For the last 7 years, I’ve been traveling to the small, picturesque village of Brattleboro, Vermont to work with clinicians, agency managers, and various state officials on integrating outcomes into behavioral health services. Peter Albert, the director of Governmental Affairs and PrimariLink at the Brattleboro Retreat, has tirelessly crisscrossed the state, promoting outcome-informed clinical work and organizing the trainings and ongoing consultations. Over time, I’ve done workshops on the common factors, “what works” in therapy, using outcome to inform treatment, working with challenging clinical problems and situations and, most recently, the qualities and practices of super effective therapists. In truth, outcome-informed clinical work both grew up and “came of age” in Vermont. Indeed, Peter Albert was the first to bulk-purchase the ASIST program and distribute it for free to any provider interested in tracking and improving the effectiveness of their clinical work.
If you’ve never been to the Brattleboro area, I can state without reservation that it is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve visited in the U.S.–particularly during the Fall, when the leaves are changing color. If you are looking for a place to stay for a few days, the Crosy House is my first and only choice. The campus of the Retreat is also worth visiting. It’s no accident that the trainings are held there as it has been a place for cutting edge services since being founded in 1874. The radical idea at that time? Treat people with respect and dignity. The short film below gives a brief history of the Retreat and a glimpse of the serene setting.
Anyway, this last week, I spent an entire day together with a select group of therapists dedicated to improving outcomes and delivering superior service to their clients. Briefly, these clinicians have been volunteering their time to participate in a project to implement outcome-informed work in their clinical settings. We met in the boardroom at the Retreat, discussing the principles and practices of outcome-informed work as well as reviewing graphs of their individual and aggregate ORS and SRS data.
It has been and continues to be an honor to work with each and every one in the PrimariLink project. Together, they are making a real difference in the lives of those they work with and to the field of behavioral health in Vermont. If you are a clinician located in Vermont or provide services to people covered by MVP or PrimariLink and would like to participate in the project, please email Peter Albert. At the same time, if you are a person in need of behavioral health services and looking for a referral, you could do no better than contacting one of the providers in the project!