Today, thanks to telehealth platforms and virtual counseling, more people have access to mental health services than ever before. And with what has been an increasingly challenging year for society as a whole, individuals are seeking the services of mental health professionals. For many, therapy becomes a way to improve their quality of life, develop a better understanding of their goals, and foster deeper relationships with the people around them.
But with mental health software making mental healthcare so accessible, therapists need a way to quantify the progress their clients are making. Instead of relying on intuition or assumptions, therapists and counselors should aim to facilitate a feedback loop between themselves and their clients to ensure a client’s mental well-being is improving. Additionally, feedback allows counselors to modify their approach and engage more meaningfully with their clients’ processes.
MyOutcomes is one of two software programs approved by the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs for therapists and counselors to incorporate Feedback-Informed Treatment into their practices. It’s designed to be easily integrated into an already existing EHR and takes very little time from both the client and counselor to use effectively.
To give you a better idea of the science behind MyOutcomes, we’ve put together this article.
Feedback-Informed Treatment is exactly what it sounds like. FIT allows counselors and therapists to record and track client feedback in real-time to improve the treatment they offer. FIT, when used on an ongoing basis, was most recently found to improve the therapeutic relationship and increase benefits experienced by clients by up to 2.5 times.
MyOutcomes directly pulls from the growing evidence behind FIT to offer a seamlessly integrated software program that allows therapists and their clients to see the benefits of FIT. Feedback-Informed Treatment consists of two separate surveys of four questions that clients rate for themselves on a sliding scale. These two scales are the Outcome Rating Scale and the Session Rating Scale.
Outcome Rating Scale versus Session Rating Scale
The Outcome Rating Scale (or ORS) is a measurement system that allows therapists to understand where their clients perceive change or improvement in their process. At the end or beginning of each session, therapists ask their clients to rate their well-being in four different categories. Once a client enters their responses, MyOutComes plots their answers on a continuous graph that therapists can use to monitor progress and overall trajectory.
On the other hand, a Session Rating Scale allows clients to rate and record their overall assessment of the session they’ve had with their counselor. SRS factors in considerations like how well a client felt understood by their therapist if they believe their therapist’s approach is suitable for their needs, and if what the client feels is needing to be addressed is being talked about and discussed.
The key difference between SRS and ORS, is that SRS measures the therapeutic alliance, while ORS is meant to monitor the therapeutic outcome.
The Importance of The Therapeutic Relationship
There’s growing evidence that the therapeutic relationship is just as important for client outcomes as the methods and approach a therapist uses in their practice. When a client trusts their counselor, they’re much more likely to be open about their emotions, the challenges they’re facing, and be willing to collaborate with their counselors. In addition, a strong therapeutic relationship ensures that a client believes in the advice and expertise their therapist can offer them, which leads to more productive sessions and meaningful results.
With FIT incorporated into their practice, therapists can continuously gauge the strength of the therapeutic relationships they’re building, and understand if their approach is fostering that relationship.
MyOutcomes is a mental health software tool that gives therapists and counselors direct insight into their approach. You can request a demo of the program here.