Dr. Suffridge is a gifted therapist and teacher, with a long record of effective supervision and clinical leadership. She has a unique ability to help early-career counselors learn the skills required to work well with clients with abuse and trauma histories. We invite her annually to lead a seminar for our internship program because she helps them learn how to work with trauma without being overwhelmed—or overwhelming the client. Her perspective helps students learn to approach, not avoid, this challenging work, and how to pace the work with balance and compassion.


Carol Kerr, Ph.D. , Chief Psychologist
Graduate Clinical Training Progra

Clinical training is the most important part of preparation for a mental health clinician, and for that reason, it can be the most intimidating stage of professional development.

“Entering the Behavioral Health Field: A Guide for New Clinicians”
brings clarity and understanding by addressing all aspects of the therapeutic process in sequence, starting with the clinician’s preparation to seeing clients in mental health treatment. Important principles are introduced and explained, then illustrated by a case example describing the clinical process between clinician Liz and client Susana. The reader has an opportunity to follow the development of a composite treatment from the first phone contact and session, through diagnosis and assessment, case formulation and treatment planning, the ongoing therapeutic relationship and ending with the termination process. Cultural issues, special assessment situations, documentation requirements and case management are addressed and illustrated as well. Worksheets and checklists are provided for each topic, to aid clinicians in reviewing and organizing their training experience.

The book has been published. Click here to order from Amazon or here to order from Routledge. Subscribe to my e-newsletter for announcements of book signing  and continuing education events.


Entering the Behavioral Health Field: A Guide for New Clinicians
By Diane A. Suffridge, Ph.D.

  1. Personal Preparation
  2. Professional Preparation
  3. First Session
  4. Cultural Considerations
  5. Diagnosis
  6. Assessment
  7. Assessment: Special Situations
  8. Case Formulation
  9. Treatment Planning
  10. Clinical Documentation
  11. Unfolding of the Therapeutic Relationship
  12. Case Management and Coordination of Care
  13. Termination—Planned and Unplanned
  14. Development of Professional Identity

Please click here to see the full table of contents.