Our last blog highlighted two reasons why therapists benefit when they get ahead of the evidence-based outcomes measurement curve. In an incisive and insightful article from 2011, Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD, suggested that measuring outcomes increases awareness, maximizes feedback, and helps make therapists better at what they do. He also noted that by embracing outcomes measurement, therapists end up having a stronger hand in designing the process, thus reducing the risk of having a flawed or faulty system foisted upon them.
Another important reason for therapists to join the movement toward measuring outcomes is also given by Dr. Rousmaniere . In today's opinionated, online-intensive generation, therapists are being reviewed informally and, many times, unfairly. Review websites such as yelp.com or healthgrades.com can allow one or two disgruntled clients to seriously damage a therapist’s reputation. The following is an actual psychotherapist review found on one of these review sites.
“Her practices are unprofessional. During sessions, she waits for the patient to speak, and if they have nothing to say, it’s like silence reins [sic] in the room – a battle to see who’s going to talk first and it’s very uncomfortable. As a patient with no mode of transportation and no job, she basically waited for me to miss an appointment to charge a $75 dollar fee.â€¦ Being a therapist, she should understand a patient’s needs and work with them â€¦ but she just cares about getting her money.”
Now, this is not the most hard-hitting, damning review out there – therapists are accused of a lot more than silence in a session and charging for missed appointments on these sites. But, in the case of this particular therapist, this is the only review that shows up online for her. So if someone was checking out this therapist online, attempting to get a sense of what her clients’ impressions of her , the above review would be all they have to go on. Furthermore, with many of these online review sites, there is little (or nothing) that can be done to correct misinformation, exaggeration, or outright fabrication.
Most therapists are caring, credible, and effective. And when it comes down to it, most would prefer that prospective clients have access to some form of legitimate evaluative process and system of reporting rather them rely on the random, unedited and, in many cases, unfounded impressions contained on these review sites.
Therapists who embrace evidence based outcomes measurement will lead the way toward more professional credibility and a greater acceptance of therapy among an often skeptical public.
For more information about an outcomes measurement system that has proven to be beneficial and effective for both client and therapist, check out the following introductory video. http://info.myoutcomes.com/myoutcomes-on-demand-demonstration