Dr. Berman's Books and Workshops

  • Berman, P. (2015). Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning: Exercises for Integrating Theory with Clinical Practice 3rd Edition. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Case conceptualization and treatment planning skills have always been important in providing quality care to clients. These skills are even more vital in today's managed-care market as they can be used to document the need a client has for treatment and support interventions for brief, intermediate, or long-term services. Unique to this text, Pearl S. Berman provides a clear cut model for developing case conceptualizations and treatment plans using any theoretical perspective that integrates client strengths and any aspect of human complexity that is salient for the client’s presenting concerns. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and expanded and practice with the model includes the addition of two new theoretical orientations- Feminist Treatment and Constructivist Treatment. The student using the text also gains practice with the following perspectives: behavioral, cognitive, emotion-focused, dynamic, family systems, and transtheoretical.

    People in the world differ from each. This may be due to their varying racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. It may be due to their age, gender, and sexual orientation as well as other aspects of human uniqueness. While the world contains too many domains of diversity to cover in one text, by the end of this skill building volume, students will have learned a method for integrating any aspect of human complexity, they consider vital to a client, within their clinical work. The domains covered in this second edition have been updated and expanded. The domain of Socioeconomic Status and the racial and ethnic heritages of African-Americans and White or European-Americans are completely new to this edition. Expanded and updated domains from the first edition include: age, gender, race and ethnicity (American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanic or Latino and Latina Americans), sexual orientation, and violence. This text, unlike many others, does not relegate issues of diversity to one chapter and supply only general recommendations for how to integrate diversity into clinical work. This text provides a comprehensive model that takes a task that is potentially overwhelming to a student, figuring out how to tailor their clinical work to the unique background and values of a client, and makes it eminently doable.

    This “how to” approach starts with providing a theoretical- driven full case conceptualization and treatment plan example at the beginning of each theoretical chapter; these examples thoroughly integrate both the client’s strengths as well as an aspect of human complexity that is highly relevant to the client’s presenting concerns. This is followed by an interview with another client and then six structured exercises for helping the student develop a case conceptualization and treatment plan. All of the clinical interviews, and the exercises at the end of each clinical chapter, have been thoroughly revised since the last addition. New to this edition, are additional prompts to help the student more thoroughly understand any ways a domain of human complexity could be providing strength to the client as well as any ways it might be involving the client in either oppressor or oppressive experiences.

    The compelling client interviews contained within each chapter have been completely updated. New to this edition, is the addition of nonverbal cues throughout the interviews. Additional clinical cases have also been added to the text. Some of these have been chosen with the specific intent of helping students combat certain biases they might have developed about individuals who are racially or ethnically different then themselves. For example, some individuals from Western countries may implicitly consider the Domain of Race and Ethnicity to be relevant only to clients who are not members of the dominant societal group. To help alert students to this potential bias, the case of John, in Chapter 5, is analyzed in terms of his White or European-American heritage while the case of Zechariah, an African-American male, in Chapter 9, is analyzed through integrating the Domain of Socioeconomic Status. New features include instructions that encourage students to develop an awareness of any personal biases they may have vis-à-vis a domain of human complexity. These often implicit biases could unintentionally have a negative impact on their clients in the form of misunderstanding or micro-aggressions. Students are also guided to consider where the treatment approach introduced in the chapter might itself contain implicit biases that would disadvantage some racial and ethnic groups. They are asked to consider how to modify the approach, within their conceptualizations and treatment plans to prevent these biases from negatively impacting the client.

    Exercise six at the end of each clinical chapter has been thoroughly revised to challenge students to: consider the value of the theory highlighted for a particular client; compare two different theories for the same highlighted client; compare the utility of two different domains of complexity for this client; respond to an ethical dilemma vis-a-vis this client, and: respond to a personal reflection question to enhance professional growth.

    In addition, the text supports students in developing the ability to write effectively as a professional and modify their writing style so that their treatment plans can be more motivating to each particular client they work with. New to the updated instructor's manual are materials that can be directly given to the students to support them in editing their own work or that can be used by the instructor to help evaluate, and provide feedback to the students on their written work. The instructor’s manual includes many other resources for using the textbook effectively within different types of courses.

    Professionals and students in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, psychiatry, social work, human services, and nursing will be able to use this practical volume to enhance their clinical competence. The two clinical examples provided within each chapter help to make the learning process engaging. Additionally, the recommended readings have been updated since the last edition and, completely new to this edition, are the recommended professional training tapes or DVDs as well as professional websites that can be used to access further information on the theoretical material covered in the chapter.

    Berman, P. (2009.) Helping students develop their case conceptualization and treatment planning skills while providing them with constructive feedback on their writing: An instructor's manual for the text case conceptualization and treatment planning. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Berman, P. (2007). Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning: Exercises in Integrating Theory with Clinical Practice (Korean Translation). Soeul, Korea: Hakjisa.

    Berman, P., Therapeutic Exercises for Victimized and Neglected Girls. Sarasota: Professional Resource Press, 1994.

    This book provides detailed therapeutic exercises for working effectively with victimized and neglected children. The exercises are not intended to be viewed as an all inclusive treatment package. Rather, they provide a useful structure from which to introduce difficult topics, teach skills, and impart information to be used in detailed discussions that are highly relevant to victimized and neglected children and their families. The realms covered by the exercises include recognition and identification of feelings, assertive communication and problem solving, constructive peer relationships, constructive parenting, sexuality, physical victimization of children and spouses, and sexual victimization of children. The exercises were designed to be developmentally appropriate for treatment sessions in which the identified client is a school age or teenage girl. Issues faced by clinicians in providing treatment to these girls are discussed. The instructions for these exercises, as well as potential problems and successful implementation and possible solutions to these are discussed. Instructions for using these exercises within an individual, family, and group treatment are provided. Finally, a handbook for girls is provided at the end of the book. This handbook is designed to help reinforce the skill building exercises provided in the book and to summarize the key messages provided during treatment. Many girls remain in stressful family circumstances after termination of treatment. They can be encouraged to look through the handbook during times of stress or confusion to gain a greater sense of support for how they are coping as well as give them ideas for how to cope. The handbook can also be sent to a girl who has been withdrawn prematurely from treatment. This may serve to reinforce what she's learned in treatment, provide her with a sort of validation for the ideas and values promoted in treatment, and serve as a reminder that the therapist considered her an important person

    Berman, P., & Shopland S., Interviewing and Diagnostic Exercises for Clinical and Counseling Skills Building. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. (2005)

    Role-Playing in Clinical and Counseling Skills Training: Experiential Practice with Interviewing and Diagnostic Skills is specifically designed to meet the needs of graduate students within the fields of Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Counselor Education, School Psychology, Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nursing and other allied professions. This text is intended to be a “hands-on” practice book to support experiential and didactic learning of interviewing and diagnostic skills. Clinical profiles for adults, teens, and children are provided. In addition to age, these profiles differ in terms of ethnicity, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, presenting problems, and level of problem severity. Thus, graduate students will have the opportunity to practice modifying their interviewing and diagnostic practices to meet the needs of many unique individuals.

    The client profiles are highly complex and they are intended to be used in role-plays using at least two students working together. The profiles contain information about the feelings, thoughts, actions, and relationship patterns of clients as they participate in a diagnostic interview. This allows one student to realistically take on the client role while another student takes on the role of interview.

    Instructors can use these profiles to support practice in any interviewing or diagnostic skills they value. The text provides specific didactic practice with the interviewing skills of: attending, opened and closed questions, reflective listening, responding to nonverbal behavior, empathetic comments, summarization, redirection, supportive confrontation and process comments. The text highlights a strategy of making DSM-IV diagnoses that brings students through the diagnostic process first from Axis1-V and then backwards from Axis V – I. In all, the student is encouraged to review their diagnostic choices three times to insure that an accurate diagnosis has been made that considers the impact of individual, situational, and biological factors on client behavior. Both the importance of understanding diversity, and of respecting the client’s perceptions, are emphasized as fundamental to making an accurate diagnosis.


    Berman, P., Structured Interventions for Treating Victimized Children and Teens (3 hr).

    Berman, P., Developing Comprehensive and Individualized Case Conceptualization and Treatment Plans (3 day).

    Berman, P., Improving Interviewing Skills Through Practicing Micro-Skills (2 day).