Feedback Enhanced Therapy
At Bergen and Associates, we are committed to providing the very best therapy possible to our clients. We take this commitment seriously, and to that end, we have done our homework.
What research has shown is:
- The number one predictor of successful outcome of therapy is the client's perception
of how well the therapy is going. This is far more relevant than the
model of therapy used, the educational background of the therapist, the
number of years of experience of the therapist. Over and over again, it
has been shown that the client's understanding of how well the
therapist relates to him/her and the perceived ability of the therapist
to make a difference for the client is what will make the difference.
- Health care professionals (including counsellors/therapists)
typically "guesstimate" that we are being quite successful with our
clients. In fact, when researchers ask clients how well treatment is
going and ask therapists how well treatment is going, the clinicians
generally see things more positively with than the clients, and tend to
overestimate how positively the client is perceiving the treatment. In
other words, we professionals overestimate how effective we are with out
What it seems clear that we as professionals need to do is to stop
guessing and surmising about how well the counselling is going for our
clients, and actually objectively and clearly measure how the client is
experiencing the work, and if it is making a difference to the client.
Please understand that most, if not all therapists, make a point of
checking in with clients to see how it is going. However, it's hard for
clients to give us that information.
- It's not easy telling someone who is an "expert", who has
trained for years, that what they are doing with you isn't working.
Important, but not easy.
- Clients aren't used to giving clear feedback to health professionals
in general...most simply don't ask. (Quick question: When was the last time your
doctor/dentist/physio said, "So am I being an effective caregiver for you?") So when
counsellors ask, it's hard to know that we really mean it.
- Sometimes clients are so wrapped up in what they are saying in
session, that there is little room to stop and ponder if the work is
being done in the most effective way possible.
So, Bergen and Associates has an online evaluation that takes less than a
minute to complete at the begining and end of each session that tracks
how well the counselling is going. We have iPads in our office that
allow for this information to be securely captured and tracked, allowing
the therapist to fine-tune the counselling to make it ever more
effective for each client.
In randomized controlled clinical trials
, when therapists use this approach, the rate and size of the change in the client is significantly enhanced
with the replicated studies showing approximately double the change.
Yes, you read right: double the amount of positive change. The numbers
on the left hand side of the graph show units of change as measured by
an outcome rating scale. N is the number of subjects in a particular
In further randomized controlled clinical trials that have been
replicated (i.e. it wasn't a one time "fluke"), therapists used this
quick one minute tracker at the beginning and end of the session with
couples. When they checked back with the couples 6 months after
treatment, the number of clients that had since separated was only 17%,
compared with 34% of the couples that had been in the same treatment
(with the same therapists) that had not used this measure.
Feedback enhanced therapy is a powerful way to ensure you are getting the "biggest bang for your therapy buck".
Blog ~ A Thoughtful Look at Life
May 22, 2013
Hump Day Nudge...a 17 year old with more wisdom than I will ever have teaches us all how to embrace life fully as he lived his life in preparation for letting go
Deanna Carpentier talks of the joys of connecting deeply with adolescents...by seeing the person behind the behavior
The truth about men...men long to connect with their partners...in a deep and meaningful way