I replied, of course, providing a link to my website where the scales could be downloaded along with a brief note, highlighting the Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) Manuals and the upcoming March Intensives in Chicago. “Both are great resources,” I said, “for learning how to use the measures to improve the quality and outcome of behavioral health services.”
I received a quick and polite response, thanking me for the links but going on to say, “I’ve seen the scales. They are really very simple and self-explanatory so I don’t think we really need much in the way of training or support materials.”
I’d like to say I was surprised. After all, what medical professional would say something similar? Say, about a stethoscope? To wit, “No thanks, seems pretty simple, stick these thingies in my ears, and the other end on the patient’s chest and listen…”.
But I was not — surprised, that is. Why? Of the several hundred downloads of the measures from my website per week, and the more than 200,000 over the last decade, very few practitioners have sought or received any training. Indeed, most have never even read the FIT manuals!
The impact on those who are initially enthusiastic about seeking formal feedback from their clients is as predictable as it is sad: they quickly give up. How do I know, you ask? Every week, as I’m out and about, training and consulting, I run into practitioners who say:
“Yeah, I heard of FIT, I even tried the scales…but they didn’t work…”
“I tried the ORS and SRS scales for a while, but I didn’t get any clinically useful information from them…”
“My clients weren’t honest … so I stopped using them”
And so I ask, what does it take to help people get the information and training they need to succeed? The question is far from trivial or self-serving. The measures are free to download and the latest research shows using them more than doubles the chances of helping clients experience meaningful change. The only caveat is that, despite their simplicity, learning to employ the tools effectively takes time and support. How do I know that? Research, of course!
If you have thoughts about what I can do to address this problem, please let me know. In the meantime, in an effort to help, here are several offers:
1. For the time being, get the FIT Treatment and Training Manuals for 50% off;
2. Register for the combined FIT Advanced and Supervision Intensive now using the code FIT-Promo at checkout and get an additional discount off the early bird rate;
3. Sign up for the cutting-edge FIT e-learning program — where you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home — and receive the new, deliberate practice module, for free (if interested, email me for details about this offer).
Yes, please feel free to share these links and codes with your colleagues. And, once more, if you have additional suggestions, I’m interested in hearing them. Please post a comment below.
That’s it for now.
All the best for the Holidays,
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
Director, International Center for Clinical Excellence