Conceptual Skills for Mental Health Professionals / Edition 1

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This book is designed to help students in the mental health professions, as well as clinicians, to bridge the gap between theory and practice and to develop competence in the conceptual skills of their profession. Written by a well-known author who is an educator as well as a practicing clinician, this book teaches the conceptual skills that mental health professionals need to understand their clients; to develop sound ideas about the cause, nature, and purpose of their clients' difficulties; and to craft a treatment plan that is likely to be effective. Skills are organized into a readily comprehensible structure and are grouped by their primary focus (background, emotions, thoughts, or actions), thus clearly linking theory and practice. Important skills presented in this book include developing a sound therapeutic alliance, case conceptualization, assessment, becoming competent in diagnosis and treatment planning, and addressing transference and countertransference. Written exercises, discussion questions, group role-plays, personal journal questions, and many examples facilitate learning and application.

Highlights of this First Edition:

  • The structure of BETA (background, emotions, thoughts, actions) format-enables readers to link theory and practice and readily understand the primary purpose of each skill.
  • Consistent use of four types of learning opportunities at the end of each chapter (written exercises, discussion questions, role-play exercises, personal journal questions)-affords readers diverse approaches to learning, designed to promote skill development regardless of the learner's preferred learning style. Gives structure and consistency to the book.
  • The teaching of advanced conceptual skills-until recently, skill development in the training programs in counseling, psychology, and social work focused almost exclusively on teaching the basic or fundamental skills. Recent research has affirmed the importance of both fundamental and conceptual skills. This is one of the few books that teaches readers how to understand and think about their clients and potentially moves the treatment process to a deeper and more meaningful level.
  • New and revised examples and case studies, including a new intake interview in the concluding chapter of the book-new and revised case studies reflect typical clients and concerns currently encountered by mental health professionals. Clients and concerns reflect multicultural diversity as well as a range of problems.
  • This book presents a variety of models for conceptualizing clients and their difficulties. Models include a modified version of Bloom's Taxonomy, Concept Mapping, Clinical Factor Analysis, the Inverted Pyramid Heuristic, and others-this variety of models affords readers experience in various ways to approach the conceptualization process and enables them to identify a model that seems most useful to them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132230452
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Series: Pearson Custom Education Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Establishing the Foundation for Developing Conceptual Skills

Overview of Fundamental and Conceptual Skills

Companion Books on Fundamental and Conceptual Skills

The Beta Format

Organization of This Book

Learning Opportunities

2. Using Conceptual Skills to Understand, Assess, and Address Background: Bloom’s Taxonomy, Context, Multiculturalism, and Interpretation

Clarifying Conceptual Skills Using Bloom's Taxonomy

Interpretation and Insight

Applying Conceptual Skills to Context

Multicultural Context and Competencies

Learning Opportunities

3. Using Conceptual Skills to Understand, Assess, and Address Background: Eliciting Information, Intake Interviews, Transference and Countertransference

Effective Information Gathering

Collecting Background Information/Intake Interviews

Transference and Countertransference

Learning Opportunities

4. Using Conceptual Skills to Make Positive Use of and Modify Emotions: Therapeutic Alliance, Role Induction, Clinician Self-Disclosure, Clinicians’ Reactions to Clients

The Therapeutic Alliance

Client Characteristics that Enhance Treatment

Role Induction

Clinician Self-Disclosure and Immediacy

Understanding Clinicians' Own Feelings

Learning Opportunities

5. Using Conceptual Skills to Make Positive Use of and Modify Emotions: Addressing Strong Client Emotions, Variations in Client Readiness for Treatment

Dealing with Strong Negative Client Emotions

Suicidal Ideation

Crisis Intervention

Understanding and Addressing Client Rage, Anger, and Violent Impulses

Variations in Client Readiness for Treatment

Stages of Change

Client Reluctance

Learning Opportunities

6. Using Conceptual Skills to Enhance Thoughts: Assessment, Mental Status Examination, Defining Memories, Case Conceptualization


Mental Status Examination

Using Tests and Inventories as Part of the Assessment Process

Conceptualizing the Meaning of Defining Memories

Case Conceptualization

Learning Opportunities

7. Using Conceptual Skills to Facilitate Diagnosis and Treatment Planning


Treatment Planning

Examples of Treatment Plans

Learning Opportunities

8. Applying Conceptual Skills to Actions for Positive Change: Generating Solutions, Referral and Collaboration, Structuring Treatment, Writing Progress Notes

Generating Solutions to Clients' Problems

Referral and Collaboration

Structuring Interventions, Sessions, and the Overall Treatment Process

Progress Notes

Learning Opportunities

9. Applying Conceptual Skills to Actions for Positive Change: Assessing and Terminating Sessions and Treatment, Using Research to Enhance Practice

Assessing and Terminating Sessions and Treatment

Using Research to Enhance Your Practice and Your Professional Development

Learning Opportunities

10. Solidifying Conceptual Skills: Reviewing, Integrating, and Reinforcing Learning

Intake Interview with Summer Harris

Learning Opportunities

Comprehensive Self-Evaluation

Personal Journal Questions



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