Counselors seeking to establish their own practice are faced with challenges that range from choosing the clientele, choosing the psychological testing and assessment tools, as well as in the operational dimension of setting up an office which includes operational management of expenses, staffing, training as well choosing and maintaining as equipment and facilities. This report outlines the considerations that need to be addressed in setting up a counselor’s private practice.
Psychometric Assessment Tools
Establishing a private practice presents challenges and counseling dilemmas particularly in addressing the competencies that counselors that undertake in addressing adult assessments and personal and career intake: (a) provision of psychometric assessment and training in good test-use practices, (b) awareness of the shift in education from using psychometric models to using edumetric ones, and (c) financial and operational competencies in order to start a private practice (Leroux and Tymofievich, 2000). The five assessment tools were chosen by the counselor because of their relevance and specificity in addressing the psychological and mental health needs of well-educated adult clients with no diagnosed mental health illness. Largely, the approach undertaken is that of a holistic as well as specific assessment of personalities, work-life balance, quality of life, interests, among other things. The five assessment tools chosen include: Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (OSI-R), World of Work Inventory (WOWI), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII).
The Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (OSI-R) measures three specific domains of occupational adjustments: 1) Occupational Roles Questionnaire (ORQ) which measures role overload, role insufficiency, role ambiguity, role boundary, responsibility and physical environment; 2) Personal Strain Questionnaire (PSQ) which includes vocational strain, psychological strain, interpersonal strain and physical strain; and 3) Personal Resources Questionnaire (PRQ) which includes recreation, self-care, social support and rational/cognitive coping. Developed for 18 years old and older, the OSI-R provides helpful insights in order to alleviate and reduce occupational stress as it relates to one’s personal coping strategies. Thus, as a counselor, I can help the client adjust to their present situation and establish an individual and organizational intervention to enhance the mental health of the client.
After determining the individual and organizational sources of stress from the client, the World of Work Inventory (WOWI) will be used for clients who would like to investigate their individual preferences particularly the tasks and activities that they would like to engage in their work. WOWI can help clients in determining the areas where they are good at and the areas that they are interested. Keeping the balance between the two as well as determining the career path that would provide satisfaction to the client is the purpose of WOWI. Interests, aptitude and personality are given careful measures in order for counselors like me to find the balance that would be suitable for the client.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used as an instrument to assess the personality of clients based on the psychological types illustrated by Carl Jung. According to the measure, there are 16 personality types depending on their responses to Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or Intuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. This is an important tool that can be offered in the clinic because of the need of clients to determine their personality types in order to determine their behaviors at work, with their family and within their social circle. An understanding of this would lead to clarity and thus, refocusing of one’s energy to achieve the balance of one’s mental health.
The Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ) is included in the range of assessment tools in the clinic because of its focus on the quality of life of the clients and how their actions and behaviors are affected by it. The QLQ which is measured in five major domains include: 1) General well-being which includes material, physical and personal well-being; 2) Interpersonal Relations which includes the dimensions of marital relations, parent-child relations, extended family relations and extrafamilial relations; 3) Organizational Activity which includes altruistic and political behavior; and 5) Leisure and Recreational Activity which includes creative/aesthetic behavior, sports activity and vacation behavior. The QLQ provides an overview of one’s satisfaction of the different dimensions in their lives and thus, provides counselors like us the ability to determine what area that needs to be worked upon in order to strike a balance in the client’s mental health.
The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) measures the personal likes and dislikes of a person passed on six (6) sections: general occupational themes, basic interest scales, occupational scales, personal styles scales, profile summary and response summary. The SII can aid the clients in having a satisfying decision on their career and education. This instrument on the other hand, can help councilors in directing or redirecting clients into a career decision that can provide the optimum satisfaction based on the strength of their interests.
These five measures can aid the counselor in providing a holistic as well as specific evaluation of the mental health needs as well as in identifying the areas that needs to be developed in order to provide a better mental health for the clients.