Conducting an Effective Mental Status Exam
by John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD & Rita Sommers-Flanagan, PhD

Mastery in Minutes

Learn how to elicit important information from clients during the initial stages of treatment, while leveraging therapeutic listening, empathy and intuition to deepen rapport and create therapeutic alliance.
Access Now

This content is exclusive to our members and subscribers. Click below to find a plan that best meets your needs:

Gathering client information and performing initial assessments, while vital to effective treatment planning, can easily turn into a dry procedure that may adversely affect the therapeutic relationship. In this short video you’ll discover how to ask questions that can be organized into the 9 domains of a mental status exam in a way that is empathic and collaborative, building rapport and laying the foundation for a strong therapeutic bond. Learn from John and Rita Sommers-Flanagan—who literally wrote the book on clinical interviewing and assessment—how to engage clients collaboratively while gathering important information about how they are functioning in the present.

Watch clinical expert John Sommers Flanagan complete a mental status exam with Carl, a 19-year-old student struggling to adjust to his life at Trapper Creek Job Corps, and gain deeper insight into the process as the hosts break down the interviewing protocols and relational techniques being used. Their warm and compassionate dynamic infuses both their teaching and therapeutic work, and makes this seemingly “clinical” material both approachable and enjoyable. presents Mastery in Minutes

Looking for ways to enrich your practice but don’t have time to watch a full-length video?
Working with a challenging client? Want quick tips for specific topics?’s Mastery in Minutes video collection has you covered. Mastery in Minutes is a time-efficient way to get…

  • Speedy solutions for challenging clients
  • Targeted tools for specialized skillsets
  • Bite-sized videos covering specific techniques
  • Trusted tips from leaders in the field

Available only to our members and subscribers. Find out how to access this video for individual use, for more than one person using multiple-user access, or for use in academic institutions.

Length of video: 0:22:15

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-577-7

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-577-9

John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD, is a professor of counselor education at the University of Montana. He is also a clinical psychologist and mental health consultant with Trapper Creek Job Corps. He served as executive director of Families First Parenting Programs from 1995 to 2003 and was previously co-host of a radio talk-show on Montana Public Radio titled, “What is it with Men?”

Primarily specializing in working with children, parents, and families, John is author or coauthor of over 50 professional publications and nine books. Some of his latest books, co-written with his wife Rita, include How to Listen so Parents will Talk and Talk so Parents will Listen (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice (2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2012), Clinical Interviewing (5th ed., Wiley, 2014), and Tough Kids, Cool Counseling (2nd ed., ACA, 2007). In his wild and precious spare time, John loves to run (slowly), dance (poorly), laugh (loudly) and produce home-made family music videos.

Rita Sommers-Flanagan, PhD, has been a professor of counselor education at the University of Montana for over two decades. She is a clinical psychologist and has served as a mental health consultant for the Vet Center in Missoula Montana. She is also on the Executive Board of the faculty union, and very involved in the issues facing academia and higher education.

Rita has published text books, professional articles, books chapters, and poems. Some of these include an ethics text, a book for parents facing divorce, and other works co-authored with her husband, John Sommers-Flanagan. She has particular interests in feminist theory and therapy, as well as professional and applied ethics. In her spare time, she works on alternative energy projects, writing fiction, gardening, jogging, and being grateful for all the wonders and joys that life entails.

Access Now

This content is exclusive to our members and subscribers. Click below to find a plan that best meets your needs:

You May Also Like…