This book will help mental health professionals to develop the fundamental generic skills in interviewing and assessment which form the foundation of psychiatric practice. It is about the process of reaching a diagnosis and is a practical guide to help the reader make the transition from novice to competent clinician. It is based on real problems encountered in modern general adult psychiatric practice, and is set in a range of environments, in the clinic and in the community. The text is punctuated by a selection of case studies to illustrate the principles highlighted in the book. This book will be essential reading for all members of the mental health team. Its practical grounding in everyday clinical experience will appeal to trainee psychiatrists and more experienced clinicians alike, as well as to nurses, social workers and psychologists.