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Therapeutic Interviewing: Essential Skills and Contexts of Counseling

By Michael D. Reiter

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Aug 8, 2007


This introductory textbook is designed to give the beginning counseling/ psychotherapy student the foundations skills needed to conduct therapeutic interviews with a variety of clients in a variety of settings.

Table of Contents

>Every chapter includes a summary and exercises.


Part I   The Context of Therapy

Ch. 1   Therapeutic Interviewing: Defining Therapy, Therapeutic Relationships, & the Interview

Dynamics of Interviews

The Therapeutic Interview

Defining Therapy

The Helping Process

The Therapeutic Alliance

Characteristics of Effective Therapeutic Relationships

The Goal of Therapeutic Interviews

The Therapeutic Contract

Are Therapeutic Interviews Effective?


Ch 2    The Therapy Client: Motivation & Understanding of Therapy

Definition of the Person Coming to Therapy

Motivation for Therapy

Characteristics of Clients

Help-Seeking Behavior

Media Presentations of Therapy

Societal View of Those who Seek Therapy

Opening Up in the First Session

The Client’s Experience in Therapy

Readiness for Change

Ch. 3   The Therapeutic Interviewer: Motivation & Impact of Being a Therapist

Motivations for Being a Therapist

Characteristics of Effective Therapists

Therapist Self-Care

Therapist and Mental Health

Therapy for the Therapist



Therapist Skill Growth

Use of Self in Therapy


Part II             The Context of Skills of Therapy

Ch. 4   Beginning Conversational Skills: Use of Language for Joining & Maintaining an Interview Joining Skills

Framing the Purpose of Therapy

Informed Consent


Therapeutic Distance

Door Openers

Basic Conversational Skills

Minimal Encouragers

Nonverbal Communication


Listening Barriers



Using the Client’s Language

Using Obscenities

Use of Humor


Ch. 5   Reflecting Skills: Exploring Content, Feelings & Meanings of the Client’s Story Exploring Content

Client Stories

What is Content

What is a Paraphrase

Building Paraphrases

General and Specific Paraphrases

Nonjudgmental Paraphrases

Rating Paraphrases

Connecting Paraphrases with the Basic Conversational Skills

Use of Metaphors

Advanced Reflecting Skills

Reflection of Feeling

Defining Empathy

Empathy in Practice


Content & Feelings

What are Feelings?

Intensity Levels of Feelings

Designing Reflections

Responding with Reflections

Ownership of Feelings

Phrasing Reflections

Statements or Questions

Paraphrase or Reflection

Reflection of Nonverbal Feelings

Keeping the Focus on the Client

Reflection of Meaning

Putting it All Together

Ch. 6   Questions & Goal-Setting Skills: Asking Purposeful Questions & Developing Collaborative Therapeutic Goals

Questions in the Therapeutic Interview

Why Use Questions

Functions of Questions

Open and Closed Questions

Swing Questions

Phrasing Questions

Pitfalls of Questions

Goal-Setting Skills

Are Goals Necessary?

Setting Goals with Clients

Components of Good Goals

Prioritizing Goals

Incorporating Goal Characteristics

Ch. 7   Endings in Therapy: Summarizing, Ending Sessions, & Termination

Summarizing Client Stories

Client-Initiated Endings

Therapist-Initiated Endings

Mutually-Initiated Endings

Forced Terminations

Termination as a Transition Point

Dealing with Dependency

Relapse Prevention


Ch. 8   Pitfalls of Therapy: How to Avoid Being Ineffective

Common Microskills Mistakes

Why questions

Don’t you/Do you think

“I understand”


“How does that make you feel?”


Using Jargon

Common Intrapersonal Mistakes



Going for quick solutions

Giving advice

Being Overresponsible

Unrealistic Expectations

False understanding

Giving reassurance

Confusing the Diagnosis for the Person

Not Accepting Mistakes

Negative Reactions to the Client

Therapist Emotional Distress

Common Interpersonal Mistakes

Friendship Rather than Therapy

Arguing with Clients

Boundary Violations

Other Interpersonal Mistakes

Learning from Mistakes

Ch. 9   Strength-Based Interviewing: Interviewing for Client Resources and Solutions

The Language of the Strengths Perspective




Dialogue and Collaboration

Suspension of Disbelief

Client Competence

Strength-Based Interviewing

Strength-Based Practice


Interviewing for Solutions

Utilizing the Client’s Position


Part III            The Contexts of Clients

Ch. 10 Therapeutic Assessment Interviewing: Intake Interviewing, Mental Status Exams, and Crisis Counseling

Intake Interviewing

Identifying information

Presenting problem


History of the problem

Social History

Medical History

Previous therapy

Reason for coming to therapy now

Major areas of stress

Academic/work functioning

Substance Use

Social resources

Initial impressions

Treatment plan

Mental Status Exam

Appearance and behavior

Attitude toward interviewer

Psychomotor activity

Affect and mood

Speech and thought

Perceptual disturbances


Attention, concentration, and memory


Reliability, judgment, and insight

Diagnostic Interviewing

Crisis Counseling

Defining Crises

Intervening in Crises

Suicide Assessment

            Working with Suicidal Clients

Crisis Intervention over the Phone

Impact of Conducting Crisis Interviews

Ch. 11 Cross-Cultural Interviewing: Working with Diverse Clients

Orientation to Conducting a Cross-Cultural Therapeutic Interview

Defining Multiculturalism

Cultural Difference between Therapist and Client

Skills for Conducting a Cross-Cultural Therapeutic Interview

Objectives of Multicultural Competence

Multicultural Competencies (MCC)

            Characteristics of Effective Multicultural Counselors

Culture-Based Interviewing Skills

Special Issues when Conducting a Cross-Cultural Therapeutic Interview

Barriers to Effective Multicultural Counseling

A Theory of Multicultural Counseling & Therapy

Limitations of the Cultural Sensitivity Construct

Ch. 12 Therapeutic Interviewing with Children

Orientation to Conducting a Therapeutic Interview with a Child

The Relationship


Children’s Knowledge of the Therapist

Skills for Conducting a Therapeutic Interview with a Child

Explaining the Interview

Discussing Confidentiality and Informed Consent/Assent

Talking with Parents

Beginning the Session

Interview Length

Closing the Session

Goal Setting

Special Issues when Conducting a Therapeutic Interview with a Child

Who is the Client


Caring for Children


Interviewing for Abuse and Neglect

Leading the Child

Handling Termination

Play Therapy

Documents and Awards

Ch. 13 Therapeutic Interviewing with Couples & Families

Orientation to Conducting a Therapeutic Family Interview

Individual versus Family Therapy

Neutrality Who is the Client

Content versus Process

Therapist’s Impact on the Family

Circular Epistemology Circular Questioning

Interactional Sequences

Skills for Conducting a Therapeutic Family Interview

Preliminary Information



Explaining the Purpose of the Family Interview

Who to Start with in the Family Interview

The First Family Interview

Establishing Mutual Goals

Handling Emotionality

Special Issues when Conducting a Therapeutic Interview with Couples/Families

Triangulation Overtalkative Family Members

Absent Family Members

Inappropriate Topics for a Family Interview

Meeting Individually with Family Members

Seating Arrangements

Discipline in Session

Should the Whole Family Always Come

Private Meetings with an Individual Family Member

Ch. 14 Therapeutic Interviewing with Groups

Orientation to Conducting a Therapeutic Group Interview

Therapeutic Factors

Equality Among Members

Process instead of Content

Skills for Conducting a Therapeutic Group Interview

Core Competencies of Group Work

Effective Group Therapists

Group Leadership Styles

Beginning Group Therapy Interviews

Conducting Group Therapy Interviews

Ending Group Therapy Interviews

Special Issues when Conducting a Therapeutic Group Interview


Confronting the Leader

Ethics and Group Counseling

Part IV            The Contexts of Therapy

Ch. 15 Office-Based Therapy: Interviewing in the Therapist’s Domain

Orientation to Conducting a Therapeutic Interview in the Office

Waiting Room

The Office

Seating Arrangements


Telephone Calls between Sessions

No-Shows, Late Arrivals, and Late Departures

Skills for Conducting a Therapeutic Interview in the Office



Special Issues when Conducting a Therapeutic Interview in the Office


The Business of Private Practice


Ch. 16 Home-Based Therapy: Interviewing in the Client’s Domain

Orientation to Conducting a Therapeutic Interview in the Home

The Clientele

The Programs

Advantages of Home-Based Therapeutic Interviewing

Challenges of Home-Based Therapy

Skills for Conducting a Therapeutic Interview in the Home

Characteristics of Effective Home-Based Therapists

Becoming a Home-Based Therapist

What to do in the Home

Utilizing the Home Environment

            Collaborative Hierarchy

Special Issues when Conducting a Therapeutic Family Interview

Phases of Home-Based Sessions

Handling Crises

Safety Issues

Ch. 17 Interviewing in Alternative Settings: Schools, Residential & In-Patient Facilities, & Online Counseling

School-Based Interviewing

School-Based Interviewer as Consultant

Dealing with Difficult Students

Ethics in School-Based Interviewing

Residential and In-patient Interviewing

Who is the Client

Online Counseling

Modes of Online Counseling

Is Online for Everyone

Specific Online Counseling Skills

Online Crises


Security Issues in Online Counseling

Ethical Issues in Online Counseling



Therapeutic Interviewing: Essential Skills and Contexts of Counseling

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$133.32 $106.66 | ISBN-13: 978-0-205-52951-3

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