The Old Guard in the 21st Century

| December 15, 2014
outcomes system software

“For therapists who wish to help their clients achieve practical outcomes in therapy, MyOutcomes is the perfect partner to help insure their success”

For the last 30 years or so, a move to engage clients in therapy as participants in the therapeutic process rather than simply being recipients of therapy has been in progress. The argument has been that successful engagement of clients is critical to obtaining more successful therapeutic outcomes. During the latter half of those 30 years, the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS), have been playing a key role in this move towards more effective psychotherapy in the 21st Century.

As with any new approach, the Old Guard has put their efforts into conserving their traditional approach to psychotherapy, which doesn’t include soliciting feedback from their clients. Sometimes resistance to change is coupled with philosophies like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Of course, such notions are only meaningful if what already exists works perfectly. Anything less than 100% can always be improved upon. It has been well-established that psychotherapy is effective. It has, however, also been well-established that it is far from being 100% effective. Feedback Informed Treatment holds the promise to close that gap.

With or without the Old Guard, the fields of science and healthcare tend to be conservative. This means that we want evidence that something not only works but that it works more effectively than what already exists. If a new treatment doesn’t have less unwanted side effects, reduce treatment failures/dropouts, or achieve successful outcomes more quickly than what already exists, why would anyone change their treatment approach?

Recently, Scott Miller and Eeuwe Schuckard produced a slide presentation reviewing a decade and a half of research testing that the idea that monitoring outcomes and soliciting feedback from clients can result in greater therapeutic success for therapists. An ever-growing body of research investigating the efficacy of the ORS and the SRS in various population groups was also presented.

What the research demonstrates is that clients, whose therapists continually monitor and solicit client feedback, are more likely to achieve their therapeutic goals in less time and are less likely to dropout or deteriorate. As for the ORS and SRS, the data continues to show that, despite their elegant yet simple conceptual construction and ease of use, they are highly reliable and highly valid instruments that provide clients a clear voice in their therapy. Furthermore, the research continues to expand the generalizability of the ORS and SRS to wide range of clinical populations.

Of course, customers of MyOutcomes already know this. By providing web-based ORS software and SRS software, MyOutcomes enables psychotherapists to obtain nearly instant feedback that facilitates collaborative therapy. For therapists who wish to help their clients achieve practical outcomes, MyOutcomes is the perfect partner to help insure their success.

This is all great news for the field of mental health. By introducing two easy-to-use measures, clients have a greater chance for successful outcomes, therapists have a greater chance of helping their clients achieve that success, and there is a greater likelihood that we will someday achieve good mental health for all. The only remaining question is: Is the Old Guard willing to join this 21st Century success?

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Category: Psychotherapy

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