A program evaluation of a church-based lay counseling ministry
This program evaluation sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a lay counseling ministry of a large evangelical suburban church in the southwestern region of the United States with respect to individual treatment outcomes and program components. Three self-report measures were used to evaluate effectiveness: Symptom Checklist, Target Complaints, and Faith. Additional self-report measures were included in the post-test to measure counselee satisfaction with program components, the helping relationship, and reasons for early termination. Thirty-five counselees (91% Caucasian, 9% Hispanic) completed and turned in both the pre-test and post-test. Significant outcome differences were found for all three self-report measures. Counselees reported an overall reduction in severity of psychosomatic symptoms and target complaints from pre- to post-counseling, as well as an increase in spiritual maturity. Due to the high level of significance, individual paired samples t-tests were used to more clearly identify pre- and post-treatment changes for each item within the three outcome measures. Clinical significance was also determined for each of the 35 participants. Counselees demonstrated meaningful change on the measure Symptom Checklist but not for Target Complaints or Faith. Counselees also reported high levels of satisfaction with this lay counseling ministry's program components and relationship with their counselors. Reasons for early termination were largely because treatment goals had been met. Implications and recommendations were made for the purpose of guiding the future direction of this church's lay counseling ministry. The results of this program evaluation were presented to the advisory committee of the church's lay counseling ministry in April 2009.
0603: Counseling Psychology
0622: Clinical psychology