The process of psychological counselling is a continuous engagement between the therapist and the client. In such a relationship, it is crucial that the counselor understands the effectiveness of the treatment regime designed for the patient. Consequently, the counselor needs to conduct regular assessment in the course of engagement with the client. According to Whiston (2009), the assessment process is conducted through the collection of data with the aim of identification, analysis, and generating solutions to the challenges, and the circumstances surrounding the counsellling relationship.
The author also states that counseling professionals should understand that assessment plays multiple crucial roles in the relationship with the client. Ideally, assessment plays a crucial role in the monitoring of the treatment progress as demonstrated by Hayes, Miller, Hope, Heimberg, & Juster, (2008)
A study conducted by Hayes, Miller, Hope, Heimberg, & Juster, (2008) investigated the use of regular assessment of the progress in patients with Social Anxiety Disorder. The author investigated the effectiveness of session wise collection of information in the analysis of the patient progress.
The authors opine that Social Anxiety Disorder is easy to assess since it presents with specific symptoms. Consequently counseling professionals can easily evaluate the progress of a Social Anxiety Disorder patient based on the dissipation or a hike in the symptoms shown by the patients.
However, the authors also noted that the counselors failed to collect information about the progress of the patient on a session-by-session basis. As a consequence, the effectiveness of a treatment regime administered on such patients was not easily evaluated.
Ideally, a counselor should assess the treatment progress in a patient so that the treatment can be adjusted for the depending on the patient’s response. According to Duffy, Giordano , Farrell , Paneque, & Crump (2008), different patients respond dfferently to specific treatments and, therefore, each patient should be assessed individually to determine the rate of response to the treatment. Additionally, the study by Hayes, Miller, Hope, Heimberg, & Juster (2008) demonstrates the importance of continuous assessment during the treatment of the Social Anxiety Disorder. In their study, the authors demonstrated that when the professionals collected information on a session-by-session basis, the speed of patient recovery could be observed. The rate of recovery in different patients would be useful in identifying the most efficient treatment. For example, in the study, the authors managed to come up with an index for use in assessing treatment progress in Social Anxiety Disorder patients.
Essentially, the research study by Hayes, Miller, Hope, Heimberg, & Juster (2008) demonstrated the important role that assessment plays in the monitoring of treatment progress. Despite the fact that they conducted the study using Social Anxiety Disorder patients as the subjects, the results could be extrapolated to other psychological conditions that are handled by a counselor. The design of an evaluation index for use by counselors in the assessment of Social Anxiety Disorder was based on the variation of clinical symptoms during the course of treatment. The authors also observe that the collection of accurate patient information during treatment enables statisticians and clinical researcher to design models for easy assessment of treatment progress.
In conclusion, the authors observe that assessment is also used for other purposes in the counseling profession including data analysis, outcome assessment, treatment matching, and accountability. Similarly, the authors note that assessment is greatly significant because there is collection of information which leads to the generation of knowledge and consequently the counseling profession continues to improve.