“Outcome Rating Scale is a measure of the client's therapeutic progress and is a simple, four item visual analog scale that is administered at the beginning of each therapy session”
World events continue to remind us of how important quality psychotherapy is to mental health. Over the course of the last half century or so, what â€œquality psychotherapyâ€ actually is has been evolving. Since the beginning of this century, researchers and therapists have been building a consensus that a shorter therapeutic period, constant feedback and treating the client as a partner are essential elements for successful outcomes. The work of Scott D. Miller and Barry L. Duncan, who have been at the forefront of this growing paradigmatic shift, led to the development of MyOutcomes' ORS (Outcomes Rating Scale) and SRS (Session Rating Scale).
In recent years the view of children in therapy has begun to change as well. There was a time when childhood itself was viewed as an unfortunate problem that we would ultimately grow out of. This attitude led to the idea that psychological issues in children were not the same as those in adults. Though the characteristics might appear the same, the etiology was different. During the last decades of the 20th century, the influence of general egalitarianism mindset gave rise to the view that children should be treated as adults. This approach was rapidly abandoned when a variety of problems arose, particularly as a result of using medications for treatment. Today, a balance is developing between these disparate views. In other words, children are children, not adults. However, they may benefit from many of the therapeutic procedures that adults do. It was with this in mind that the SRS and ORS were modified to create the children's versions: CSRS and CORS, respectively.
At the Association for Family Therapy (AFT) Conference this month, David C. Low presented a paper discussing the use of the CSRS and CORS in therapeutic sessions with young children and youth. Dr. Low has also played a major role in the adoption of the CSRS and CORS into the Children and Youth People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) project in Britain. Funded by the NHS, the CYP IAPT is a longitudinal project aimed at bringing about better psychological services for children and adolescents. MyOutcomes outcome-focused tool is one of only three such measurements being used and it is the only one that is a session-by-session measure.