It’s true. Adding to a growing literature showing that the person of the therapist is more important than theoretical orientation, years of experience, or discipline, a new study documents that clients are sensitive to the quality of their therapist’s life outside of treament. In short, they can tell when you are happy or not. Despite our best efforts to conceal it, they see it in how we interact with them in therapy. By contrast, therapists’ judgements regarding the quality of the therapy are biased by their own sense of personal well-being. The solution? Short of being happy, it means we need to check in with our clients on a regular basis regarding the quality of the therapeutic relationship. Multiple randomized clinical trials show that formally soliciting feedback regarding progress and the alliance improves outcome and continued engagement in treatment. One approach, “Feedback-Informed Treatment” is now listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Step-by-step instructions and videos for getting started are available on a new website: www.pcomsinternational.com. Seeking feedback from clients not only helps to identify and correct potential problems in therapy, but is also the first step in pushing one’s effectiveness to the next level. In case you didn’t see it, I review the research and steps for improving performance as a therapist in an article/interview on the Psychotherapy.net website. It’s sure to make you happy!
Just yesterday, the membership of the International Center for Clinical Excellence burst through the 1000 mark, making it the largest community of behavioral health professionals dedicated to excellence and feedback informed treatment (FIT). And there’s more news…click on the video below.
When it comes to healthcare, it can be said without risk of exaggeration that “revolution is in the air.” The most sweeping legislation in history has just been passed in the United States. Elsewhere, as I’ve been documenting in my blogs, countries, states, provinces, and municipalities are struggling to maintain quality while containing costs of the healthcare behemoth.
Back in January, I talked about the approach being taken in Holland where, in contrast to many countries, the healthcare system was jettisoning their government-run system in favor of private insurance reimbursement. Believe me, it is a change no less dramatic in scope and impact than what is taking place in the U.S. At the time, I noted that Dutch practitioners were, in response “’thinking ahead’, preparing for the change—in particular, understanding what the research literature indicates works as well as adopting methods for documenting and improving the outcome of treatment.” As a result, I’ve been traveling back and forth—at least twice a quarter–providing trainings to professional groups and agencies across the length and breadth of the country.
Not long ago, I was invited to speak at the 15th year anniversary of Cenzo—a franchise organization with 85 registered psychologist members. Basically, the organization facilitates—some would say “works to smooth”–the interaction between practitioners and insurance companies. In addition to helping with contracts, paperwork, administration, and training, Cenzo also has an ongoing “quality improvement” program consisting of routine outcome monitoring and feedback as well as client satisfaction metrics. Everything about this forward-thinking group is “top notch,” including a brief film they made about the day and the workshop. Whether you work in Holland or not, I think you’ll find the content interesting! If you understand the language, click here to download the 15th year Anniversary Cenzo newsletter.