Talking with College Students about Alcohol

Motivational Strategies for Reducing Abuse

Scott T. Walters and John S. Baer

A Paperback Original
A Paperback Original
October 13, 2005
ISBN 9781593852221
Price: $46.00 $39.10
212 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"

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“A welcome addition to a growing amount of discussion and concern over the proper and most effective methods to discuss this critical topic with students. Scott Walters and John Baer offer an excellent discussion of both the need to discuss this topic with students as well as examples of such discussions in practice. Although geared to the practitioner, this text offers useful insights for students, academics, and field practitioners alike. Individuals with less training in this area will find the book to be a concise introduction to methods of discussing alcohol use and change with students. Veteran practitioners will also find this text useful in brushing up on their skills, keeping up to date with the literature on college student consumption and assessments, and refreshing their skills on motivational interviewing....As someone who has worked with and studies in both the practitioner and academic realms, I recommend this book for students, practitioners, and anyone else interested in the nature of drinking on college campuses and motivational interviewing techniques for speaking with students without eliciting defensiveness....A useful, concise, and much-needed advancement in the field that brings a variety of approaches including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and skills training together into an easy-to-understand guide for approaching students about drinking patterns, behavior, and consequences.”

Criminal Justice Review

“Offers student affairs practitioners real world strategies and approaches for facilitating conversations about drinking behaviors with college students. The authors approach the subject both as clinicians and researchers, providing a user-friendly guide that is grounded in literature from several areas, including college student development and counseling....The text is easily understood by anyone working with college students. The tools and resources provided can be applied at all levels of student affairs, from graduate students and entry level professionals to senior student affairs officers....The resourcefulness of the authors can be seen in the provision of strategies that student affairs practitioners can use in a variety of settings with students. This resource-rich text offers strategies for talking with college students about alcohol that can be utilized by a breadth of college student personnel, from those with daily contact with students to those whose contact is much more infrequent.”

Journal of College Student Development

“[An] exceptionally invaluable companion for both novice and seasoned professionals working in the field of alcohol-abuse prevention in higher education....An excellent resource for campuses. This book is a concise and easily digestible guide on health promotion strategies for assessing and intervening with college drinkers both on an individual basis and in a group context....Translates existing multidisciplinary research on approaches to problem drinking into concrete conversational ideas and examples of brief, yet effective, ways to minimize defensiveness and motivate students toward positive changes in drinking behavior....Recommended as a possible text for adoption by a class or program designed to train students in substance abuse counseling, peer counseling or peer education, and student health.”

Health Promotion Practice

“The appendices provide excellent reproducible assessments, questionnaires, and handouts that provide valuable information and serve as a very useful adjunct to treatment....the authors do an exceptional job in meeting the challenge of matching worker characteristics to client needs, and they suggest appropriate interventions on the basis of varying amounts of time and resources available to the frontline professional....This text provides a welcomed addition to the literature on interventions for substance abuse among young adults. The authors do an exceptional job in pairing up to date empirical research findings to the practical application of interventions....I strongly encourage administrators, educators, and all of those frontline personnel who work with college students to review the text. It is well worth the time and energy that they will invest.”


“Provides a comprehensive review of college student drinking, as well as straightforward tools and techniques to use with students who might be at risk. The book demystifies the idea that intervening in high-risk alcohol consumption is something that has to be done by experts. It is written in such a way that staff and faculty, even those not specially trained to work with alcohol problems, could pick it up and quickly learn how to have a brief conversation that has a lasting impact. The book shows step by step how to work with individual students and with groups, and how to develop a plan for integrating effective alcohol interventions into the larger campus community. It also provides a number of practical clinical and assessment tools. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to others who work in college health contexts.”

—Betsy D. Foy, MHS, CHES, Assistant Director, Student Health and Counseling, Washington University in St. Louis; Co-Chair, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Committee, American College Health Association

“Walters and Baer have rendered a daunting topic manageable. This book is essential reading for counselors, student affairs professionals, campus housing personnel, and health care providers. The authors’ approach is perfectly pitched to the developmental levels and alcohol use patterns of college student populations. Empirically based and practical, this guide presents an approach that is effective.”

—Jennifer Rikard, PhD, Coordinator, ASPIRE Program (Alcohol and Other Substances Prevention/Intervention Re-directive Effort), Counseling and Psychological Services, San Diego State University

“Walters and Baer have done campus alcohol preventionists a real service by producing this immensely useful guide to bridging research and practice on motivational interventions with college students. In particular, their assessment recommendations for different lengths of encounters are a huge contribution to the field. I plan to make this book the foundation for our work with campus administrators and counselors on individual-focused interventions. It answers just about every question campuses may have about delivering these services.”

—Laurie Davidson, MA, Center for College Health and Safety, Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, Massachusetts

“Walters and Baer have provided a superb resource for anyone who is concerned about college drinking. There is really no other book like it. They offer a clear and evidence-based set of practical tools for everything from a 5-minute chat to programmatic group or individual treatment. Through it all runs a compassionate, person-centered way of talking with students that fosters change rather than defensiveness.”

—William R. Miller, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico

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