Integrative Assessment: A Guide for Counselors : 9780135034859

Integrative Assessment: A Guide for Counselors

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Available on demand
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For helping professional practitioners and students in training, and those preparing for licensure


Using a case study approach—in a practitioner’s voice—this practical guide helps beginning and future counselors understand and use various effective assessment methods, from interviewing and observing to tests and counselor- and client-friendly standardised measures.


Here is valuable assessment information and guidance which emerging helping professionals can apply to various mental health, school, community, and organisational settings. Using a case study approach and written in a practitioner’s voice, the book includes a variety of topics not found, or minimally covered in current counseling assessment textbooks: the risks and resources approach to assessment, interviewing principles and methods, exploring presenting problems and readiness for change, informal and formal observations, assessing the therapeutic alliance; standardised risk assessments, dangerousness to self and others, and assessing substance use. 


Based on the premise that assessment is an on-going information gathering process that relies on multiple methods and sources for making decisions or answering a question, this guide takes a balanced, comprehensive approach that looks at much more than the traditional coverage of assessment alone. Three chapters detail the most commonly used assessment methods—interviewing and observing—and the author describes the traditional tests and measurement concepts of reliability and validity. Also unique to this guide are its detailed descriptions of, and applications for, standardised measures which readers can use immediately to administer, score, and interpret.
Table of contents
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Assessment
  • Chapter 2: Ethical and Legal Considerations:  Preparing for the Assessment
  • Chapter 3:  Interviewing adults and youth: Principles, Methods and Skills
  • Chapter 4:  Exploring Presenting Problems, Readiness for Change, and Risks and Resources
  • Chapter 5:  Observations, Inferences, and Behavioral Assessment
  • Chapter 6: Psychological Tests and Measurement Concepts
  • Chapter 7: Reliability and Validity
  • Chapter 8: Personality and Interest Measures
  • Chapter 9: Assessing Psychopathology: Mood and Anxiety Disorders
  • Chapter 10: Child and adolescent measures 
  • Chapter 11: Standardized Risk Assessments: Suicide and Dangerousness to Others
  • Chapter 12: Assessing Substance Use Disorders
  • Chapter 13: Assessment of Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities and Achievement
  • Chapter 14: Assessing the Therapeutic Alliance
  • Chapter 15: Putting it All Together 
New to this edition


Features & benefits

Practitioners, students in training, and those preparing for licensure are engaged in learning the concepts and methods through the book’s helpful case study approach. Woven throughout each chapter, the case studies provide sample counseling dialogues in a practitioner’s voice, giving readers practical suggestions and guidance for using assessment methods and specific assessments instruments.


Learning and understanding is enhanced and accelerated through a number of helpful pedagogical features:

  • The case study approach
  • Practice suggestion boxes
  • Chapter objectives, overviews, and summaries
  • Reflection questions and experiential exercise
  • Sub-headings for specific tests and measures


Readers see first hand the methods, interviews, tests, and measures they will be exposed to and need to understand as professionals; tools that they can actually use during field placements and beyond. This approach reinforces the understanding of the material presented.


Multicultural counseling competencies are developed through the Cultural Considerations Sections. These sections integrate cultural concepts across different dimensions and help students understand multi-cultural factors that affect the selection and interpretation of specific tests and measures.


Readers have opportunities to engage with and assimilate the chapter content through the practical applied reflections questions and experiential activities at the end of each chapter.


Students learn how interviewing strategies and methods can be combined with other assessment methods–and get valuable clinical guidance on using those methods–in two full chapters (3 and 4) on interviewing principles and strategies.


Understanding of the use and limitations of specific tests and measures, particularly cultural considerations, is enhanced through the book’s sub-headings for specific tests and measures.


Readers get a framework they can use for assessing risk, a topic minimally covered in current books. Chapter 11 focuses on assessing dangerousness to self and others using a risks and protective factors model.


Identifying and assessing the impact of substance usage on presenting problems is covered clearly in Chapter 12.


Readers see how to apply foundational assessment concepts to their practice through the in depth coverage of the Risk and Resources Approach to assessment, assessment as a continuous process, assessment as intervention, and the stages of change mode. (Chapters 1, 4, and 11)


Guidance and suggestions that can be used in actual counseling settings are outlined in helpful practice suggestion boxes in chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 14, and 15.


Readers are able to apply the essential methods of observing–mental status evaluation and functional behavioural assessment–through Chapter 5’s in-depth coverage of these topics.


Author biography

Dr. Andrew Gersten is a private practitioner specializing in the assessment and treatment of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Since his internship training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center Developmental Clinic in 1986 he has provided cognitive and psychological assessments of children—pre-school through adolescence. He has worked in community mental health as a therapist, assessor, and supervisor and has consulted to elementary and middle schools on school climate, behavioral program development and special education services. In addition, Andy is a teacher, presenter, supervisor, and researcher.   He has been teaching in counseling programs for over 19 years. 


Andy is currently adjunct faculty at Antioch University New England where he has been teaching Assessment: Principles and Methods and Psychopathology: an Ecological Approach since 2008. Prior to Antioch he was an Associate Professor of Counseling at Rivier College, Nashua, New Hampshire, where he taught graduate students in school and mental health counseling and teacher education programs. His courses included: Assessment and Appraisal, Theories of Counseling, Human Development, Child Therapy, Techniques of Counseling, Fundamentals of Research, and Professional Issues and Orientation. He has presented at regional and national counseling and psychology conferences on various topics including: DSM-5, counselor intentionality, school counseling models, and Interpersonal problem solving. Dr. Gersten has co-authored several articles on the affects of shift work on sleep and well-being and counselor intentionality. A member of: the American Counseling Association, Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, New Hampshire Psychological Association, and American Psychological Association his current research focuses on the development of intentionality in counselor trainees.
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