Administering the Form
Q: Why is the form given to the client at the beginning of a session and not the end?
A: There are two reasons we recommend administering forms at the start of a session.
1. ACORN items are designed to assess global distress, substance abuse, suicidal ideation over the recent past. When a clinician has the client fill out the form on a tablet, all of these questions are there at the beginning of the session to view. It's important to ask about symptoms, but this can get skipped as not everyone does a thorough check of sleep, self harm, and problems with substance abuse at every session. The bubbles are meant to help you quickly assess symptoms before the session.
For people who text their clients the questionnaire, we suggest they pull up the session form prior to the session via the toolkit. This can be done on your phone, or any device with a browser.
2. Because of the way the alliance section is designed. It asks about the client's last session (thus giving the form at the beginning gives you the most up to date information about how your therapeutic alliance is going.. are there red flags?). The reason for this is so to keep symptoms and alliance all on one form.
The alliance section used to be given in a separate questionnaire at the end. Clients did not like having to do two questionnaires. Thus, it was combined into the form format you see today.