What is an “Assessment” for counselling?

A brief overview about what an assessment is for counselling, Before therapy commences, both client and therapist need to discuss what is required from therapy, and what the therapist can or cannot offer.

An assessment for counselling is where you (plus your partner, if couples counselling) meet with the therapist a session (sometimes more as required) and discuss what you need from counselling and what the therapist can offer.  The therapist will ask you some questions to help understand a little more about your needs for counselling.  This will also helps both the therapist and the client to judge if both are able to work with the therapist’s style of therapy.

The therapist will offer you a number of tentative thoughts about what he learns from you.  He may offer an interpretation or two based on how he may understand how some matters may link together. T his is all part of seeing if a psychodyamic approach to therapy is suitable for you.

This is a mutual assessment – the therapist is not just assessing you for counselling.  You are assessing the therapist and the form of therapy on offer.  Both client and therapist are seeing if they can work together.  If client or therapist have any concerns of each other they can discuss these openly with each other.

At the end of the assessment, the therapist and client should have a clear idea about what the therapy is to offer, and what the client needs from the therapy. Alternatively, discussing a referral to another therapist might be more appropriate.

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