Assessment Tools for Family Therapy

In family therapy, families can come together to work through issues as a unit.

In family therapy, families come together to work on problems that they are experiencing. Often, several members of the same family need to talk to each other in a controlled environment to work through issues that are affecting their everyday lives. When families come together in therapy, a lot can be accomplished. However, it is important to have assessment techniques so the person who is conducting or in charge of the therapy can make sure that the therapy has worked as it should.

1 Self Assessment

Provide each family member with an assessment that has questions you would like them to answer. Each family member can fill out the assessment and turn it in to you. You should write the questions in a way that will help the family members divulge the information you would most like to get from them. That way, you can read through the assessments and see what has been working and what has not been working, as well as catch any additional concerns that you will need to deal with eventually.

2 Assessment Discussion

Begin a discussion about the family during one of your sessions, and ask each family member to be open and honest about the various things they currently worry about or have issues with. Each family member should listen and participate to the discussion and assess themselves in the same manner. As you listen to the family have a discussion about themselves, you can assess the situation and see if it has gotten any better or any worse since you began therapy.

3 Journal Assessment

Ask each family member to keep a journal as they progress through therapy, but ask that these journals be turned in before each session. Read through the journal entries of each family member after the sessions to see if things are improving and to assess the situation. As the family progresses through therapy, you can read each of the journal entries and see if the family is doing well or see what additional issues you should be dealing with in therapy sessions.

4 Play Acting Assessment

Have the members of the family get together during a session to do play acting. In this session, ask each of the members of the family to portray themselves before they began therapy and remember what issues they had to work on. Observe what each family member does and what they feel their issues were. Then ask the family members to playact that they are themselves currently, after going through therapy. Observe the differences in their behavior and see if the intended goals have been achieved.

Missy Talbot started writing professionally in 2000. She has been published in "Grass Roots" magazine, "LifeTimes" magazine and on the websites TeacherWeb and The Teacher's Corner. Talbot holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Master of Arts in publishing. She is working on a Ph.D. in journalism.