Assessments in Counseling

Not every therapist does this. Some do this a lot and some not at all. It is very revealing and some might even say intimate. Performing or assigning assessments that is. Whether the therapist does it with you in session or asks you to take home a self-assessment (survey), assessments help your therapist get a very distinct picture. Assessments are typically used 1 time at the beginning, 1 time mid-progress and 1 time prior to termination of the counseling relationship.

Therapists rely on their interactive counseling sessions with clients to accurately assess symptoms and management. To make the most of these sessions, therapists will sometimes ask extremely specific questions as a form of measurement. Those are assessments. Some therapists prefer to assign clients to perform self-assessments in the form of homework outside the session. Both methods of delivery produce a number, chart, or pattern result. From that information, the therapist can then narrow the dialogue in sessions and develop specialized treatment plans.

For example, if someone is complaining about anxiety but unable to determine which symptoms are affecting them the most. The therapist might perform an Anxiety Scale assessment. This assessment will indicate to the therapist and client how much anxiety might be present and which symptoms are the most problematic.

Self-assessments (surveys) are typically simple to take. It is recommended that a therapist or trained professional help with scoring and interpreting that score. Mental health assessments backed by empirical research and study in different settings and with people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Assessment questions have been tailored to be direct and accurate so that scoring is unique and reflective of any one persons experience. The most important part of taking a self-assessment is to be honest and open with your answers. Do not be surprised, if you are surprised by your own responses!

Once assessments are completed, your therapist will discuss the results with you and develop a plan to address anything you find abnormal. The best part? You can take the same assessment again later of after having worked on a few things. The new assessment results can show you how much progress you have made.

In the end, assessments bring your therapist closer to the REAL issues without you having to spell out what they are. Assessments move the conversation deeper, past basic “get to know” questions and toward “help me understand” dialogues. Consequently, doing assessments on your own even saves money. The less time you and your therapist spend talking about surface details, the more work you get done in session.

Check out this list of some self-assessments. You can get to know yourself and find direction for therapy.

Emotional Intelligence –


Anxiety Self-Assessment –


Marital Satisfaction –


Taking an assessment without knowing how to follow up with the results can be frustrating and scary. We recommend you only take assessments you are prepared to know the results for. We also recommend you take self-assessments while under the supervision of a therapist who can help you de-mystify the language and identify how things are personally affecting you. Self-assessments are not an alternative for diagnosis by a professional. Self-assessments are not a guarantee of diagnosis or symptoms and cannot be used to prove existence of diagnosis or symptoms without direct communication by a mental health professional.

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