' text that guides a novice through the basics of the clinical interview. It effectively covers the basic skills and the many concerns confronting the apprentice clinician in first encounters with clients. The book is full of well written helpful information to reduce the stress for student, clinician, and client alike."
—Sandra L Harris, PhD
"Almost every therapist has experienced apprehension before seeing their first few patients or clients, wondering about basic issues. How do I begin the session? How do I phrase certain questions in the intake interview? How much personal information should I reveal about myself? Most beginning therapists turn to supervisors or more advanced students for help. Now they can additionally turn to Hersen and Van Hasselt's invaluable book on basic interviewing and clinical skills. Written in a conversational, how-to-style, it is like having a clinical supervisor in book form, always available on the bookshelf. Filled with verbatim examples, it provides down to earth guidance on what to do and what to say that is a bountiful resource for beginning mental health therapists of a variety of theoretical orientations."
—J. Scott Mizes, PhD
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
"… Hersen and Van Hasselt have filled a noticeable gap in the art and science of clinical interviewing. The expertise of noted contributors take the student through difficult issues dealing with confidentiality, suicide risk, sexual abuse, and how to structure the beginning and termination of the interview. Problems frequently encountered by the novice in the process of the interview such as dealing with client defensiveness and developing empathy are dealt with through a wealth of case history material. Beginning clinicians from all disciplines will immediately feel comfortable with the practical advice and on target insights provided by this book."
—Richard M. Eisler, PhD
Virginia Technical University
Contents: Preface. J. Faust, General Issues. M. Kenny, Beginning the Interview and Confidentiality. F. Johnston, V.B. Van Hasselt, M. Hersen, Rapport, Empathy, and Reflection. G.S. Watson, A.M. Gross, History of the Presenting Complaint. B. Falk, Social History. O.G. Bukstein, The Medical History. C.J. Golden, P.S. Hutchings, The Mental Status Examination. D.L. Segal, Writing Up the Intake Interview. S.N. Gold, Dealing With Defensiveness. W.I. Dorfman, Dealing With the Over-Talkative Client. E.F. Wagner, J.D. Kassel, S.I. Jackson, Ending the Interview. W.J. Burns, C.V. Hatziyannakis, Knowing When to Refer. W.W. Tryon, Identifying Targets for Treatment.