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Some suggestions for giving and receiving helpful feedback

                      (this blog post is freely downloadable as a Word doc and as a PDF file)

"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor."      Dr. Alexis Carrel

"It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away."     Robert Pirsig

"There are people who live their whole lives on the default settings, never realizing you can customize."        Robert Brault

Lessons from a personal multi-source feedback project

"A friend is someone who sees the potential in you and helps you to live it."     W. B. Yeats (adapted)

"Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger."    Franklin Jones

A few months ago now, I initiated a personal feedback project.  It was triggered by a number of factors.  I was soon to start the third part of an Emotion-Focused Therapy training and was interested in possibly using myself as "a case study" for the course; I had received some quite surprising & confronting feedback from a friend and I wondered how idiosyncratic or widespread his viewpoint might be; I had been encouraging feedback in groups that I run and I wanted to explore this more deeply; and finally I'm in a very good position to ask for & receive honest, thoughtful feedback from a broad social circle.

Five recent research studies on the worrying variability both in psychotherapist effectiveness and also in willingness to change

Purpose in life: how do you score on the questionnaire & why does it matter?

"When I get to heaven, God will not ask ‘Why were you not Moses?'. He will ask ‘Why were you not Susya?
Why did you not become what only you could become?'"   
Susya, a Hasidic rabbi  

(This post on purpose in life questionnaires and the previous one on the importance of purpose in life for health & wellbeing have been combined into a handout that is downloadable both as a Word doc and as a PDF file)

Update on website traffic: nearly a quarter of a million page views last year

This blog went live on 8th October 2008.  In the nearly three & a half years from then up until today, the blog & website (particularly the Good Knowledge section) have had 155,178 hits and 579,356 page views from 171 countries.  The average visitor views about 4 pages on the site.  The chart below illustrates the growth in traffic over the first three years (to 7th October 2011):

chart of website traffic

As I'd expect, most visitors come from the UK and, to some extent from the US:

uk & us visits 

Psychotherapists & counsellors who don't monitor their outcomes are at risk of being both incompetent & potentially dangerous

I find the recent paper by Kraus & colleagues a bit scary - "Therapist effectiveness: Implications for accountability and patient care" - with its abstract reading "Significant therapist variability has been demonstrated in both psychotherapy outcomes and process (e.g., the working alliance). In an attempt to provide prevalence estimates of "effective" and "harmful" therapists, the outcomes of 6960 patients seen by 696 therapists in the context of naturalistic treatment were analyzed across multiple symptom and functioning domains. Therapists were defined based on whether their average client reliably improved, worsened, or neither improved nor worsened. Results varied by domain with the widespread pervasiveness of unclassifiable/ineffective and harmful therapists ranging from 33 to 65%.

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