The First Session with Children and Adolescents : Conducting a Comprehensive Mental Health Evaluation book cover
1st Edition

The First Session with Children and Adolescents
Conducting a Comprehensive Mental Health Evaluation

  • This format cannot be shipped to your selected country.
ISBN 9781572307506
Published April 11, 2002 by Guilford Press
292 Pages

SAVE ~ $7.80
was $39.00
USD $31.20

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book provides a thorough, practical primer on carrying out an initial mental health evaluation with a child or adolescent client. The emphasis is on efficiently eliciting the information needed for formulating the young person's difficulties, clarifying the diagnostic situation, and planning for treatment or referral, within the context of a caring, respectful professional relationship. Beginning with the first contact with a new client, the reader is taken step-by-step through the collection and integration of observational, interview, background, and collateral information. Important issues covered include structuring the evaluation session, effective record keeping, confidentiality concerns, and providing feedback to parents. Reflecting the author's 25+ years of professional experience, the book is filled with interview segments that bring the practical business of child assessment to life.

Table of Contents

1. The Mental Status Examination in Psychological Assessment
2. Evaluations of Infants, Children, and Adolescents
3. Sources of Data
4. Evaluating Cognitive Problems in Children
5. Evaluating Emotional Problems in Children
6. Evaluating Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents
7. Evaluating Relationship Problems in Youths
8. Evaluating Pervasive Problems in Children
9. Evaluating Substance Use and Other Impulse Problems in Children and Adolescents
10. Evaluating Highly Focused Problems in Children and Adolescents
11. Data and Integration: Diagnosis, Recommendations, and Referrals
12. Concluding Thoughts: The Professional Practice of Mental Health Evaluation

View More



Alvin E. House, PhD, is a clinical psychologist whose professional practice has focused on psychological evaluation. For the past quarter of a century he has conducted assessments for medical, vocational, school, and forensic consultations. As Associate Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University, he routinely teaches graduate-level courses in mental health diagnosis, psychological assessment, and psychopathology. The author of [i]DSM-IV Diagnosis in the Schools[i/], Dr. House has published articles and book chapters on intellectual, personality, and neuropsychological testing.


Dr. House has produced a comprehensive guide to evaluating children that should be valuable to both novice and seasoned mental health professionals. He shares his years of clinical wisdom through instructional segments, case examples, and a thorough inclusion of the relevant literature. This book fills a great need for a concise, applied text that is both erudite and straightforward. As a person who trains doctoral and master's level students for work in schools and agencies, I know this book will be an invaluable resource for my students.--Elliott Ingersoll, PhD, PCC, Counselor Education Program, Cleveland State University

Dr. House's wisdom and experience are evident in this comprehensive, practical guide to assessing the full range of problems likely to be experienced by children and adolescents. Offering more than a cookbook approach, this is a guide informed by the current research literature and grounded in years of practical experience. The text is compatible with behavioral, phemenological, biological, and dynamic approaches to understanding behavior, and is based on a deeply held attitude of respect for the individual client. The beginning student learning the craft of assessment and the experienced professional will both find much of value here.--Wesley G. Morgan, PhD, Department of Psychology, The University of Tennessee

This book combines the best of scholarly research and practical advice regarding the assessment of children and adolescents. It will be useful for beginning graduate students in psychology, social work, and counseling. In addition, experienced clinicians who have not often worked with children will find it a very useful addition to their libraries. Chapters that walk students through the initial mental health assessment session are enhanced by the liberal use of case examples and transcripts. Also provided is current research on issues related to a wide variety of childhood disorders that are necessary for beginning clinicians to understand so they know how to assess these problems. Embedded throughout the entire book is Dr. House's philosophy of assessing and treating troubled youth. This philosophy is one that places a premium on being guided by current research on childhood difficulties and, most importantly, that sees each child as an individual worthy of respect and kindness.--Daniel Graybill, PhD, Department of Psychology, Illinois State University