Clinician's Thesaurus

8th Edition
The Guide to Conducting Interviews and Writing Psychological Reports

Edward L. Zuckerman

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April 16, 2019
ISBN 9781462538805
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400 Pages
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400 Pages
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Hundreds of thousands of students and early-career professionals have relied on this authoritative report-writing tool, now updated for DSM-5/ICD-10-CM and newer types of evaluations. In a convenient large-size format, the book covers nearly all areas of concern addressed in intakes, evaluations, treatment plans, progress notes, and closing summaries. The user seeking the right wording for a clinical document can skim and select from thousands of technical terms, behavioral descriptors, and standard statements. Also provided are interview questions for almost every symptomatic behavior, a huge collection of mental status questions, a reproducible Mental Status Evaluation summary form, and links to hundreds of Internet resources. The companion website offers all the URLs from the book, the reproducible forms, and a handy reference on current psychiatric medications.

New to This Edition See also The Paper Office for the Digital Age, Fifth Edition, by Edward L. Zuckerman and Keely Kolmes, which provides the essential record-keeping and risk-reduction tools that every psychotherapy practice needs.

“Eases the workload for busy and newly minted clinicians. Graduate students will be most appreciative of this field guide during their training and clinicals. The terminology and wording enable them to be as objective as possible while maintaining an idiosyncratic presentation of the client. Dr. Zuckerman is an expert at compiling such a thorough and meaningful collection of terminology as well as the means to accurately write useful psychological reports….This is an indispensable reference tool for busy clinicians. The author’s work is well known, and he is one of the foremost authorities on writing in the behavioral health field. This update surpasses the previous edition and will certainly be an invaluable resource on every clinician’s desk. *****!”

Doody's Review Service

Clinician's Thesaurus gives the reader a wealth of information about conducting clinical assessments and writing reports. Zuckerman walks the reader through every step of the assessment and writing process, providing state-of-the-art advice for how to summarize and describe clinical findings. The eighth edition of this 'must-read' volume belongs on the shelf of anyone conducting mental health assessments.”

—David F. Tolin, PhD, ABPP, Director, Anxiety Disorders Center, The Institute of Living–Hartford Hospital

“This book not only offers one of the best ways for a new clinician to become immersed in the lexicon of the mental health profession, but is also the definitive resource for writing reports. It is an ideal text for graduate courses focusing on assessment, diagnosis, report writing, forensic reporting, and treatment planning. This is one of the core books that clinicians will want to keep close at hand throughout their careers.”

—Sean D. Davis, PhD, LMFT, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Alliant International University

“The eighth edition of Zuckerman's Thesaurus is chock-full of resources that every clinician and trainee across mental health fields will find helpful on a daily basis. It is an essential guide for assessment, report writing, and record keeping. This book is so much more than one would expect. It provides a broad range of tips for conducting assessments, helps clinicians to sharpen their writing style, gives advice on complex situations (such as when a client is not being truthful during an evaluation), and highlights words to avoid in assessments and report writing. It includes extremely helpful reference lists and has links throughout to further assessment measures and resources.”

—Deborah Roth Ledley, PhD, private practice, Plymouth Meeting and Narberth, Pennsylvania

“The Thesaurus is invaluable for teaching students sound diagnostic practices, and is an important tool for professionals who need to communicate critical information to patients and colleagues. The eighth edition's content reflects the latest advances in clinical thinking. Key essential terms are provided that help clinicians conduct effective interviews and describe diagnostic, behavioral, and person-in-environment impressions. I recommend the Thesaurus for use with graduate students in counseling, clinical, or school psychology who have a foundation in diagnosis and assessment and are preparing to work with clients.”

—Sherri Turner, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Table of Contents

Getting Oriented to the Clinician’s Thesaurus

A Functional Guide to Report Construction

I. Conducting a Mental Health Evaluation

1. Beginning and Ending the Interview

2. Mental Status Evaluation Questions/Tasks

3. Questions about Signs, Symptoms, and Other Behavior Patterns

II. Standard Terms and Statements for Wording Psychological Reports

A. Introducing the Report

4. Beginning the Report: Preliminary Information

5. Referral Reasons

6. Background Information and History

B. The Person in the Evaluation

7. Behavioral Observations

8. Responses to Aspects of the Examination

9. Presentation of Self

10. Emotional/Affective Symptoms and Disorders

11. Cognition and Mental Status

12. Abnormal Signs, Symptoms, and Syndromes

13. Personality Patterns

C. The Person in the Environment

14. Activities of Daily Living

15. Social/Community Functioning

16. Couple and Family Relationships

17. Vocational/Academic Skills

18. Recreational Functioning

19. Other Specialized Evaluations

D. Completing the Report

20. Summary of Findings and Conclusions

21. Diagnostic Statement/Impression

22. Recommendations

23. Prognostic Statements

24. Closing Statements

III. Useful Resources

25. Treatment Planning and Treatment Plan Formats

26. Formats for Reports, Evaluations, and Summaries

27. Treatments for Specific Disorders and Concerns

28. Listing of Common Psychiatric and Psychoactive Drugs

29. Psychiatric Masquerade of Medical Conditions


A. Abbreviations in Common Use

B. Annotated Readings in Assessment, Interviewing, and Report Writing

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About the Clinician's Electronic Thesaurus, Version 7.0

About the Author

Edward L. Zuckerman, PhD, consults and creates effective practice tools for clinicians. He found his life’s passion while working as a psychiatric aide at New York’s Bellevue Hospital in the 1960s. Dr. Zuckerman has worked with adults in a variety of clinical contexts, acted as liaison with state hospitals, taught undergraduates, and maintained an independent practice in general clinical psychology for many years. He lives in rural western Pennsylvania.


Clinicians, graduate students, interns, and residents in all mental health disciplines, including clinical psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling, and psychiatric nursing.

Course Use

Serves as a text in graduate-level courses such as Clinical Assessment, Diagnostic Interviewing, and Professional Practice.

The Paper Office for the Digital Age: Fifth Edition: Forms, Guidelines, and Resources to Make Your Practice Work Ethically, Legally, and Profitably and Clinician's Thesaurus: 8th Edition: The Guide to Conducting Interviews and Writing Psychological ReportsSpecial package offer: Clinician's Thesaurus, 8th Edition, is an indispensable resource for conducting interviews and writing psychological reports. The Paper Office for the Digital Age, Fifth Edition, provides the essential recordkeeping and risk-reduction tools that every psychotherapy practice needs.

Order both items for $98.95, instead of $139 if bought separately!

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Previous editions published by Guilford:

7th Edition, © 2010
ISBN: 9781606238745

6th Edition, © 2005
ISBN: 9781572304376

5th Edition, © 2000
ISBN: 9781572305694

4th Edition, © 1995
ISBN: 9780898628425
New to this edition: