How meaningful are your counseling sessions? Corrine Sackett, associate professor in the Clemson University College of Education, is conducting research that may help counselors and clinicians answer this question.
Through a fellowship with the Clemson University School of Health Research, Sackett will be embedded in the Prisma Health Department of Psychiatry on the Greenville Memorial Campus, and she will work with Dr. Neha Hudepohl to investigate patients’ meaningful experiences at various outpatient clinical settings.
Through prior research, Sackett and her research team have developed a client meaningful experiences scale (CMES). During the fellowship, the researchers will work to develop CMES-informed treatment protocols for clinicians to use in counseling with their clients. They will also examine the relationship between the CMES and patients’ treatment adherence and mental health outcomes.
“With millions of adults accessing mental health services and the demand increasing, effective mental health care is a priority for the U.S. and for the Upstate,” Sackett said. “Understanding and facilitating client meaningful experiences can inform and improve the delivery of effective care and lead to better client outcomes.”
This research is built off of Sackett’s experience as a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as her experience teaching master’s level counselors to work in a range of settings, including psychiatric settings. In addition to her fellowship, she has received seed grant funding in collaboration with Hudepohl and Bailey Nevels, a psychologist with Prisma Health, to support research related to client meaningful experiences.
During her three days a week at Prisma Health, Sackett will work with her research team to gather client, counselor and administrator feedback on the feasibility and utility of accessing and integrating client feedback into meaningful experiences for the patient. Her fellowship also includes laying groundwork for a future randomized control trial to test the newly developed CMES-informed protocol and its impact on treatment adherence and patient outcomes.
“This fellowship is such a great opportunity because I will be on the ‘inside’ and have the kind of access that is typically difficult for researchers to have,” Sackett said. “I will be in the environment where counseling is happening.”
Sackett’s research will add to years of previous faculty fellowships that work to improve health outcomes with clinical partners, though this is the first fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry. According to Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, associate vice president for health research at Clemson University, the faculty fellows’ research contributes to the rapidly expanding joint Clemson University and Prisma Health collaborative health research agenda through publications and presentations.
“Dr. Sackett’s research will be instrumental in enabling clinicians to see the impact of their work with patients,” Sherrill said. “The fellowship will facilitate a unique research partnership between Prisma Health psychiatry and the Clemson University College of Education.”
The Clemson University School of Health Research is a multidisciplinary unit facilitating health research and scholarship. Since 2013, the Clemson University School of Health Research has been a key entity for health-related scholarship and collaboration, with more than 160 Clemson faculty engaged in health research impacting the community with local and national impact.
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