Since the 1960’s, over 10,000 how-to books on psychotherapy/counseling have been published—everything from nude marathon group therapy to the most recent “energy-based treatments.” Clinicians have at their disposal literally hundreds of methods to apply to an ever growing list of diagnoses as codified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (soon available in its 5th and expanded edition).
A few days ago, I received an email from Shirley Galdys, the Associate Director of the Crawford-Marion Alcohol and Drug/Mental Health Services Board in Marion, Ohio. Back in January, I blogged about the steps the group had taken to deal with the cutbacks, shortfalls, and all around tough economic circumstances facing agencies in Ohio. At that time, I noted that the dedicated administrators and clinicians had improved the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment so much by their systematic use of Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT) that they were able to absorb cuts in funding and loss of staff without having to cut services to their consumers.
Anyway, Shirley was writing because she wanted to share some additional good news. She’d just seen an advance copy of the group’s annual report. “Since we began using FIT over two years ago,” she wrote, “board level complaints and grievances have decreased!”
In the past, the majority of such complaints have centered on client rights. “Because of FIT,” she continued, “we are making more of an effort to explain to people what we can and cannot do for them as part of the ‘culture of feedback’….we took a lot for granted about what people understood about behavioral health care prior to FIT.”
The Crawford-Marion Alcohol and Drug/Mental Health Services Board is now into the second full year of implementation. They are not merely surviving, they are thriving! In the video below, directors Shirley Galdys, Bob Moneysmith, and Elaine Ring talk about the steps for a successful implementation.