Opportunities for Graduate Students and Professors as We Revise Our Clinical Interviewing Textbook


Revising textbooks is a joy and a burden. When I’m first forced to face the revision process, I feel unfairly burdened. I think things like, “I thought we wrote a perfect book that would last forever. How could anyone think it needs revision?” To say that I lack the necessary enthusiasm is an understatement. I lack any enthusiasm.

However, once I dive back into the text, it’s like visiting an old friend. And in this case, the good news is that it’s like visiting an old friend whom I like very much.

Rita and I started working on the first edition of Clinical Interviewing way back in 1990. Yep. It’s a very old friend.

During the next 6-8 months, we’ll be working on the 6th edition revision. If you’re a graduate student or faculty in Counselor Education, Psychology, or Social Work, we’re looking for your help. But, as before, we really only want your help if it will be meaningful to you. If you think that might be the case, read on:

You’re invited to help in one of four ways:

1. You can choose one or more of the chapters from the fifth edition, read it (them), and offer feedback and advice on changes you think would improve the text. We can take up to three reviewers for each chapter, but more than that will overwhelm us.

2. You can provide us with feedback and recommendations for DVD content that will help in the teaching and learning of basic and advanced counseling and interviewing assessment skills. This is very important because having excellent video content facilitates learning and is one of our big goals.

3. You can provide expert analysis of specific literature related to basic counseling skills and/or advanced interviewing assessment strategies. For example, if you’re on the cutting edge of administering mental status exams (or want to be), we can work together to read and select new literature that will help us update that chapter.

4. You can develop and write up specific classroom activities that help students learn basic and more advanced interviewing skills. If your contribution in this area is original, we’ll work with you to organize your learning activity so that it can be included as a short publication in our electronic instructor’s manual.

5. If you’re an expert in a particular area and want to send us citations of your published work, we’ll review your work and consider including those citations in the 6th edition, as appropriate.

If any of these opportunities sound good to you, or, if you have other ideas, questions, or comments about our revision process, please email me directly at: john.sf@mso.umt.edu.

Thanks for considering these opportunities to contribute to the Clinical Interviewing 6th edition!

Sincerely yours,

John SF

P.S.: In case you don’t know much about this text and the accompanying DVD, here’s what a couple reviewers said:

“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

About the DVD:
“Indispensable interviewing skills imparted by two master teachers in an engaging, multimedia presentation. Following the maxim of ‘show and tell,’ the Sommers-Flanagans provide evidence-based, culture-sensitive relational skills tailored to individual clients. An instructional gem!”
John C. Norcross, PhD, ABPP, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Scranton; Editor, Psychotherapy Relationships That Work

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