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  1. Wendy Amey says:

    Great article.

    I believe the session rating scale is the most valuable instrument of all – if the client can be encouraged to provide honest feedback. The latter is no easy task as the following vingette illustrates…

    I was with a client recently for our fourth session. Each SRS score is c8-0/10 (I insist that there is no such thing as 100% of anything so 10 is not permissible). When the client had completed the last SRS, I thanked him and said “it would be so helpful to us both if you would provide more accurate feedback via your scores.” He assured me that the scores were accurate. So I reminded him of the high SRS scores from session 3 and how, during session 4, he admitted (probably in an unguarded moment) that he was not happy about a particular technique introduced during the previous session. I said that “the more negative the SRS scores, the geater the likelihood that we (he and I) can achieve epiphany – and that might be the way to a truly positive outcome of therapy.

    Unfortunately, my colleagues appear to derive great pleasure from high SRS scores which, in my opinion, tell us nothing of import. The message I take from high SRS is one of acceptable mediocrity. The best work is achieved following negative feedback. During my previous commercial working life, I met with many great sales gurus and their teachings continue to inform my therapy. In my earlier sales career, a ‘boss’ told me to “never fear making a mistake, because if you do a good job of correcting it, you’ve a customer for life.” I learned to value the truth of that maxim. However, in therapy, my goal is to develop the client’s self management skills.

    In regard to supervision and mentoring – yes, yes and yes – but not restricted to “a” supervisor or “a” mentor………as many as you have hot dinners is my motto. In my view, no one individual can address all the elements of the therapist’s practice. I seek out support from a wide range of people. In the absence of a formal session, telephone call or email, I access their publications. For example, a knotty probably related to fear of dying calls for a reminder of Yalom’s work.

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