Simple Elegance, Not Simple-mindedness

myoutcomes feedback informed, success in therapy, therapy effectiveness

How MyOutcomes’ simple web-based tool helps therapists achieve greater efficacy and success in therapy

I always enjoyed introducing my students to the concept of a good scientific theory, because it was an opportunity to introduce Ockham’s razor. I have always felt an affinity with William of Ockham and his argument that the best explanation was the one that held the least amount of assumptions. My affinity is probably due largely to my contraire nature and the tendency of so many around me to gravitate towards extremely convoluted explanations. Sometimes it gets so that I feel as if I am a simple scientist adrift in a sea of lawyers.

The discussion with my students was also an opportunity to point out that elegance is found in simplicity. For example, I would say, consider Carmen Miranda with her fruit basket hats and then consider a woman in a black, strapless evening gown with only a pearl necklace draped around her neck. Which of the two women would be considered more elegant, Carmen Miranda in her complex outfits or the woman who was simply dressed? Clearly, only a guy, who enjoys wearing purple zoot suits, would consider Carmen to be more elegant. However, simple elegance shouldn’t be viewed as lacking complexity. Both Carmen Miranda and the other woman equally encompass the complexity found in any human female. It’s just that the woman in the evening gown is presented more simply and, therefore, more elegantly.

Like the woman in the evening gown, the most elegant theories are also those that are more simply dressed. And, like with the woman in the evening gown, one shouldn’t confuse simple elegance with simple-mindedness. A case in point would be Einstein’s Theory of Relativity; so elegant in its mathematical simplicity, yet so powerful in its predictive ability.

There are many things in our world where we can see the application of Ockham’s razor. Take for example, Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS). PCOMS, with its conceptually simple Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and Session Rating Scale (SRS), brings elegant power into the therapeutic setting. Its simplicity of presentation belies its powerful predictive ability. The ORS and SRS are simply-wrapped tools that, with effective training, can help therapists take their practice to the top.

MyOutcomes, the web-based tool for administering PCOMS, is the natural ally of psychotherapists helping their clients achieve their therapeutic goals. MyOutcomes has repeatedly demonstrated its innovativeness in its goal of helping psychotherapists improve their success.

To understand how to use the ORS and SRS to improve the effectiveness of the treatment you provide check out these training opportunities coming up this summer in Chicago: