Driving MyOutcomes

| January 22, 2014
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Becoming more effective in helping clients achieve their therapeutic goals.

I was driving to the store with my 15-yr-old son a few weeks back, when the subject of his driving a car came up. Full of adolescent bravado, he told me, that having ridden in a car all of these years, he felt that he could easily drive an automobile. After all, he continued, it was simple: there are just two pedals to make the car stop and go and a steering wheel to turn it. Easy! To his dismay, rather than conceding to his amazing grasp of the operation of cars, I played the part of a sceptical father and chuckled at his naïveté.

During the recent blizzard, he became upset because the buses and then the schools cancelled. Now, on the surface, this would seem to be every parent's dream: a child eager to go to school. For my son, however, staying at home with me means studying his schoolwork, reading books and, possibly, picking up a few additional chores if he comes into my office with complaints of boredom. No, his eagerness to attend school only reflects that schooldays are considerably more fun if spent with his school chums.

Anyway, upon learning that school was cancelled, he glanced out of the window at the roads and deemed the snow not to be sufficiently deep to pose a problem for the school buses. In his judgement, the buses should be running and the schools should be open. This claim resulted in his breakfast being accompanied by a lecture on the impact of snow, ice and blizzards upon safe driving and how those, who know how to drive, try to avoid dangerous driving conditions.

So often people confuse being simple with being easy.

Just like there are some individuals who look at MyOutcomes and assert that something so simple can't be valid or reliable. Of course, anyone who has taken an undergraduate methodology course knows that “simple”, “reliable” and “valid” are three independent concepts. They would also know that being structurally simple doesn't necessarily translate into being functionally easy.

Even though the structure of an automobile is simple, the mechanics of operating a car are complex. To a large degree, this is because the conditions we find ourselves driving in are themselves complex. We take driver training courses, not because we need to learn how to operate pedals with our feet and turn a wheel with our hands, but because we will be driving in a world populated with others operating their own pedals and wheels, or riding bicycles, or walking across streets; a world where weather conditions, like wind, rain, snow and ice, can seriously impact whether we survive the drive home.

The Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS) of the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS)  are structurally simple. After all, making tools that are structurally complex usually renders them useless. This is particularly true if they are to be used in complex situations.

Psychotherapy is complex. That's an understatement, of course. Human beings are complex. Human beings in social situations are even more complex. If it were simple, psychotherapists wouldn't need years of training. All you'd have to do is hang up a shingle and start “fixing” people.

I would warrant that navigating the psychological world of a typical client is far more complex than driving a car down a winding mountain road, heavy with traffic. The ORS and the SRS may be structurally simple, but they are used in the complex world of psychotherapy. This means that their application can be functionally complex.

For the same reasons that proper training is essential to driving an automobile, training is critical to using the ORS and the SRS. Those who value the impact that using MyOutcomes has had on helping them to help their clients are those who have had considerable training. Although simple in design, the ORS and SRS are powerful tools in the complex world of psychotherapy. The key to unlocking their power is training.

MyOutcomes is developing a state-of-the-art training program. There are now one-hour long training modules that can be tailored to your unique needs. Live webinars, training videos and articles addressing specific issues are being developed for MyOutcomes' clients. If you feel that the results you get from using MyOutcomes or PCOMS are less than perfect, you should explore what help MyOutcomes has to offer you.









To know more about our various training programs, please visit https://www.myoutcomes.com/resources-training/ or call us on 1-877-763-4775 and we will be happy to help!

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