This article will talk about observation reports in Counselling- what they are, what it entails and how it typically used in counselling
Observing – an act where one sees the actions taken by others – is an essential skill that every counsellor should develop. Counsellors are trained to observe their clients' body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Observations allow counsellors to gather information on what the client is feeling or whether the session is effective. Counsellors engage in observations in many different settings, such as during general, family, or marriage counselling.
For example, a typical report by a school counsellor would include the description of the session, what the student did during the session, behavioural observations, feedback for the child, and a recommended plan of action. However, the content of these reports may vary from counsellor to counsellor, depending on various factors such as the client's needs.
Yet with all these in mind, why are such observation reports important?
Keeping Track of Progress
Firstly, it allows the counsellor to keep track of their client's progress over time. Have the client's issues improved? What was ineffective? Were there any recurring patterns observed? Counsellors need to track their clients' progress to assess whether the counselling sessions have been effective. It allows the counsellor and client to know whether resources are spent effectively or if there is a need to revisit the overall counselling goal.
Detect New Issues Quickly
Observation reports also enable the counsellor to see the changes of their client's issues over time. No client stays stagnant. Hence, the counsellor needs to discover the new problems as quickly as possible to address these changes and tweak their approach to deal with the changes at hand.
Reference for Other Stakeholders
Clients do not just interact with the counsellor but instead live in an ecosystem where they interact with many different stakeholders. With that in mind, observation reports also act as references and provide recommendations for other stakeholders such as schools, psychologists, occupational therapists, parents, families and teachers. It serves as a resource for stakeholders to complement or support the current intervention by the counsellor.
All in all, observation reports are an essential aspect of counselling services. It allows counsellors and therapists to track their clients' progress, discover what is effective and what is not, and detect new issues quickly when they arise. If you or your child is seeing a therapist or counsellor, it is a good idea to ask the counsellor to provide observation reports!