One of the three most commonly asked questions about the ORS and SRS scales is â€œHow can patients really give honest feedback to their therapists sitting right in front of them?â€
This question, like so many posed towards innovative tools like MyOutcomes, is really a question about reliability and validity. Though the question isn't very scientific, the author is asking if the ORS and the SRS are reliable and valid instruments. They want to know if the information from the tools can be trusted and used. There are, of course, numerous studies that have clearly demonstrated the reliability and validity of the ORS and the SRS.
The difficulty of this question, though, isn't whether it is an unscientific question asking for scientific information. The author of this question is probably unaware that what they are asking threatens the very foundation of psychotherapy. One of the basic premises of psychotherapy is that, in order to achieve successful outcomes, it is essential to create an environment where honest and intimate discussions can take place. These discussions involve the client's past and current feelings and experiences. Of course, all memories, whether of recent events or more distant moments, are â€œtaintedâ€ by the subjective interpretations of the client. It would be great, particularly for the therapist, to get a purely objective view of the past. But that can never happen. Psychotherapy, by its very nature, is a subjective experience.