Reliability and Validity in Counseling

Topic: Professional Psychology
Words: 280 Pages: 1

Reliability and validity are both concepts used in evaluating the quality of experimental research and clinical treatment to be done. In a counseling session, reliability and validity are incorporated at various stages, such as in creating appropriate counseling design, methodology to use, interpreting the findings obtained. Reliability and validity are particularly used in quantitative evidence studies where numerical data is collected and analyzed. According to Whiston (2016), reliability is the measure of the consistency of results or scores when the results are repeated under similar conditions. The validity, on the other hand, is the measure of how accurate the results are in evidencing the test scores by the counselor.

Reliability and validity concepts are different from each other as applied in counseling. Reliability focuses more on the precision and consistency of the patient’s psychometric qualities, while validity deals with the accuracy of the psychometric skills. According to Whiston (2016), an instrument’s psychometric quality being looked into by the counselor must be reliable for it to be considered valid, while reliability asserts that a reliable instrument shouldn’t be exactly valid. Therefore, validity measures the credibility of the results, while reliability measures the stability of findings.

The producibility of accurate findings after a successful application and interpretation of findings is dependent on reliability and validity concepts. A reliable finding might be reproduced a couple of times without giving the correct interpretation hence leading to inaccurate diagnosis of a psychometric quality in an instrument. However, a counselor should incorporate both reliability and validity as they are both essential. Therefore, based on the interrelatedness between reliability and validity, both concepts are essential as none is more important than the other in determining counseling findings.


Whiston, S. C. (2016). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling. Cengage Learning.

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