• What diagnoses should I consider for a client who presents with psychotic symptoms?
  • What is my legal responsibility towards a client who presents a danger to himself or others?
  • What clinical assessments can I use for children who may be suffering from ADHD?

Mental health professionals face tricky questions like these every day. But locating reliable sources of information takes considerable time, a luxury that many hard-working clinicians today simply don't have.

PsycEssentials: A Pocket Resource for Mental Health Practitioners is a quick but comprehensive guide that helps mental health clinicians locate the answers to these common and often urgent questions. User-friendly chapters are arranged chronologically to address the typical progression of therapy, and describe a wealth of publicly available resources from standardized screening measures and various clinical assessment and risk evaluation measures, to state laws regarding child and elder abuse reporting, symptoms for mental health diagnosis, commonly prescribed drugs, and resources for the implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies.

Table of Contents



  1. Initial Clinical Assessment Interview
  2. Standardized Screening Measures
  3. Structured and Semistructured Interviews
  4. Mental Status Examination
  5. Psychological Assessment Measures
  6. Clinical Assessment of Self-Harm and Interpersonally Violent Thoughts and Behaviors
  7. Risk Evaluation and Management of Self-Harm and Interpersonal Violence
  8. Child Abuse Reporting
  9. Reporting Abuse of Elderly and Dependent, Vulnerable, or Disabled Adults
  10. Duty to Protect: Reporting Client Threat of Harm to Another
  11. Diagnosis
  12. Evidence-Based Interventions
  13. Psychopharmacotherapies
  14. Termination
  15. Records and Record Keeping
  16. Resources for Clinicians I: Professional Standards
  17. Resources for Clinicians II: Strategies for Self-Care and Managing Adverse Events
  18. Resources for Clients and Their Significant Others


About the Author

Author Bio

Janet L. Sonne received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Stanford University, her master's degree in social and personality psychology research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently the coordinator of psychology training programs at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center in Redlands, California, and she maintains an independent clinical and forensic practice.

Dr. Sonne was a founding psychologist of the graduate clinical psychology programs at Loma Linda University; in 2005 she retired from her position there as professor of psychology and director of clinical training. Previously, she was a member of the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where she taught and supervised the psychotherapy training of psychiatry residents. In addition, she taught medical students and graduate students in the departments of nursing, social work, and marriage and family therapy.

Dr. Sonne is a fellow of APA's Division 42 (Independent Practice) and a member of the California Psychological Association (CPA). She is the former chair and a member of the CPA Ethics Committee, and she served twice on the APA Ethics Committee.

Dr. Sonne is an expert consultant to the California Board of Psychology, and to attorneys, religious organizations, and practitioners regarding professional standards of care, competency issues, and perpetration and sequelae of childhood sexual abuse.

She is the author of several publications on the topics of therapist–patient relationships, including a chapter, "Sexualized Relationships," in the recent APA Handbook of Ethics in Psychology and an article for which she was awarded a citation from Division 42, "Nonsexual Multiple Relationships: A Practical Decision-Making Model for Clinicians." She coauthored two books: Sexual Feelings in Psychotherapy: Explorations for Therapists and Therapists-in-Training with Ken Pope and Jean Holroyd, and What Therapists Don't Talk About and Why: Understanding the Taboos That Hurt Us and Our Clients with Ken Pope and Beverly Greene.

Mobile App

PsycEssentials Mobile AppThe mobile app version of PsycEssentials is a comprehensive pocket resource for busy psychotherapists. Updated regularly, the PsycEssentials app gives you the most up-to-date and relevant information for your clinical practice, grants you full access to the print book chapters, and allows one-touch access to the following features:

• Table of Contents: The app contents mirror the chronological process of therapy. The app can be read sequentially, like a book, or browsed for topic-specific information.

• Personalized Notes: The app allows the clinician to make personal notes anywhere by pressing the Notes icon and typing.

• Easy-Access Favorites: A Favorites icon stores frequently referenced sections.

• Additional Resources: The app links to relevant web-based resources, including state-by-state referral information and legal standards for reporting abuse.

• Search by Term: Search function is sophisticated and intuitive. Simply begin to type in the term you are looking for and select the correct option.

Download a free but limited version of the app for your Android device, or the full version for iPad, iPhone, or Android for just $39.99.