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Assessing Client Readiness

Rate the client in terms of the thirteen statements below.  Use a scale from five to one with five equals very high, four equals high, three equals medium, two equals low, and one equals very low.  Once all thirteen ratings have been made, add the ratings together and divide by thirteen.  The result will be a readiness score from one to five.  Clients rating 4.0 or higher are very ready for participation in the educational approach to areas of family life.  Clients rating a 2.0 or less are not ready and will benefit from a more supportive, less directive approach designed to increase readiness along the thirteen variables.  The trainer will likely experience mixed results relative to readiness with clients whose readiness scores fall in the middle portion of the range.

In addition to the readiness assessment, this activity may be used with the client to discuss the educational approach, its strengths and limitations, and the client’s potential participation in the process.  Also, the activity is quite useful when difficulties develop in the process.  Frequently, those difficulties relate to issues and areas raised in this activity.

1. The client expects the process to succeed.

2. The client has a realistic vision of or perception of success – how things will be when the process succeeds.

3. The client is motivated by the likely payoff or outcome of the process.

4. The client places high personal value on obtaining the payoff or likely outcome.

5. The client understands that – in the long run – it will take as much time and energy to maintain the status quo or current situation as it will to succeed through the educational process.

6. The client takes responsibility for his participation and interaction within the family system.

7. The client understands his active role and influence within the family system.

8. The client believes in his ability to make the commitment and changes necessary for success.

9. The client has generally positive self-esteem.

10. The client generally likes other family members.

11. The client is looking beyond simple self-interest in the process’ succeeding.

12. The client sees each family member benefiting from his participation in the process.

13. The client is realistic about his abilities, skills, and capacity to function within the family in an effective way.

(Note) This activity may be simply used as a checklist for the trainer.  In addition, it may be used as an interview questionnaire or as a group activity when working with groups.  In this case, the trainer should rephrase the items to fit the setting.  For example, item 1 could be changed to read, “I expect the process to succeed.”  The client could then respond verbally in terms of his expectations.  Within a group context, group participants could simply number from 1 to 13 and put their rating beside the appropriate number.  For example, if the group participant strongly expected the process to succeed for him a “5” would be put beside the number one.  With this modification, the remainder of the instructions relative to the activity remain the same.

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