An important part of improving the service offered to clients is listening to what they have to say. The widely used client feedback form which we’ve been providing since 2003 is now available for download again after a brief hiatus.
Update: The Client Feedback Form Returns by Popular Demand
Since first making it available here in 2003, the CounsellingResource.com client feedback form has found its way into many practices across the world. Up until earlier in 2011, it had been available for download directly from the site. But in the course of reorganising some content, we removed a few old downloads, including an Excel spreadsheet for logging clinical contact hours and — in what turns out to have been a bit of a lapse — the contact form.
In the intervening months, several people wrote to ask about the client feedback form and where it could be downloaded, and I was happy to pass along a copy by email. When someone recently got in touch from a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) journal asking about it, we decided it was time to restore the form for easier direct download. So here it is, along with the original (2003) version of the article discussing it:
Download the client feedback form (PDF) here.
It is hard to find any practitioner in counselling or psychotherapy who is ambivalent about soliciting feedback from clients using forms: the whole area is subject to significant and sometimes heated debate about important topics like objectivity and systematic bias, client autonomy, and the potential for devaluing the human experience of counselling.
Getting Feedback is an Important Part of Practice Management
Without entering into this debate in depth, CounsellingResource.com does believe that when sensitively positioned with clients, carefully designed feedback forms can provide one part of an overall picture which will be useful to practitioners both for their own professional development and for improving the service offered to clients. Feedback forms are not by any means the only source of information which practitioners will consider when planning professional development or service quality, and naturally they cannot replace the ordinary verbal feedback received during the counselling hour. However, forms can provide a number of advantages over ordinary verbal feedback:
- Forms completed at home and returned by post provide clients a degree of anonymity and an opportunity to express any thoughts or feelings which they might — for whatever reason — be reluctant to convey in person.
- Forms can ask specific questions about individual areas which counsellors consider important either for theoretical or practical reasons.
- Quantitative character
- No form does a good job of capturing the intersubjective differences between clients providing the same answer to identical questions, but nevertheless a form can provide a quantitative framework for spotting significant trends or consistencies and exploring them further.
An Example Feedback Form
As an example, the feedback form available here is that used by the Managing Editor in his own work. Divided into four sections, the form is designed to provide a clear evaluation of clients’ experience in terms of:
- the working relationship with their counsellor,
- the results or impact of working with their counsellor,
- their overall level of satisfaction with the service, and
- any other areas the client might like to flag for attention.
Undoubtedly individual practitioners will prefer to emphasize certain of these areas more than others, and the theoretical framework within which they work will mean that additional questions may be necessary, while others included here will be less relevant.
The form is provided to clients at the conclusion of working together, along with a stamped and self-addressed envelope; every effort is made to let the client know that they are not in any way obliged to complete the form, and some prefer not to do so. Coming as it does at the end of time spent working together, the relationship is usually such that the form can be positioned appropriately and sensitively with the client.
You can download the client feedback form (PDF) here.
In This Section
- Clinical Supervision, Training and Development
- About Online Supervision and Online Therapy Training & Development
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Supervision: Things to Consider
- Client Feedback Forms: Feedback and Listening to Clients
- My Philosophy of Supervision
- Online Supervision: Frequently Asked Questions
- Papers for Online Therapy Training
- Whole Practice Mentoring for the Mental Health Professional
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by