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Where to Start and What to Ask: An Assessment Handbook

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
As a life raft for beginners and their supervisors, Where to Start and What to Ask provides all the necessary tools for garnering information from clients. Lukas also offers a framework for thinking about that information and formulating a thorough assessment. This indispensable book helps therapeutic neophytes organize their approach to the initial phase of treatment and ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 17th 1993 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1993)
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Jul 27, 2007 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
The ultimate What the Hell to Do for those initial first stages of being a trainee. Highly recommended for anyone close to completing their first year in graduate school for clinical psychology (or psychotherapy), or anyone who is unsure as to whether or not they want to pursue clinical psychology as a career. Lukas writes in a clear, direct manner and tackles such common sense, but often not discussed topics such as, "What items should be brought up during my first phone conversation with a cli ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-read
This is a very helpful book. The author writes like she is reading your mind, and answers your questions. I would recommend it to anyone doing social work/addiction counseling etc.
May 12, 2007 K rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Social work/psychology students; supervisors of social work/psychology students
Shelves: professionallit
These days, in preparation for my internship in the fall, I'm trying to read books that will remind me how to work clinically. This one is excellent, and I deeply wish I had read it in my second or third year of graduate school. I had to learn a lot of this stuff on the job, through floundering and making mistakes, and my field experiences would have been worlds easier if someone had just told me these things. This is an extremely practical (NO theory) how-to book for social work/psychology stud ...more
Jul 03, 2015 Nargiz rated it really liked it
It is a great introduction book for those who start their social work practice. "Where to start and what to ask" gives an overview how to conduct first interview with various groups (i.e. adults, children, couples, families substance abusers), but the list isn't comprehensive.
The book doesn't talk about ethical issues: ethical decision making and ethical practice. I understand that it is an introductory assessment handbook, but social worker values and ethics should come first (even before first
Jun 03, 2007 cathy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any clinicians, new or practiced.
Shelves: psychsocialworky
This is my most dog-earred book. It contains little psychological theory, but I found it the most practical thing I read in grad school. Lukas gives rookies the nuts and bolts of first (and second) interviews with a range of clients, from young children to chronically-impaired adults. There are many useful tips for conducting comprehensive assessments and mental status exams, as well as reminders about keeping yourself safe when you are working with potentially volitile patients. I could not hav ...more
Aaron K
Jan 27, 2013 Aaron K rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
A great book for looking at the very basics of interviewing for social workers, nurses, counsellors, etc. It really is where to start and get a good idea of how the interview process should proceed. Covers a number of areas, including individuals, families, children and also has a good look at what to do for suicidal clients.

Having said all that, I would not recommend this book for basically experienced clinicians. The simplicity of the title really shows where the books is coming from and who t
Mar 08, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Starting clinicians and social workers
Shelves: did-not-finish
I didn't read this one cover to cover, but I remember it was useful when I first started doing assessments. Of course, skillful interviewing is refined by experience; this book is best used as a guideline for starting clinicians to both relieve anxiety and get your bearing in the interview. Seasoned clinicians might also benefit from reviewing it and considering ways to adjust their approach.
Aug 23, 2016 Samantha rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good beginner book for anyone thinking about going into therapy. That being said it is pretty basic and a bit outdated, but always good to refresh on some of the basics, especially in regard to initial interviews and assessments.
May 20, 2011 Chavonne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: New Therapists, Therapists Needing a "Tune Up"
Recommended to Chavonne by: Professor
This book is an absolute gem for clinicians. I read it for a class while in school and just finished reading it as I prepared for my first initial assessment as a bonafide therapy (huzzah!). This is easily read and implemented and is incredibly useful for allaying the fears of any new therapist.
Jill Nelson
Oct 26, 2015 Jill Nelson rated it liked it
Good tool to have on your shelf as a social worker, helps in client assessment and rapport-building. Read when starting my MSW program at SDSU.
Sep 16, 2008 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: social work and psychology students
Recommended to Alyssa by: NYU
Shelves: school
i think i'm going to keep this book forever. i'm not so worried about doing assessments and interviews now :)
Lisa P.
Aug 29, 2014 Lisa P. rated it really liked it
Informative easy read that touches on many topics. Example of how to write an assessment in the last chapter.
Aug 08, 2008 Laurelina rated it really liked it
Good book for starting social workers who have no idea what to do. Somewhat dry, but then again some may say that so is the field!
Jul 11, 2011 Maria rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Good information, but a little repetitive. The lists of questions at the end of each chapter will probably be helpful to look at to make sure you cover all the basics with a client early on.
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