Higher Education

Interviewing and Change Strategies for Helpers, 7th Edition

  • Sherry Cormier West Virginia University, Department of Counseling Psychology
  • Paula S. Nurius University of Washington, School of Social Work
  • Cynthia J. Osborn Kent State University, Counseling and Human Development Services
  • ISBN-10: 0840028571  |  ISBN-13: 9780840028570
  • 640 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2003, 1998
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $183.00
  • Newer Edition Available
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Fully updated and streamlined to be used more easily within the parameters of several quarters or a given semester, INTERVIEWING AND CHANGE STRATEGIES FOR HELPERS, Seventh Edition offers readers an introduction to the knowledge, skills, values, and tools needed by today's professional helpers. The authors' conceptual foundation reflects four critical areas for helpers: core skills and attributes, effectiveness and evidence-based practice, diversity issues and ecological models, and critical commitments and ethical practice, using an interdisciplinary approach that reflects the authors' extensive experience in the fields of counseling, psychology, social work, and health and human services. The text skillfully combines evidence-based interviewing skills and cognitive-behavioral intervention change strategies, thus preparing readers to work with clients representing a wide range of ages, cultural backgrounds, and challenges in living.

Features and Benefits

  • The text presents interviewing and change strategies within a thorough and carefully researched but very readable format that effectively explores topics such as the importance of building a strong client/helper relationship, conceptualizing and assessment with goal setting and treatment planning, and a variety of cognitive behavioral strategies.
  • Throughout the text, the authors devote considerable attention to diversity issues, the client's ecology, and a multidisciplinary helping approach, enabling students to better understand and appreciate critical factors that can affect their client relationships and professional practices.
  • The text provides both fundamental and complex helping skills for students and new professionals to use with a diverse clientele. These evidence-based skills are presented in a clear, comprehensive, and compelling fashion. Each chapter includes clearly outlined learning outcomes and activities, model examples, guided feedback, and end-of-chapter evaluations, all designed to help students learn quickly and effectively and to prepare for success in their courses and careers.
  • An ample selection of learning exercises, client examples, and model dialogues helps to bring many of the strategies to life, providing students valuable illustrations of how to implement new skills as well as opportunities to reflect on and practice strategies with broad-based applicability to working with clients.

Table of Contents

1. Building Your Foundation as a Helper.
2. Critical Commitments: Diversity Issues and Ethical Practice for Helpers.
3. Ingredients of an Effective Helping Relationship.
4. Listening.
5. Influencing Responses.
6. Assessing and Conceptualizing Client Problems, Concerns, and Contexts.
7. Conducting an Interview Assessment With Clients.
8. Constructing, Contextualizing, and Evaluating Treatment Goals.
9. Clinical Decision Making and Treatment Planning.
10 Cognitive Change Strategies: Reframing, Cognitive Modeling, Cognitive Restructuring and Schema Therapy.
11. Cognitive Approaches to Stress Management: Spirituality and Cultural Variation, Problem Solving Therapy, and Stress Inoculation Training.
12. Self-Calming Approaches to Stress Management: Breathing, Muscle Relaxation, and Mindfulness Meditation.
13. Exposure Therapy and Strategies: Imaginal, In Vitro, In Vivo, and Intensive.
14. Strategies for Working With Resistance: Solution Focused Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
15. Self-Management Strategies: Self-Monitoring, Stimulus Control, Self-Reward, and Self-Efficacy.

What's New

  • Acknowledging use of the book within a semester or two quarter framework, the authors streamlined this edition, retaining the same organizing structure and skill-building components that adopters and readers have long valued, while integrating and distilling content to provide an up-to-date compendium of interviewing and change practices applicable across a range of settings and clienteles.
  • Throughout, the authors have aimed to build on recent clinical evidence, and to point to emerging developments relevant to instruction in clinical services.
  • In this edition the authors increased the book's longstanding commitment to working with diverse groups. This includes further attention to working with youth, older adults, and sexual minorities, in addition to diversity implications related to gender, race/ethnicity, culture, religion, and disability. The authors have also aimed to strengthen attention to the importance of context and the frequent role of environmental sources of stress and injustices.
  • The authors draw from integrative therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based practice that the authors draw from throughout the chapters.
  • New Chapter 1, "Building Your Foundation as a Helper," showcases the symbolism of the chambered nautilus featured on the cover of the book, and introduces readers to the practice nexus featured on the inside cover of the book. In the first half of the chapter, the first component of the practice nexus is discussed. Specifically, three core skills and attributes (self-awareness and self-reflection, mindfulness, and self-care and self-compassion) are presented and discussed as a means of promoting helper stamina and resilience. In the second half of the chapter, the second component of the practice nexus, effectiveness, is highlighted. It is in this section that extensive discussion is devoted to evidence-based practice (EBP). This discussion includes criticisms of EBP as well as recent efforts to adapt EBP to culturally diverse populations. A listing of culturally adaptive interventions to EBP is provided, along with examples of such adaptation.
  • The third and fourth components of the practice nexus are addressed in Chapter 2: critical commitments (including ethical practice) and diversity issues. Here, the authors discuss four critical commitments professional helpers are encouraged to make to grow into clinical competence: commitment to lifelong learning, commitment to collaboration, commitment to values-based practice, and commitment to beneficence. The section on diversity issues includes prominent as well as newer frameworks for working with culturally diverse populations, such as the more idiosyncratic focus on the intersection of multiple identities recently proposed by feminist multicultural scholars. The ethical issues section includes newer content on confidentiality and referral practices, and a new section devoted to out-of-session client communication and deliberate and inadvertent therapist self-disclosure (e.g., use of social networking sites).
  • Throughout Chapter 2, there is an expanded and sharper focus on issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) persons, persons with disabilities, and older persons.
  • In Chapter 3, consideration of the therapeutic relationship has been expanded to include the ever expanding empirical basis for various relationship conditions toward increasing effectiveness. This empirical basis also includes various adaptations that facilitate therapeutic outcome via the helping relationship. New additions to this chapter also include emerging evidence on the neuroscience of empathy, cultural empathy, therapeutic presence and helper mindfulness, and the working alliance. Nonverbal aspects of facilitative conditions of empathy, positive regard, and congruence or genuineness are also described now in Chapter 3. Finally, this chapter has a brand new section on validation via Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the levels of validation and their relationship to empathy.
  • Chapter 4's discussion of the importance of listening now includes listening to client nonverbal behavior as well as listening to client stories and dimensions of culture. This chapter also features a new section on Distractions and Distractabilities which describes the importance of listening to yourself as a clinician and the role of clinician mindfulness during a helping session. Finally, this chapter includes new material on the sequencing of listening responses within a helping interview.
  • Chapter 5, "Influencing Responses," has been re-organized around a discussion of the potential effects of influencing responses in the helping interview. A new section describes the possible sequencing of influencing responses within a helping interview. There is also expanded coverage of empirical support, ethical issues, cultural considerations, and caveats for the influencing responses and processes in helping.
  • Chapter 6 focuses more broadly now on both clinical and evidence-based assessment. New material includes: discussion of the characteristics and implications of evidence-based assessment; updated material on the Person-in-Environment model; expanded discussion of the Functional Assessment model has been expanded, which now includes new content on Chain Analysis, which is a component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy; information on Intake Interviews and History-Taking, Cultural Issues in Assessment Interviews, Mental-Status Examination, and Diagnostic Interviewing; forecasted discussion of the new DSM-V; expanded coverage of conducting risk assessment in diagnostic interviewing; and expanded focus of the link between assessment and case conceptualization for subsequent treatment planning.
  • Chapter 7 includes new sections dealing with the role of informed consent in initial interviews, the use of genograms to assess for clients' social networks and family history, and the use of specific interview questions to assess for clients' individual and environmental strengths and resources.
  • Expanded discussion of treatment goals in Chapter 8 includes a section describing eight characteristics of well-constructed goals. Additional updated content includes introduction of stage models in addition to the stages of change model, to assist with the sequential task of treatment planning; a more extensive discussion on client and helper collaboration on the construction of treatment goals; and more.
  • Chapter 9's content on client coping styles and resistance has been updated from a wider cultural lens. The authors also present a newer client case that highlights the multiplicity of factors that typically must be considered in planning care for individual clients.
  • The role of context and linkages among emotions, cognitions, and behaviors are enhanced in this edition. Chapter 10, for example, amplifies discussion of the role of emotions in schema development and schema therapy, and the role of emotional awareness and regulation in undertaking sustained cognitive change efforts. In Chapter 13, the authors expand attention to trauma, to emotional processing involved in trauma-related treatment, and to clinical work with populations particularly affected by stress such as military personnel. Chapter 13 also provides updates regarding use of pharmacotherapy to enhance exposure treatment.
  • The authors emphasize stress as a critical set of factors in the development of problems and in understanding ways that change strategies must address stress. This emphasis is found across the assessment and intervention chapters of the neurophysiological responses to persistent stress in addition to psychosocial factors. In Chapter 11 the authors describe cultural, socioeconomic and life course implications of stress; illustrate ways that stress becomes embodied, with physical and mental health impairment due to wear and tear effects referred to as weathering; and describe how minority stress can function to erode well-being and coping efforts, often in ways that are not fully evident.
  • In Chapter 11, the authors have expanded attention to spirituality in practice, noting integration of cognitive behavioral interventions with focus on compassion, forgiveness (self and others), empathy, acceptance, support of spiritual communities, and implications of spiritual consciousness for the practitioner. Chapter 11 also offers updated discussions of problem-solving therapy and coping-focused stress inoculation training.
  • Updates to the strategies of working through various forms of resistance, as well as client ambivalence, are found in Chapter 14. These strategies are informed by Solution-Focused Therapy and Motivational Interviewing, two approaches whose respective research base has been expanded in this edition.
  • In Chapter 12, the authors have expanded attention to the growing evidence support for mindfulness-based practices, through illustration of recent applications across a range of populations, a self-monitoring tool for mindfulness meditation, description of the ways that mindfulness constructs and meditation are being incorporated with a range of interventions.
  • Across multiple chapters, the authors provide updates on developments in integrative practice models such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, including literature-based discussion of their relative strengths and limitations.
  • This edition's increased discussion of the roles of technology in therapeutic services includes the description of uses of virtual reality applications in stress inoculation training and exposure therapy (Chapters 11 and 13), and description of uses of the Internet and technological devices to support longer term self-management interventions (Chapter 15).


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1133354858 | ISBN-13: 9781133354857)

The instructor's resource manual includes chapter summaries, review outlines and key terms, and callouts to the learning activities in the main text.

Online Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1133371442 | ISBN-13: 9781133371441)

This chapter-by-chapter resource includes multiple-choice questions with page-number references.

Helping Professions Learning Center 2-Semester Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495500879 | ISBN-13: 9780495500872)

Designed to help you bridge the gap between coursework and practice, the Helping Professions Learning Center (HPLC) offers a centralized online resource that allows students to build skills and gain even more confidence and familiarity with the principles that govern the life of the helping professional. The interactive site consists of: Video Activities organized by curriculum area and accompanied by critical thinking questions; Ethics, Diversity, and Theory-based Case Studies; Flashcards and Practice Quizzes; a Professional Development Center; and a Research and Writing Center.

List Price = $32.00  | CengageBrain Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $32.00

Student Supplements

Helping Professions Learning Center 2-Semester Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495500879 | ISBN-13: 9780495500872)

Designed to help you bridge the gap between coursework and practice, the Helping Professions Learning Center (HPLC) offers a centralized online resource that allows you to build your skills and gain even more confidence and familiarity with the principles that govern the life of the helping professional. The interactive site consists of: Video Activities organized by curriculum area and accompanied by critical thinking questions; Ethics, Diversity, and Theory-based Case Studies; Flashcards and Practice Quizzes; a Professional Development Center; and a Research and Writing Center.

List Price = $32.00  | CengageBrain Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $32.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Sherry Cormier

Sherry Cormier is Professor Emerita in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of West Virginia. Her current research and practice interests are in counseling and psychology training and supervision models; issues impacting girls and women; health, wellness, and stress management; and grief recovery. She lives at the beach near the Chesapeake Bay and enjoys kayaking, yoga, biking, hiking, reading, and music in her leisure time.

Paula S. Nurius

Paula S. Nurius is the Grace Beals Ferguson Scholar, Professor, and Associate Dean in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Nurius is a mental health specialist with research, practice, and teaching experience that addresses perception and responding under conditions of stress and trauma. She brings particular concern for vulnerable, marginalized populations and to fostering prevention and resilience-enhancing interventions. Her current scholarship focuses on childhood and cumulative life course stress, including impacts of maltreatment, nonviolent adversity, and poverty on physical, mental, and behavioral health disparities. She enjoys the outdoor life of the Pacific Northwest with her husband, daughter, and schnoodle pooch.

Cynthia J. Osborn

Cynthia J. Osborn is Professor of Counselor Education and Supervision at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor and a licensed chemical dependency counselor in Ohio. Her research, clinical practice, and teaching have focused on addictive behaviors and counselor supervision from the perspectives of motivational interviewing and solution-focused therapy. Additional scholarship has addressed case conceptualization and treatment planning skills, and stamina and resilience in behavioral health care. She enjoys reading character novels and practicing yoga, and she and her husband together enjoy exercising and the company of their Bichon Frisé dog, Jake.