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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

Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (6-10) - therapist feedback, relationships, conflict, group work, & walking

Last month I used Google Analytics to identify the most read pages on this website and I wrote the post "Update on website traffic: the ten most popular blog posts". This got me thinking - "What are my own personal favourites?" I quickly realised that the posts that I've written that have had the most impact on me and my practice as a therapist are nearly always made up of sequences of blog posts rather than just individual items.  I said that glancing back over the last year or so, themes that stood out included mindfulness, therapist feedback, self-control, conflict, embodied cognition and positive psychology.

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%.

Client-directed, outcome-informed therapy: a workshop with Scott Miller

"The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."   George Bernard Shaw 

Wednesday morning - half way through this two day workshop with Scott Miller on client-directed, outcome-informed (CDOI) therapy.  I flew into Copenhagen on Monday evening, the plane blown fast from Edinburgh on the last gasps of Hurricane Katia as she slowly expired in her long journey across the Atlantic.  I like Copenhagen.  Bizarrely, having never been here before, I have now visited three times in the last 18 months - the European Positive Psychology Conference in June last year, a long weekend with my wife in December, and now this two day workshop.

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