MSW, CSW. Community Practice Social Worker

A Self-evaluation to Lower Distress

I picked a problem (distress), designed/picked measures and a measurement plan, picked interventions, implemented and evaluated.

eggs painted like emoticons. the ones in the front look worried, amused, and heart eyes

In the Program and Practice Evaluation course, the practice evaluation actually came first. Here’s what we had to do:

  • Pick a problem and describe it
  • List the indicators of the problem
  • Create a goal statement
  • Develop an individualized-rating scale to measure the problem indicators
  • Create a measurement plan that told:
    1. What measures we were using (including at least one IRS and 1 standardized measure
    2. Who would complete (fill out, record, etc.) the measures
    3. When and where the measures would be completed
    4. The frequency of measure completion
    5. Why we picked the measures we picked
  • Pick interventions and two resources that supported using the intervention to address the problem/meet the goal
  • Carry out the interventions and evaluation
  • Present the findings

And it all boiled down to 7 glorious slides. Don’t worry – I’m not breaking confidentiality. I’m the client and the evaluator.

Slide Presentation

Rationale for the Interventions

This study will include four interventions. The first intervention is developing a stable school/fieldwork schedule. Using Google Assistant on her phone, the client will set routines and alarms to schedule schoolwork and field work at least three hours a day total Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 8:30 pm. During these scheduled times, client will either be physically present at the field agency or sitting in a chair in her bedroom working remotely on assigned field tasks or asynchronous course content. The second intervention is 30-minute mindfulness walks to reduce fatigue and boost physical energy and cognitive performance. The client will engage in these walks daily Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 4:30 pm in her neighborhood. She will walk silently at an average pace of three miles per hour or slower (to be monitored with Map My Run app on her phone) while paying attention to her breathing, steps, and perceptions of her five senses. The third intervention is creation of a stable weekday sleep schedule. The client will take a shower or bath, clear her bed of extra items, and turn off all devices except her phone (which will be placed on her dresser) by 10:15 pm Sunday through Thursday. At 10:15 each night she will complete the Individual Rating Scale and log which will be followed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 on Fridays. After completing these measures, the client will turn off her bedroom lights and use voice commands for Google Assistant on her phone to set an alarm for 8:00 a.m. or earlier and activate a night-time sleep routine that will turn on Do Not Disturb mode and start a soothing Spotify playlist of soft folk, soft rock, soft country, and soft R&B music. Her preset morning Google routine will automatically activate at 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday (if she does not voice activate it earlier), and it will turn off Do Not Disturb Mode, increase media volume to 70%, tell her the day’s weather, and play a Spotify playlist of energetic music. The fourth intervention is incorporated into the sleep schedule, and it is the client writing down one positive affirmation about her academic and personal efforts in her log each evening.

These interventions incorporate mindfulness, behavioral activation, and cognitive restructuring techniques of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This intervention choice is supported by a systematic review of stress management interventions for college students that “showed that CBT, [Third Wave], and mind–body interventions had higher effects than skills training programs in the [control] population” (Amanvermez, Rahmadiana, Karyotaki, de Wit, Ebert, Kessler, & Cuijpers, 2020, p. 7). It is also supported by the findings of a meta-analysis of mindfulness-based programs with non-clinical adult participants. This analysis found “[Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction] and MBCT could be used preventatively by reducing symptoms associated with poor mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, burnout, fatigue, and stress) and by increasing positive mental health indices” with MBSR and MBCT having large effect sizes (-0.99) from pre-test to posttest on within-group analysis (Querstret, Morison, Dickinson, Cropley, & John, 2020, p. 14).


Amanvermez, Y., Rahmadiana, M., Karyotaki, E., de Wit, L., Ebert, D. D., Kessler, R. C., & Cuijpers, P. (2020). Stress management interventions for college students: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice.

Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(2), 227–239.

Lee, D. (2019). The convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21). Journal of Affective Disorders, 259, 136–142.

Psychology Foundation of Australia. (2018). Depression Anxiety Stress Scales.

Querstret, D., Morison, L., Dickinson, S., Cropley, M., & John, M. (2020). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for psychological health and well-being in nonclinical samples: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Stress Management, 27(4), 394–411.  (Supplemental)

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