Assessment, Research, & Program Evaluation

If I am going to very honest, and what’s the point of not being honest, right? If I am being very honest, this is the area of counselling that I have the least experience in by a mile, and to be honest, that is very intentional. I did not pursue a practicum that required participation in formal assessment, research or program evaluation.

Why not? Well, because formal assessment is, quite frankly, a tool of marginalization normed against dominant cultural ideals of white supremacy, and colonialism.

Take eugenics as an example (click photo for article):

Image description: an illustration for the eugenics article feature some children, adults, and building.

Image description: an illustration for the eugenics article feature some children, adults, and building.

I see great value in shifting our notion of research to be undertaken on a qualitative individual level and as a means to examining our own practice. As I have begun to wrap up my practicum and am saying goodbye to clients I have taken up questions proposed by classmate and peer supervisor Scott Green (2019)

  •  What has changed for you since you began counselling (if anything)? 

  • Has this experience with counselling been different for you from pervious experiences or what was it like to experience counselling for the first time? 

  • Given what you have reflected on during our sessions how do you think people change? Or do they (I want to hear how they articulate their theory of change)?

  • What do you think will look different after your experience with counselling? 

  • What do you think you will remember most about our time together? 

  • Do you think you might return to see a counsellor at a later date?

  • How do we know when it might be a good time to seek support from a counsellor? 

  • Is therapy about providing support for someone or is there more to it?

  • What take always have been really important for you? 

  • Would it valuable to record the things that stand out to you so you can refer to them later? 

  • Would it be helpful to have a plan or review of some kind you can consult when things get difficult? 

  • What tools can we identify that have most benefitted you? 

  • What have you learned about yourself in this process? 

  • How has your perspective on the world or on people changed?

To me, these are as much about assessment and evaluation as any sort of inventory I could invest in.