The beginning of counseling involves an acknowledgment that help is needed. Where are we experiencing pain? Is it emotional anxiety, or depression? Is it physical pain? Maybe we know there is something wrong because of broken relationships or isolation? Maybe it’s a deeper sense that something ultimately is missing?
Getting to the root of the issue is difficult. That is why counseling always involves assessment tools. A good assessment process can accurately measure the extent of a problem. Left to our own devices, we often tend to deny, minimize or distort core problems in our lives. We have a tendency to focus on defending ourselves by proving where we are right instead of where we may be broken or in need of healing.
In a Christian Counseling process, we seek to humbly enter into an assessment of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual areas of our life. We acknowledge that the pain we experience is a signal of a deeper problem. Self-examination is a core process in counseling and can lead to a needed course correction in life. A comprehensive assessment is vital in an effective counseling process.
The Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Levels of Assessment:
Biological Influences: How healthy is my brain and the physical systems that affect the mind. How well am I functioning in core cognitive areas like memory, reasoning, verbal ability, and concentration? What are the important physical health events that have occured in my life that may impact my overall emotional health?
Psychological influences: What are notable patterns of thoughts (hope, fears, expectations), and emotional responses that have developed over my lifespan? What are the events in my life that have shaped thought and emotional patterns in my life?
Social Influences: What are the relationships (family, friend, intimate) patterns in my life that influence how I see the world and the choices that I make? Who are the 5 key people in my life and how have they affected my emotional well-being? What are the 5 key peer or social events that have occurred in my history that affect the way I see myself today?
Spiritual Influences: On a scale of 0 – 10, how important is your faith commitment in life? What is your faith history? What are the 5 key faith experiences that you have had in your life? How have these events shaped your emotional well-being? What are the key values in your life that are grounded in faith? How has your faith grown over time?
Psychological testing can often aid in the assessment of the above areas. Assessment tools are often effective in measuring behavior, ability, or personality to a high degree of objectivity. This can be important with developing an accurate awareness of functioning in the four areas above. In areas such as biological influences and brain health, it may be very difficult to get an accurate measurement of functioning without a good assessment tool. Here is an example of how assessment tools can help:
Christian Counseling Associates (CCA) has excellent assessment tools that are part of our dynamic counseling process. A comprehensive assessment of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual areas of function is the first step in the counseling process.
At CCA, we seek the best interventions for our patients, including psychological assessments when needed. Whether struggling with depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, trauma or even major mental illness, we believe that a comprehensive assessment process can be a key element in restoring your sense of purpose and well-being.