First Interview, Fourth Edition

First Interview, Fourth Edition

by James Morrison

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This trusted practitioner resource and course text is grounded in James Morrison's experience with more than 15,000 mental health patients. Morrison provides a complete framework for interviewing adult patients about their current symptoms, personal and family history, mental status, behavioral risks, and other relevant issues. He offers guidance for selecting the… See more details below


This trusted practitioner resource and course text is grounded in James Morrison's experience with more than 15,000 mental health patients. Morrison provides a complete framework for interviewing adult patients about their current symptoms, personal and family history, mental status, behavioral risks, and other relevant issues. He offers guidance for selecting the best strategy for any clinical situation, building rapport, overcoming common challenges, and communicating findings. Appendices include a detailed semistructured interview and a self-assessment tool for interviewers, both with permission to photocopy. Purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

New to This Edition
*Revised throughout for DSM-5.
*Updated resources and suggested readings.

Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Psychiatry

"Very valuable….It has good tables, detailed outlines, and outstanding quotes that tell the reader what to say at any given time. The author also gives pointers on how to write up and conduct the interview….The experienced clinician will find this text a good review and a nice reference outline."--American Journal of Psychiatry (on the first edition)
Hospital and Community Psychiatry

"Beginning trainees, those preparing for certifying examinations of patients, and experienced clinicians could all benefit from reading this book....The book is richly illustrated with verbatim examples of effective and ineffective patient/n-/professional communications, with accompanying commentaries on the pros and cons of the verbal and nonverbal messages....This book has much to offer."--Hospital and Community Psychiatry (on the first edition)
Community Mental Health Journal

"This is a superb book on the psychiatric interview that clearly reveals the author's wisdom and clinical experience. It is well organized, concise, yet thorough, and its depth goes beyond any mechanized approach to the psychiatric interview….What clearly comes through in this book is an utmost respect for the autonomy and humanity of the patient….An excellent primary resource for students in all mental health professions and, for the experienced clinician, it is an effective review of material that lies at the core of mental health practice."--Community Mental Health Journal (on the first edition)
Choice Reviews

"This useful volume will serve all therapists and counselors, be they in training or practicing....Recommended. Graduate students, professionals."--Choice Reviews (on the third edition)
British Journal of Psychiatry

"The book clearly reflects a wealth of experience--the number of clinical case examples is prodigious--as well as familiarity with theoretical issues and relevant research....May be recommended to the keener medical student, to all psychiatric trainees and to those of their seniors who may wonder if their long-ago-acquired interviewing skills are as good as they might be."--British Journal of Psychiatry (on the first edition)
From the Publisher

"An absolute 'must read' for any clinician at any level of experience. This clearly written, highly practical, step-by-step guide to conducting the first interview is filled with wisdom. Morrison is sensitive to and respectful of the patient while recognizing the clinician's need to get as much information as possible. The Appendices are invaluable. I cannot think of another book that comes close to this masterpiece. Thank you, Dr. Morrison, for providing this essential guide."--Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy; Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College

"With pressure to improve quality, availability, and the economic value of mental health care, an effective, efficient start to the therapeutic process is more important than ever. The First Interview, Fourth Edition, addresses the reality that whatever the therapist’s orientation, a successful therapeutic alliance depends on the first encounter. This gives the book universal appeal and will benefit novice and seasoned therapists alike. Science and personal experience are woven into a seamless work that reads like common sense but is based on a substantial body of evidence. In an easy-to-read, conversational tone, Morrison conveys empathic interviewing techniques that can win patients' trust and allow them to share the most intimate life details."--Gary J. Kennedy, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center

"As a clinician educator who teaches interviewing, I have been searching for accessible reading material that incorporates DSM-5 and is appropriate for medical students, psychiatry residents, and multidisciplinary mental health care providers. My search is over! This book  integrates DSM-5 and the latest research on interviewing without compromising the art of clinical care. Rather than rigidly applying diagnostic categories or theoretical frameworks, Morrison helps clinicians become attuned to the nuances of the interview in a way that will make patients feel heard and understood. I know that my patients and my trainees' future patients will receive more thorough, compassionate care as a result of the abundant clinical insights in this book."--Alana Iglewicz, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego

"Morrison has written one of the most comprehensive texts on the principles, techniques, and practice of initial interviewing. This book is indispensable for students first learning to work with clients, as well as a valuable reference for experienced practitioners wishing to enhance their interviewing skills. Morrison presents sound and practical methods for establishing a warm and empathic therapeutic relationship, which in turn will help students and practitioners productively work with sensitive material."--Roy Jerome, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

"Morrison's familiarity with techniques in how to deal with difficult issues, how to take charge yet remain sensitive, how to create smooth transitions, and so on, is consistently flawless….The completeness of this volume is truly impressive: no detail and no potential concern escapes the writer's attention; it should provide an excellent introduction for the novice interviewer who will one day integrate all this descriptive cross-section into the complex, dynamic flow of a life story."--Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (on the third edition)
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Natalie M Wallace, MD (Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)
Description: This clinical guide to interviewing the psychiatric patient combines psychotherapeutic approaches with the interview and guides the interviewer on how to obtain pertinent information to adequately formulate the diagnosis. This edition considers the changes made in the DSM-5 to the interview process.
Purpose: The purpose is to use objective research and best-practice principles in performing the psychiatric interview. Considering the wealth of interviewing books available, this one's organization, combination of psychotherapeutic and biological approaches to interviewing, and the discussion of interviewing special populations make it stand out.
Audience: It appears that the author is targeting the widest audience possible, stating that he wished to "guide interviewers through the process of evaluating mental health patients." Based on its straightforward nature, the book would be appropriate for a diverse group of mental healthcare providers such as social workers, resident physicians, medical students, and attending psychiatrists. For attending psychiatrists, the diagnosis and recommendations chapter of the book is bare bones, but for other mental health professionals, it provides an appropriate level of information.
Features: The manner in which special populations are addressed in the psychiatric interview, such as the violent, those with personality pathology, and the dishonest, will be especially helpful to new students, interns, and psychiatry residents. The appendixes, which include sample questions based on patient type, are helpful as a quick reference.
Assessment: This book is well organized and provides a good balance between the psychotherapeutic approach and the need for an adequate diagnostic interview. The new edition is timely, incorporating the changes in DSM-5, new practice guidelines, and clinical research.

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Guilford Publications, Inc.
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