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Interviewing for the Helping Professions

A Comprehensive Relational Approach

Second Edition

Fred McKenzie and Nicole Nicotera

Publication Date - 13 June 2018

ISBN: 9780190876845

264 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Interviewing for the Helping Professions will help students understand the nature and purpose, technique, meaning, emotions, and outcomes of the interviewing process.


A successful professional interview depends on the development of a generally positive human interaction. Without a positive base, the interview can be fraught with difficulties and roadblocks. This is true regardless of the discipline, be it social work, psychology, human services, nursing, criminal justice, medicine, psychiatry, or any other field. Beginning interviewers may have learned solid technique, but often are initially focused more on thinking about what they will say next than on understanding or even listening to the client. As a result, that critical initial interview -- whose success affects the future of most professional encounters -- is often disrupted by a failure to truly listen and understand, which is the foundation for earning clients' trust.

This second edition goes beyond most other clinical interviewing books in its emphasis on the emotional foundation of interviewing and its focus on the importance of social justice and attention to the problem of microaggressions that can prohibit building and maintaining therapeutic rapport with clients. Interviewing for the Helping Professions can help both the beginning professional and the veteran interviewer understand the nature and purpose, technique, meaning, emotions, and outcomes of the interviewing process. The book also provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and technique so crucial to meaningful interviewing. More important, it emphasizes the emotional significance of the interaction and grounds the interviewing process in contemporary theories of practice and social justice.

New to this Edition

  • New content emphasizing the emotional foundation of interviewing and the importance of social justice/attention to the problem of microaggressions
  • New additions to the case example interviews labeled as "Comment on Process" that provide insights into clinical thinking and challenge the reader to consider how they might respond to the client, if they were the interviewer
  • An expanded section entitled "Individual Interviews across the Lifespan: Children, Adolescents, Adults"
  • Updated sections covering interviewing in severe mental health cases and experiences of schizophrenia


  • Features rich case examples from a variety of disciplines to demonstrate the subtle complexity of interviewing
  • Presents real-life scripts from clinical cases in combination with an approach to engage the reader in critically thinking about what the interviewer does well and what they could do differently
  • Includes a list of recommended readings, media, and internet sources at the end of each chapter

About the Author(s)

Fred R. McKenzie, PhD, MSW, is Director of the School of Social Work and Director of the Doctor of Social Work Program at Aurora University in Illinois. He has been a full-time faculty member at Aurora since 1991. Previously, Professor McKenzie served as Associate Director for Clinical Services at SPECTRUM Youth and Family Services and Executive Director of Barrington Youth Services. He has maintained a private practice for over thirty years. McKenzie is the author of Theory and Practice with Adolescents and Understanding and Managing the Therapeutic Relationship.

Nicole Nicotera, PhD, LICSW, is a social work educator and coordinator of the clinical skills training and the mind body courses for the Master of Social Work program at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, where she also teaches mixed methods research for the PhD program. She is also a licensed independent clinical social worker with training and practice experience in the use of experiential therapies, expressive arts therapies, and other modalities with youth, family-youth groups, and couples. She is an active community engaged scholar and collaborates with community agencies to conduct research on their programs and help them use the results of that research to create stronger programs.


"This revised edition offers further insight into how attending to the relationship between interviewer and interviewee is essential to developing effective interviewing skills. So often, beginning interviewers are focused on the content of a story and miss the process in the relationship. This text provides a refreshing emphasis on said relationship and requires the reader to think critically about the scope of an interview." Ann Friesema, PhD, LCPC, ACS, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Table of Contents



    Author Bios

    Chapter 1: Theoretical Foundations of Interviewing
    Chapter 2: What Is Interviewing and How Is It Done?
    Chapter 3: Ethical Interviewing
    Chapter 4: Types of Interviewing
    Chapter 5: Interviewing with Cultural Competence
    Chapter 6: Interviewing in Various Modalities Across Age-Groups
    Chapter 7: Use of Self in Interviewing
    Chapter 8: Interviewing in Mental Health Cases
    Chapter 9: Interviewing Clients with Addictions and Dual-Diagnosis Problems
    Chapter 10: The Phases of Interviewing: Beginning, Middle, and Termination

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