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Clinical Interviewing, 5th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-27004-2
624 pages
September 2013, ©2014
Clinical Interviewing, 5th Edition (1118270045) cover image


The classic text presenting proven, practical strategies for conducting effective interviews

Clinical Interviewing—now in its Fifth Edition— guides clinicians through elementary listening skills onward to more advanced, complex clinical assessment processes such as intake interviewing, mental status examination, and suicide assessment.

Clinical Interviewing has been updated with the latest content from the DSM-5, including:

  • Defining psychological and emotional disorders (Chapter 6: An Overview of the Interview Process)
  • Diagnostic impressions (Chapter 7: Intake Interviewing and Report Writing)
  • Assessing for depression (Chapter 9: Suicide Assessment)
  • History and evolution of the DSM, defining mental disorders, specific diagnostic criteria, diagnostic assessment, diagnostic interviewing, and using diagnostic checklists (Chapter 10: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning)
  • Violence assessment (Chapter 12: Challenging Clients and Demanding Situations)

Featuring an accompanying DVD with real-life scenarios of actual counselors and clients demonstrating techniques for effective clinical interviews, the new edition presents:

  • A greater emphasis on collaborative goal setting and the client as expert
  • New discussion on multicultural orientation and multicultural competency
  • Non-face-to-face assessment and interviewing—including a structured protocol-- via email, telephone, texting, videoconferencing/Skype, instant messaging, and online chatting
  • An increased focus on case formulation and treatment planning
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Table of Contents

DVD Contents xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

About the Authors xxi


Chapter 1 Introduction: Philosophy and Organization 3

Welcome to the Journey 4

Theoretical Orientations 8

Goals and Objectives of This Book 19

Summary 19

Suggested Readings and Resources 20

Chapter 2 Foundations and Preparations 21

Defining Clinical Interviewing 22

Self-Awareness 30

The Physical Setting 36

Professional and Ethical Issues 43

Summary 55

Suggested Readings and Resources 56


Chapter 3 Basic Attending, Listening, and Action Skills 59

Attending Behavior 60

Moving Beyond Attending 68

Nondirective Listening Behaviors 70

The Pull to Reassurance 83

Directive Listening Behaviors 84

Summary 94

Suggested Readings and Resources 95

Chapter 4 Directives: Questions and Action Skills 97

Section One: Using General and Therapeutic Questions 98

Section Two: Directive Interviewing Techniques (AKA Directives) 116

Summary 133

Suggested Readings and Resources 134

Chapter 5 Evidence-Based Relationships 135

Carl Rogers’s Core Conditions 136

Evidence-Based Psychoanalytic and Interpersonal Relationship Concepts 149

Additional Theoretical- and Evidence-Based Concepts Related to the Therapeutic Relationship 160

Concluding Comments 166

Summary 166

Suggested Readings and Resources 167


Chapter 6 An Overview of the Interview Process 171

Structural Models 172

The Introduction: First Contact 173

The Opening 183

The Body 191

The Closing 196

Termination 202

Summary 205

Suggested Readings and Resources 205

Chapter 7 Intake Interviewing and Report Writing 207

What Is an Intake Interview? 207

Objectives of Intake Interviewing 208

Factors Affecting Intake Interview Procedures 227

Brief Intake Interviewing 228

The Intake Report 230

Summary 246

Suggested Readings and Resources 247

Chapter 8 The Mental Status Examination 249

Objectivity 250

What Is a Mental Status Examination? 250

The Generic Mental Status Examination 252

When to Use Mental Status Examinations 283

Summary 285

Suggested Readings and Resources 286

Chapter 9 Suicide Assessment 289

Personal Reactions to Suicide 290

Suicide Statistics 291

Suicide Risk Factors 292

Suicide Assessment Interviewing 302

Suicide Intervention 317

Professional Issues 322

Summary 325

Suggested Readings and Resources 327

Chapter 10 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning 329

Principles of Psychiatric Diagnosis 329

Diagnostic Assessment: Methods and Procedures 337

The Science of Clinical Interviewing: Diagnostic Reliability and Validity 339

A Balanced Approach to Conducting Diagnostic Clinical Interviews 341

Treatment Planning 347

Summary 360

Suggested Readings and Resources 361


Chapter 11 Interviewing in a Diverse and Multicultural World 365

Four Large Worldviews 367

Other Diverse Client Populations 383

Cultural Complexities and Identities 390

Assessment and Culture-Bound Syndromes 391

Professional Considerations 395

Summary 397

Suggested Readings and Resources 397

Chapter 12 Challenging Clients and Demanding Situations 399

Challenging Clients 400

Demanding Situations: Crisis and Trauma 419

Summary 430

Suggested Readings and Resources 431

Chapter 13 Interviewing and Working With Young Clients 433

Considerations in Working With Children 434

The Introduction 435

The Opening 438

The Body of the Interview 449

The Closing 461

Termination 464

Summary 464

Suggested Readings and Resources 465

Chapter 14 Principles and Tips for Interviewing Couples and Families 467

Some Ironies of Interviewing Couples and Families 468

Interviewing Stages and Tasks 470

Special Considerations 492

Summary 502

Suggested Readings and Resources 502

Chapter 15 Interviewing in Online and Other Non–Face-to-Face (Non-FtF) Environments 505

Technology as an Extension of the Self 506

Non-FtF Assessment and Intervention Research 512

Ethical and Practical Issues: Problems and Solutions 516

Conducting Online or Non-FtF Interviews 522

Summary 525

Suggested Online Training Resources 526

Appendix: Extended Mental Status Examination—Interview Protocol 527

References 537

Author Index 581

Subject Index 591

About the DVD 597

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Author Information

JOHN SOMMERS-FLANAGAN, PhD, is Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Montana. He serves as a mental health consultant for Trapper Creek Job Corps. His research interests include clinical interviewing, parent consultations, and adolescent psychotherapy.

RITA SOMMERS-FLANAGAN, PhD, is Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Montana. She provides mental health consultation at Trapper Creek Job Corps, and has taught and written in the area of applied, practical ethics for the past twenty years.

John and Rita have coauthored nine books, including Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice, Second Edition; Becoming an Ethical Helping Professional; and How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen, all published by Wiley.

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“The authors of this Fifth Edition of Clinical Interviewing have enhanced their already fine work with the addition of a few timely topics, including: increased focus on multicultural competency; emphasis on collaborative goal setting; increased attention to evidence-based relationships; and a new chapter on online interviewing formats.  For students wanting to learn about the assessment and interviewing process, this book offers a comprehensive approach to putting skills and knowledge into action.”—Marianne Schneider Corey, M. A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Consultant & Gerald Corey, Ed.D., ABPP, Diplomate in Counseling Psychology, Professor Emeritus of Human Services and Counseling, California State University, Fullerton, co-authors of I Never Knew I Had a Choice

Clinical Interviewing, Fifth Edition is well organized, written in a nonjudgmental, easily accessible style, and contains excellent case examples representing real-world dilemmas.  Of particular value are the clearly stated objectives at the beginning of every chapter and practical up-to-date information on topics that are often not discussed or included in training programs. Clinical Interviewing is a "must-read" for all beginning therapists and supervisors and, I would add, even seasoned psychotherapists will find important new ideas for improving their work!”—Pamela A. Hays, Ph.D. Author or Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, & Therapy; and Connecting across Cultures: The Helper’s Toolkit

“A superb synthesis and presentation of the key concepts any beginning student absolutely needs to know about clinical interviewing. John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan make an eloquent case that connecting with the client on a human level is the superordinate task, without which little else of value can be achieved. Replete with relevant clinical examples, helpful how-to hints, as well as pearls of clinical wisdom, this comprehensive yet accessible text is highly recommended."—Victor Yalom, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Psychotherapy.net

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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
Clinical Interviewing, Fifth Edition
Instructor's resources, posted to the companion site, consists of: 1. Test bank: about 30 multiple choice questions per chapter 2. Transition Notes 3. PowerPoint by chapter (to be made available also on the Student Companion Site) 4. Instructor’s Manual consists of the following: • Sample Syllabi • Initial Experiential Activity • List of national professional associations • Supplementary lecture topics and questions for reflection per chapter • Teaching and Learning Activities per chapter • Online Resources and Activities per chapter
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Students Resources
Wiley Student Companion Site
Student's Resources
Student's Resources consisting of: PowerPoint Slides per chapter
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