Integrative Assessment: A Guide for Counselors, 1st edition

Published by Pearson (July 27, 2012) © 2013

  • Andrew Gersten



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Practitioners, students in training, and those preparing for licensure are engaged in learning the concepts and methods through the book’s helpful case study approach. Woven throughout each chapter, the case studies provide sample counseling dialogues in a practitioner’s voice, giving readers practical suggestions and guidance for using assessment methods and specific assessments instruments.

Learning and understanding is enhanced and accelerated through a number of helpful pedagogical features:

  • The case study approach
  • Practice suggestion boxes
  • Chapter objectives, overviews, and summaries
  • Reflection questions and experiential exercise
  • Sub-headings for specific tests and measures

Readers see first hand the methods, interviews, tests, and measures they will be exposed to and need to understand as professionals; tools that they can actually use during field placements and beyond. This approach reinforces the understanding of the material presented.

Multicultural counseling competencies are developed through the Cultural Considerations Sections. These sections integrate cultural concepts across different dimensions and help students understand multi-cultural factors that affect the selection and interpretation of specific tests and measures.

Readers have opportunities to engage with and assimilate the chapter content through the practical applied reflections questions and experiential activities at the end of each chapter.

Students learn how interviewing strategies and methods can be combined with other assessment methods–and get valuable clinical guidance on using those methods–in two full chapters (3 and 4) on interviewing principles and strategies.

Understanding of the use and limitations of specific tests and measures, particularly cultural considerations, is enhanced through the book’s sub-headings for specific tests and measures.

Readers get a framework they can use for assessing risk, a topic minimally covered in current books. Chapter 11 focuses on assessing dangerousness to self and others using a risks and protective factors model.

Identifying and assessing the impact of substance usage on presenting problems is covered clearly in Chapter 12.

Readers see how to apply foundational assessment concepts to their practice through the in depth coverage of the Risk and Resources Approach to assessment, assessment as a continuous process, assessment as intervention, and the stages of change mode. (Chapters 1, 4, and 11)

Guidance and suggestions that can be used in actual counseling settings are outlined in helpful practice suggestion boxes in chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 14, and 15.

Readers are able to apply the essential methods of observing–mental status evaluation and functional behavioural assessment–through Chapter 5’s in-depth coverage of these topics.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Assessment


Chapter 2: Ethical and Legal Considerations:  Preparing for the Assessment


Chapter 3:  Interviewing adults and youth: Principles, Methods and Skills


Chapter 4:  Exploring Presenting Problems, Readiness for Change, and Risks and Resources


Chapter 5:  Observations, Inferences, and Behavioral Assessment


Chapter 6: Psychological Tests and Measurement Concepts


Chapter 7: Reliability and Validity


Chapter 8: Personality and Interest Measures


Chapter 9: Assessing Psychopathology: Mood and Anxiety Disorders


Chapter 10: Child and adolescent measures


Chapter 11: Standardized Risk Assessments: Suicide and Dangerousness to Others


Chapter 12: Assessing Substance Use Disorders


Chapter 13: Assessment of Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities and Achievement


Chapter 14: Assessing the Therapeutic Alliance


Chapter15: Putting it All Together



Dr. Andrew Gersten is a private practitioner specializing in the assessment and treatment of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Since his internship training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center Developmental Clinic in 1986 he has provided cognitive and psychological assessments of children—pre-school through adolescence. He has worked in community mental health as a therapist, assessor, and supervisor and has consulted to elementary and middle schools on school climate, behavioral program development and special education services. In addition, Andy is a teacher, presenter, supervisor, and researcher.   He has been teaching in counseling programs for over 19 years. 

Andy is currently adjunct faculty at Antioch University New England where he has been teaching Assessment: Principles and Methods and Psychopathology: an Ecological Approach since 2008. Prior to Antioch he was an Associate Professor of Counseling at Rivier College, Nashua, New Hampshire, where he taught graduate students in school and mental health counseling and teacher education programs. His courses included: Assessment and Appraisal, Theories of Counseling, Human Development, Child Therapy, Techniques of Counseling, Fundamentals of Research, and Professional Issues and Orientation. He has presented at regional and national counseling and psychology conferences on various topics including: DSM-5, counselor intentionality, school counseling models, and Interpersonal problem solving. Dr. Gersten has co-authored several articles on the affects of shift work on sleep and well-being and counselor intentionality. A member of: the American Counseling Association, Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, New Hampshire Psychological Association, and American Psychological Association his current research focuses on the development of intentionality in counselor trainees.

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