1.2 Untangling complex issues: using scaling to support and measure the impact of helping conversations
Untangling complex issues
Using scaling to support and measure
the impact of helping conversations
Solent Learning and Teaching
Workshop: 24 June 2016
Employability and Enterprise Programme Adviser
Employability and Enterprise | http://about.me/ssugetajob
Background (10 minutes)
• Two videos
o Careers guidance pilot project
o Scaling walk through: student case study
Practical (30 minutes)
• Work in pairs
• Open forum
A bit of interdisciplinary mingling
‘All psychotherapies are methods of learning.’
Corsini (2008, 6)
Scaling: Its roots in solution
focussed brief therapy
e.g. Berg and de Shazer (1993)
Evaluation: Integration into sessions
can make helping more effective
e.g. Miller et al (2004)
Techniques: Strongly influenced by
relational and client factors
e.g. Egan (2013) and Lambert et al (1986)
How and why: Careers guidance project
Pilot at Southampton Solent University explored in Whistance (2014)
Walk through: Student case study
A trust-based reflection space?
This is a complex
issue where you
time and effort
Before and after
What makes you
X not Y?
What do you
need to do to
move up 1 point?
4 mins: Explore issue
2 mins: Scaling
Swap roles and repeat
3 mins: Debrief
Enjoyable but some complexity / confusion
• My all expenses paid, dream holiday
• My interview with an historical figure
Listen as actively and deeply as you can
Gentle nudges to facilitate exploration
Name issue (facilitatee’s words)
Scale issue: Before and after
Qualitative quotes: Reflect back / seek out
“This is freaking me out! What if I ask a student about the usefulness of what we’ve done
and they give a low score. How awkward is that!”
• Yes, this is a difficult situation. However, it is also an opportunity to re-engage with
exploring the student’s issue. Remember this approach prioritises having meaningful,
learning-filled encounters over getting high evaluation scores.
“I can see how this works in your setting but I don’t think it would meet our needs.”
• This is one evaluation and facilitating tool. As you say, it may not be right for you.
• There are some situations where it’s not useful. For example, if there has been some
really straightforward information giving or signposting that has clearly met a student’s
needs, using this approach would be complete overkill.
“What if people do the scaling in different ways? How valid would it be?”
• There may be issues about the psychometrics. It would be good to explore this.
• One of the things that makes us think this approach has reasonable face validity is that
a small but significant proportion of students say that their interaction has been really
useful and this sometimes surprises us quite a lot. Maybe this is an indicator that the
approach helps to calibrate our expectations or interpretations of what the helping
process is like for people.
“Would you like to
say anything about
“What about the
“Did the scaling
process seem a
bolt on exercise?”
“Is there anything
else you’d like to
“If I’d done a questionnaire you probably wouldn’t
know why I gave the scores I did.”
“No, until you contacted me to talk about my
helping out at the workshop, I thought it was just a
normal part of a careers appointment. It just felt
normal and natural.”
“I quite liked this as it showed me you were
concerned with how I had found our session.”
“Helped with my goal setting. I knew what I needed
to do but was confused. I had a feeling of where I
was and this became clearer as we talked about it
more. Yes, it made things clearer for me.”
you need to
do to move
from X to
What makes you
X rather than Y?
Berg, I.K. and de Shazer, S., 1993. Making numbers talk: Language in therapy. In Friedman,
S. (Ed.), The New Language of Change: Constructive Collaboration in Psychotherapy.
New York: Guildford Press.
Corsini, R.J. and Wedding, D., 2008. Current Psychotherapies. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Egan, G., 2013. The Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development
Approach to Helping (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Lambert, M.J., Shapiro D.A. and Bergin, A.E., 1986. The effectiveness of psychotherapy.
In Garfield, S.L. and Bergin, A.E. (Eds.), Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behaviour Change
(3rd ed., 157-212). New York: Wiley.
Miller, S.D., Duncan, B.L. and Hubble, M.A., 2004. Beyond integration: The triumph of
outcome over process in clinical practice. Psychotherapy in Australia, 10(2), 2-19.
Available from: www.scottdmiller.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/BeyondIntegration.pdf
Whistance, D., 2014. Guidance by numbers: A student-centred approach to evaluating the
impact of careers guidance. Phoenix, October, 22-23.
Available from: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/e830b7ab#/e830b7ab/24
Part of your learning and teaching toolkit?
Berg and de Shazer (1993)
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