Progress doesn't look the same for every client. It's your job to help them move forward in their lives by looking at the past, patterns and ways of thinking that are keeping them from living a full life. They may never reach their full potential through the time you are counseling them, but you have the opportunity to show them what they are capable of. Give an example of how you understand that progress is relative to each client.
"Progress is the client meeting their short term goals during our treatment together. Our job can be tough at times because in a lot of instances, we don't get closure with our students outside of our setting to see the progress that they've made. I most often rely on feedback from them long after we have had our meetings and I love when these people follow up with me later down the road to thank me for the skills and information I provided them to help make a positive change in their lives."
"In this setting where I will be providing education on living with chronic illness in the hospital and clinical setting, any progress that is measured will have to be immediate and on a pretty subjective scale. Knowing that each patient will have a different background, personal needs, education level and cultural bias, I will rely on picking up on learning cues to assess the effectiveness of what I am teaching them. Before I would complete any session with a patient, I would ask them to speak to me on what they learned and why it was important to them."
"I look to measure progress with individual patients that I see on a tangible and objective measures. With the diabetes patients that I counsel, my follow up appointments measure their blood sugar, weight and blood pressure to track their progress the same way a physician would. I use these measurable improvements or declines as motivation for each patient. With others where results aren't possible to record as objectively, the patient and I predetermine measures to monitor their progress and these often rely on the patient to be truthful and honest with their progress."