Before You See Your First Client
55 Things Counselors, Therapists, and Human Service Workers Need to Know
Before You See Your First Client begins where courses, workshops, training seminars, and textbooks leave off, providing a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the fields of therapy, counseling, and human services. The classic edition includes a new preface from the author reflecting on changes in counseling and in his own life during the last 20 years.
In a reader-friendly and accessible style, Dr. Howard Rosenthal offers his readers 55 useful and practical ideas for the implementation, improvement, and expansion of one's mental health practice. Based on the author's own personal experiences, the book is written in an intimate and personal style to which inexperienced and beginning therapists can easily relate.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Join Forces with a Psychiatrist to Open a Risk-Free Private Practice 2. Don’t Become Married to a Single Referral Source 3. Accept the Fact That Salaries in This Field Are Often Unfair 4. It Pays to Be Assertive When You’re Shopping for Your Salary 5. Managed Care Panels Often Slam the Door in Your Face 6. Managed Care Firms Dictate Who, When, and How 7. The Multicultural Diversity Secret: You Can Work with a Wider Range of People than You Think 8. Never Give Any Client Information without a Signed Release-of-Information Form 9. You Must Use a DSM or ICD Diagnosis to Secure Third-Party Payments 10. The Insurance Superbill Must Have Your Name as the Provider 11. Lecturing May Not Flood Your Waiting Room with Clients 12. Referrals Received Do Not Determine How Many New Clients You Actually See 13. Managed Care Companies Discriminate against Some Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories 14. Refer Severely Disturbed Clients for a Medical or Psychiatric Evaluation 15. Find Out Whether the Psychological and PsychoEducational Test Reports You Receive Are Individualized 16. Don’t Be Misled by Clients Who Initially Put You on a Pedestal 17. Most Professional Certifications Won’t Help You Secure Insurance Payments 18. Don’t Use Paradoxical Interventions with Suicidal and Homicidal Clients 19. Conduct a Suicide Assessment on Each Initial Client 20. Don’t Try to Clone Your Favorite Therapist 21. When In Doubt, Use a Person-Centered Response 22. Read Ethical Guidelines Before You Even So Much as Hug a Client 23. Don’t Rush to Therapeutic Judgment Until You Get All the Facts 24. The Number One Therapeutic Blunder: Confronting Sooner than Later 25. You Are Not a Failure if You Don’t Land Your Dream Job 26. Your Supervisor’s Knowledge and Experience Should Not Be Underestimated 27. Use Verbiage Your Client Will Understand 28. Be a Better Helper by Networking with Others in the Field 29. Grandfathering: The Fast Track for Snaring Licenses and Certifications 30. Use Free Advertising to Build Your Agency or Practice 31. Helpers Are Mandated Child-Abuse Reporters 32. Beyond Confidentiality: Professional Counselors and Therapists Have a Duty to Warn 33. If You Want to Work in a Public School, Contact the Department of Education 34. Don’t Let a Day from Hell in Court Lower Your Professional Self-Esteem 35. Save Your Course Catalogs to Invest in Your Future 36. Enhance Sessions by Adjusting Group Treatment Exercises and Using Small Talk 37. If a Client Was Disappointed with the Previous Helper Find Out Why 38. Use Caution When Considering the "In" Diagnosis 39. Don’t Go into This Field to Recount Old War Stories About Your Own Recovery 40. Don’t Become Married to a Single System of Psychotherapy 41. Be Enthusiastic if You Want to Be a Better Workshop Presenter 42. Don’t Try to Clone Your Favorite Mental Health Lecturer 43. If a Client You Have Been Seeing for an Extended Period of Time Requests Marriage, Family or Couples Therapy, Consider a Referral to Another Therapist 44. Be Prepared to Change Therapeutic Strategies at a Moment’s Notice 45. Documentation: The Royal Road to Promotion 46. Avoid Dual Relationships Like the Plague 47. Insider Tips for a Good Cover Letter and Human Service Resumé 48. If You Are Daydreaming, Your Client Will Perceive You as an Uninterested Helper 49. Pick a Theory of Intervention and a Job You Believe In 50. Despite the Pitfalls, Make Friends with the Media to Promote Yourself and Your Agency 51. Writing a Book or Starting a Project? Ask Your Agency First 52. Your Employment and Credentials Determine What You Pay for Malpractice Insurance 53. Private Practice Is Not a Panacea for Everything That Ails You 54. Steer Clear of False Memory Syndrome 55. Create an Emotional Trophy Closet to Help You Through a Bad Day Conclusion
Howard Rosenthal, EdD, CCMHC, HS-BCP, LPC, MAC, NCC, is professor and lead educator of the Human Services and Addiction Studies Program at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. A longtime Routledge (and before that Accelerated Development) author, Dr. Rosenthal is the author of other best-selling Routledge titles including the Encyclopedia of Counseling, Human Services Dictionary, and Favorite Counseling and Therapy Techniques.