How to Read the HSSF


Back in 2012 I gave a talk about the 3 Indices of the Scale. I followed it up with a paper on this and other ways of looking at it. Both were rather involved and probably heavy going – even for experienced practitioners.

So here is a short something that is a little simpler and which you might find useful.

The Satisfaction Index

So what is it about? If we take the Gestalt concept of ‘The Figure in the Ground’, here we are viewing the individual against the background of everyday life. It is a situational index.

So we have my situation at work, my financial situation, my social situation, my family situation and my personal situation – as seen by me.

All being well my situation could be summed up as, “I have resources and outlets to at least a reasonable extent.”

I will here add a rider that has concerned me for some time – that the items provided by the Satisfaction Index give insufficient room for my environment (like where I live). But that is part of the subject of a different paper.

Historically what is interesting is that it was realised that this was not the whole story. The figure needed to be seen in another ground…

The Frustration Index

That ground might best be termed nurture. It is a more basic ground whose roots go right back to our beginnings.

It is delineated in this Index by my health and energy, interface with the world, moods and behaviours.

All being well I might sum up my life as, “I am at least reasonably healthy and at home with myself and the world around me.”

The 5th area was first termed Escapes or Escape Routes and then later Habits. But perhaps Behaviour would be a better term since that is the ground against which all these questions are put.

Here again something to dwell on in that other paper.

Again historically it was seen that even this was not enough to complete the picture. A further ground was required…

The Outlook Index

What is the ground here but inner resources? Some of these we can point to in a person’s inherited genes and upbringing. But not all of it can be explained by such – since two people given virtually the same genes and upbringing can and often do turn out very differently.

My view of these inner resources and where they are up to right now are given by my scores on ambition, hope, meaning, self-expression and worthwhileness.

All being well a person could sum, up with, “I have been somewhere, am somewhere and going somewhere.”


The HSSF is thus three questionnaires in one. Each Index was developed separately, each had a different focus. Together they provide a pretty comprehensive picture from three differing but interlocking perspectives.

Steve Regis

August 2015