VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Exploring Client Experiences at a Community-Based Counselor Education Program Training Facility
Ann M. Miller
Counseling settings are facing increasing demands for accountability with respect
to the quality of their services. It is becoming more important to evaluate the degree to
which clients think they have received services that are convenient, professional, and
helpful. Counselors will experience increasing pressures to integrate program evaluation
into their practice and to engage in ongoing data collection and quality improvement
(Steenbarger & Smith, 1996). Sexton (1996) and Spinelli (1994) found that outcome
research has investigated a wide variety of client problems and clinical techniques;
however, there is little research regarding client satisfaction from a client perspective.
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of clients receiving counseling services at North Dakota State University’s Community Counseling Service. To find out what their experience has been like, what has been meaningful for them, what has possibly changed for them since receiving counseling services, if their needs were being met, and what suggestions they might have for improvements to the training facility. This study allowed me to view counseling services from a client perspective to better understand their experience.
The research questions for this study were as follows:
1. Are clients satisfied with the counseling services they receive?
2. What factors contribute to their satisfaction?
3. In what ways can improvements be made to NDSU’s Community Counseling Service to increase client satisfaction?