Human Social Functioning


Module 4 – Interviewing with the Scale

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•    To understand when and why it may be appropriate to use the Scale with a person
•    To understand how to complete the Scale and feedback the results with the person[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


The Scale is a powerful tool, which can be used in both a diagnostic and therapeutic way with a person.  So care must be taken in when and how it is used.

In terms of administering the Scale, this can be done either by the client reading and filling in the Scale themselves, or the HSF Practitioner interviewing the client and asking them the Scale questions.

Once the Scale is completed, consideration must be given to when and how to feedback the results to the client.

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Things to consider before using the Scale

Before using the Scale with a client, there are several issues you need to consider.  These are outlined below.

The Peer relationship

While other methods attempt to befriend the client, at the end of the day the therapist brings his/her expertise to bear in a way that denies the client having the answers from within.  (Co-counselling does have the peer relationship, but not as between a professional worker and client.)

Why are you administering this Scale?

The Heimler Scale is a very illuminating instrument. Once you have experienced its use, you will know this.  You must therefore have good reason to administer it, else it could become an unwarranted invasion of someone’s life – even if they are unaware of the extent to which this is true.

The main reason for using the Scale is for the sake of the person completing the Scale.

Another legitimate reason is for research purposes – so long as this is also for people and not simply as a source of information.

What are you administering this Scale for?

  • It may be part of your counselling/therapy/coaching strategy to be used as a focus for work.
  • You may have a report to write and want to be more sure of how the person sees and feels about life “from within”.
  • You may be at a loss as to where to go next with a person.

These are all legitimate reasons – provided you know what you are aiming for.

What are you going to do with this Scale?

  • File it away?
  • Give it back to the person?
  • Write a report from it?
  • Show it to colleagues?

You may do any or all of these. But most require, at least, communication with the “author”.  It is as well to have worked out what you are going to do before you start, so you gain the appropriate permission from the person completing the Scale.

When are you going to administer a Scale?

This will not usually occur out of the blue, nor with someone you do not know, unless you have done some very clear explanation of why you are administering it.

If administered at a time of crisis, it is important to recognise its temporary nature and never to “judge” a person, only to understand better.

Where are you going to administer this Scale?

You need time and space.  At least 15 minutes, in a place where you won’t be disturbed or overheard.  A public place is not good, unless it is in a group context .  Nor is a place where you will be interrupted. This is someone’s life unfolding, it is not to be abused.

To whom are you administering this Scale?

Is it a child? And, whether a child or not, does the person understand the questions? IQ, ethnic culture, religion, class, age, sex; all can have a bearing on what a person hears in the words. At one level this does not matter – for it is what a question means to them. But it must be comprehensible; it must relate to their world. On the other hand, do not underestimate. Some people will “understand” a particular question far better than you do.

How are you going to administer this Scale?

The Scale needs a proper introduction and instructions as to how it is to be completed. Never skip this.  After which, the person can either read the questions and fill it in themselves or the HSF Practitioner can ask them the questions and note their answers.

Should I administer this Scale?

If in doubt……Don’t.

For example, with a severely depressed person it would be better to work on building up their ego strength for a
while before attempting to administer a Scale.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”BACK” color=”green” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-caret-square-o-left” link=”||” add_icon=”true”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”NEXT” color=”green” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-caret-square-o-right” link=”||” add_icon=”true”][/vc_column][/vc_row]