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Beck Depression Scale - Essay Example

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Assessment is an integral part of the therapy process. Without assessment, therapy would be aimless and, most likely, would not ultimately help the client in any significant way. For a one on one therapy session, the therapist obtain assessment information from the client before formulating a therapy plan; however this job is more complicated for the Marriage Family Therapist (MFT)…
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Beck Depression Scale
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Download file to see previous pages One final goal of assessment is to get a clear understanding of the structure and functioning of the family.
The MFT has specific information that he is looking to obtain during the assessment process. First and foremost, the MFT wants to gather as much information as possible on the problem the family is faced with. This includes the length of the current problem, the family's history of conflict, the family's history of solutions, and the family's motivation to rectify the current problem. The MFT also wants information about the structure of the family, such as any cultural or religious influences, socioeconomic status, and the hierarchy of the family. At the same time, the MFT wants to understand how the family functions; their conflict resolution strategies, how well they communicate with one another, each member's role in the family, and individual and collective goals. Finally, the MFT is interested in finding out what the family's goals are for therapy.
There are many different ways in which the MFT can gather this assessment information, but they all fall into two broad categories: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative assessment allows the therapist to make inferences about certain behaviors and reactions of family members during an assessment task, whereas quantitative assessment is in the form of a standardized instrument, usually a pencil-and-paper questionnaire or scale.
There are many advantages of using qualitative assessments. The family plays a larger, more important role in the assessment process, the assessment becomes part of the treatment process since this type of assessment tends to be therapeutic in and of itself, the therapist can pick and choose different techinques that fit nicely with his specific theoretical orientation, it allows the therapist and family to work together in assessing the information obtained, the family is often more committed to therapy because of the vital role they play in the assessment process, individual family members learn from one another and can learn how each member is affected by the family as a whole, allows the family to be viewed in a three-dimensional context, and it can be used with families from various cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds (Deacon & Piercy, 2001).
There are many qualitative techniques available for the MFT. Qualitative assessments include the use of art, guided imagery, photographs, role playing, sculptures, free association, metaphors, and circular questioning. The idea behind this type of assessment is that it takes the focus off of the individual, and places it on the task at hand, often making the clients less defensive and more emotive (Deacon &Piercy, 2001). While there are many advantages to qualitative assessment, it is not for everyone. Some therapists and clients may not feel comfortable with such exercises, and these exercises may in fact exacerbate any anxiety felt towards therapy instead of relieving it (Deacon & Piercy, 2001). In such a case, these exercises should not be pushed. If these activities are forced, the information gathered will most likely be scarce. Deacon and Piercy also note that while qualitative assessments can provide the therapist with a wealth of information, it cannot provide certain information that can only be obtained through quantitative asse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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