Assessments-An Introduction to Ethical Use of Assessment Measures in Providing Mental Health Care

Presented and developed by Brenda Butterfield, EdD, MSW, LMHC

The ethical commitment to improve mental health care increasingly emphasizes treatment outcomes for clients.  Although using assessment measures can facilitate this process immensely by helping identify clinical concerns, developing treatment goals and effectively assessing client progress throughout treatment, it appears most clinicians do not use them. They simply don’t know which assessment measures are available, where to access them, or how to use them purposefully in practice. These practical limitations routinely prevent clinicians from assessing client outcomes and evaluating services which ultimately compromise the commitment to improve mental health care.

Clinicians cite practical barriers like lack of training, time and resources (money, personnel, etc.), philosophical concerns and question the overall utility of assessment measures (Hatfield and Ogles, 2004). In addition, increased emphasis on outcome data has resulted in increased “pointless” paperwork for many clinicians, further complicating mental health care.  Finally, and quite paradoxically, although competency of assessment measures is required by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) for state licensure, many graduate level training programs still do not emphasize assessment measures in curriculum requirements. Although many clinicians want to use assessment measures, a purposeful process for how to do so has not been available, until now!

This workshop is for colleagues interested in learning a purposeful process for using effective, free, evidence based assessment measures to identify outcome indicators that matter most to both client and clinician.  Participants will learn how to use valid, reliable measures to assess clients’ overall mental health and identify specific concerns of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, substance use and behavior problems. Ethical implications will be highlighted and discussed throughout as Dr. Butterfield explains how to use measures efficiently from intake to discharge while honoring the therapeutic alliance throughout.  Her framework provides a purposeful process in which ethical use of assessment measures play a key role for improving mental health care benefitting both clinician and client.

  • Increase understanding of how using assessment measures with children, youth and adults can facilitate the development of a therapeutic alliance and service delivery from intake to discharge for client and clinician.
  • Identify realistic ways to easily and ethically integrate assessment measures into clinical practice.
  • Become familiar with a wide range of assessment measures for screening and diagnosis of disorders in the following categories: mood, anxiety, eating, trauma, substance use and abuse and behavior problems.
  • Increase familiarity with and proficiency for using assessment measures by administering and scoring them during the workshop.
  • Increase knowledge of copyright rules and identify free assessment measures that are valid, reliable and easily accessed in the public domain.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

6 Law and Ethics CEs

Brenda S. Butterfield, EdD, MSW, LMHC

Dr. Brenda S. Butterfield is founder of Our New Experience (ONE), LLC in Redmond, WA. She has been a mental health professional for over 30 years serving children, youth, families and communities in the US and abroad. In her clinical work, Dr. Butterfield uses an integrative, whole person perspective to support development of each human’s full potential. Knowing there are many paths to peace of mind, she uses a variety of therapeutic approaches anchored in mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and other phenomenological self-care practices all supported by scientific data as effective.

In addition to individual and group therapy, Dr. Butterfield teaches Mindful meditation classes, facilitates retreats and presents a variety of seminars and professional development trainings for mental health practitioners and other caregivers locally and nationally.    


Prior to founding Our New Experience Dr. Butterfield was an award-winning faculty member of the Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth receiving multiple awards from students, colleagues, and community organizations for teaching excellence and leadership.  She has presented at national and international conferences and was invited to serve as a Guest Lecturer teaching psychology courses at the University of Birmingham in England in 2008. 

Dr. Butterfield is an innovative teacher in part due her unique educational background with degrees and in education, psychology and social work.  The nexus of her training combined with her wide array of clinical experience in child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, and higher education in the US, England, Africa and the Middle East is likely why clients and colleagues describe her work as “inspiring, authentic and transformative.”  

Dr. Butterfield earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1989 a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington in 1998 and a Doctorate Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota in 2014, specializing in the Psychology of Teaching and Learning.

Her professional work has always been challenging and rewarding but her greatest learning and satisfaction continues to come from being an adoptive and biological mom of two children. Lived experience has taught Dr. Butterfield about the necessity of developing an Essential-Self Care Practice by recognizing, surviving and eventually befriending mental illness in her own family. Her daily mindful practice continues to teach her how to recognize life’s challenges as invitations to develop her own full human potential.

More information about Dr. Butterfield is available at and on the Psychology Today website

Upcoming Dates and Registration

Date: Friday, November 30th, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Cost: $165.00 USD

Campus: Wong Fleming Conference Room, Redmond, WA
Map:       Directions to our campus location.
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