Cornering an unsuspecting chum, you’d ask, “Hey, have you seen my hammerfor?”
“What’s a hammerfor?” they’d invariably ask, a quizzical look glued to their face.
“Pounding nails!” you’d then scream, followed by paroxysms of laughter.
Funny in a sad, underhanded kind of way. “But what,” you might wonder, “has this got to do with using the Outcome and Session Rating Scales in psychotherapy?”
Well, since the COVID-19 crisis began, I’ve been getting a fair bit of email about using the tools in an online format. Makes sense. In their effort to provide continuity of care while maintaining physical distance, many practitioners are connecting with clients via the net.
The majority of the questions thus far focus on technical details (e.g., administration, scoring, software application, etc.). Again, this makes sense. And in my previous two blogs (1, 2), colleagues Stacy Bancroft and Brooke Mathewes and I provided detailed suggestions and video instruction for working feedback-informed in an online environment.
However, while making the transition, it’s important to keep in mind “What’s an ORSSRSfor?” The answer, like the old joke, is “soliciting feedback from clients that can be used to fine tune and tailor treatment.” Whether working face-to-face or digitally, research and clinical experience document that failing to establish a “culture of feedback” is the root cause of most problems encountered when using the measures — in the particular, clients reporting, “everything’s great” and then not returning for their next session.
A great resource for learning to successfully administer the scales is the series of FIT Treatment and Training Manuals. Right now, you can get them for 50% off the regular price. Chapter Three in Feedback Informed Treatment in Clinical Practice is also really helpful. No, you don’t have to buy the whole book — although it really is a phenomenal volume. I’m giving it away.
Finally, Stacy and Brooke have created another “how to” video specifically target to creating a culture of feedback in online work.
OK, that’s it for now. Until next time, wishing you health and safety,
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
Director, International Center for Clinical Excellence