John Suler's Teaching Clinical Psychology

The "Vision Quest" Questionnaire

After students complete the exercise and hand in their paper, we discuss the experience in class. As part of that discussion, I break the students down into small groups of 4-7. I then give the students the questionnaire below. In a previous study of this project, I administered this questionnaire to approximately 100 students. I ask the small groups of students to read each item and to try to guess what percentage of students in the study responded to each item with "I agree" (as opposed to "I disagree"). They can round off their guess to the nearest 10 (i.e., 0%, 10%, 20%... etc). To motivate them, I sometimes tell the students that I will award bonus points (to boost their grade in the course) based on how many correct guesses the group makes. A guess is considered correct if it falls within 10 points of the correct statistic (i.e., if the correct statistic is 30%, then 20%, 30%, or 40% are all considered a correct guess).

This exercise encourages the small groups to discuss how their experience compares to the students in the study, as well as whether there are "universal" features common to all vision quests.

Listed below are the questionnaire items. After each item is listed the percentage of students (rounded off) in the study who answered "I agree" to that item:

vision quest1. I was able to let my thoughts wander. (90)
2. I wandered a lot. (80)
3. I went to familiar places. (80)
4. I went to unfamiliar places. (40)
5. I felt "drawn" to a particular place. (70)
6. At times I was very aware of things around me. (100)
7. I felt a "oneness" with things around me. (70)
8. I felt I was trying to "reach" a hidden part of myself. (70)
9. I thought about my past. (90)
10. I thought about my future. (100)

11. I thought about my present life situation. (90)
12. I did not fantasize during the exercise. (20)
13. I felt like I "stepped back" to look at myself. (90)
14. I did not experience strong emotions. (20)
15. At times I felt quite anxious. (60)
16. The exercise upset me. (30)
17. Generally speaking, the exercise was quite boring. (10)
18. At first I was very skeptical about this exercise. (60)
20. I remembered dreams or childhood events that I had not thought about in a long time. (70)

21. I was really expecting a "sign" from the world around me. (60)
22. I felt like I was "searching." (90)
23. I did not have any insights into myself or my problem. (0)
24. At times I felt a strong sense of peacefulness. (90)
25. I did receive a "sign." (70)
26. The sign caught me by surprise. (60)
27. The meaning of the sign was immediately clear. (50)
28. It took some time to understand what the sign meant. (40)
29. I received several signs. (40)
30. I understand my experience better now as I look back on it. (80)

31. After the exercise I felt burned out. (40)
32. After the exercise I felt "rejuvenated." (60)
33. As I look back on my exercise, I better understand my "sign." (70)
34. I would not like to do another exercise like this. (0)

35. In my exercise I learned to appreciate myself. (70)
36. During my exercise I tried to figure out my "life story." (70)

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