The First Interview

Fourth Edition

James Morrison

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Hardcover
April 22, 2014
ISBN 9781462515554
Price: $85.00
369 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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December 5, 2016
ISBN 9781462529834
Price: $35.00
369 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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April 22, 2014
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369 Pages
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“This wonderful book guides a new mental health practitioner or student through the process of an initial interview with a patient. It is written in a supportive and conversational style, making the reader feel almost as though Dr. Morrison is sitting in the room and serving as a wise adviser and mentor….Many helpful examples are given on how to frame questions to serve a number of important purposes—getting the right information, of course, but also establishing rapport and being therapeutic….Many psychiatric and mental health interviewing textbooks exist. This one is especially helpful to those early in the process of learning to interview because of its rich use of examples of how questions can be phrased and its reasoning about why particular data need to be gathered, but especially its warm, supportive way of guiding the learner on the journey of truly getting to know a patient well.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry


“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….[T]he book would be appropriate for a diverse group of mental healthcare providers such as social workers, resident physicians, medical students, and attending psychiatrists. 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. 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.”

Doody's Review Service


“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)


“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)


“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)


“The book clearly reflects a wealth of experiencethe number of clinical case examples is prodigiousas 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)


“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–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)


“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)


“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, and is 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


“A well-organized, comprehensive text on the initial interview, applicable to screenings, initial treatment sessions, or more formal evaluations. Graduate clinical training programs often do not provide finely grained, detailed instruction on conducting and reporting on the initial session. Field instructors and supervisors teach these skills, but instruction is often inconsistent and lacking in overall structure. Chapters regarding the mental status exam, providing client feedback, and report writing are especially helpful for students and beginning clinicians.”

—Eliot Goldman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center