by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD & Rita Sommers-Flanagan, PhD
How do you do an assessment, collect historical data, develop a treatment plan and create a warm working alliance with clients all in the first session? Learn from experts John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan how to quickly create the foundation for a successful therapy and engage clients collaboratively in the treatment process.
Whether you are in private practice or working in a clinic setting, clinical interviewing skills are essential to your practice. Yet sadly, many clinicians lack a basic understanding of what’s involved in these crucial first sessions. What’s more, resources on how to gather client information are often packaged either as dry procedural steps or vague theories of communication. In this video, seasoned clinical educators John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan present an integrated, actionable combination of interviewing protocols and relational techniques that clarify how clinicians can glean necessary information in the initial sessions, while building a strong therapeutic alliance.
Weaving together structured lessons, easy-to-follow demonstrations, and delightful commentary, the Sommers-Flanagans break down interviewing skills in a straightforward way. Drawing from actual therapy sessions, they present seven interviewing themes with real-world examples of basic listening, directives, therapeutic questions, and more. Demonstrations feature easy-to-see callouts of the various skills covered, interspersed with informative, playful commentary from the hosts.
More complex interviewing skills are covered next, with detailed segments on intake interviews, mental status examinations, and suicide assessments. Here we learn thorough protocols for eliciting important information from our clients, while leveraging therapeutic listening to deepen rapport with them.
Watch the Sommers-Flanagans, along with other therapists, demonstrate these techniques with a range of clients. In addition to highlighting the clinical interview format, their toolkit emphasizes collaboration, empathy, intuition, and cultural awareness. Their warm and compassionate dynamic infuses both their teaching and therapeutic work, and makes this seemingly “clinical” material both approachable and enjoyable.
If you’re looking to learn more about clinical listening, interviewing, and assessment from clinicians who literally wrote the book on the subject, you’ll want to add this video to your library for essential tools you can start using today.