I am enlisting two new tools to build collaborative client relationships! The Outcome Rating Scale measures a client’s life satisfaction–and any positive or negative trends during the course of treatment. At the end of each meeting, clients use the Session Rating Scale to provide feedback about the meeting’s topics and methodology. These tools are associated with the International Center for Clinical Excellence. This evaluation process encourages transparency, accountability, and “custom-fit” rather than “cookie-cutter” therapy.
Another important part of my therapy style is seeking and developing Exceptions. Exceptions are times/places/relationships when the problem does NOT present itself.
It can be argued that some suffering is part of the human condition; however, the worst problems have a way of becoming a dominant theme, encroaching on multiple areas of life. I help people develop problem-free zones. Articulating and building these exceptional experiences helps develop nuanced awareness and the increased personal agency required to respond to difficulties.
When asked about my therapy style, people often want to know two things: what are some of my core assumptions? how do I relate to clients?
- I understand that people have variation, including biological variation. One person may be fundamentally different from other people.
- An individual’s biochemistry and personality may vary and adapt throughout time.
- A pattern of thoughts/emotions/and actions may be described as a relational template. Relational templates that are adaptive in a previous context may become generalized into other parts of a person’s life. Unfortunately, the generalizations may become problematic in newer contexts. In that case, the person may revise their thoughts/emotions/actions.
- I position myself as a collaborator with the client. Rather than take a prescriptive approach or a passive approach, I solicit the client’s participation. I expect clients to challenge themselves while I am an active respondent. We share power and control so that new dynamics and opportunities develop.
I purchased a practice management software called Therapy Appointment. This tool allows you to book appointments with me online (as my schedule allows and with at least 48 hours notice). You will also have the option to sign up for appointment reminders–via email, phone call or text. Therapy Appointment can also generate superbills, which can be useful with Health Savings Accounts, Out-of-Network health programs, and tax reimbursement. All transactions are HIPAA compliant.When I re-open my practice to new clients, I will post a Therapy Appointment link on this website.
Update: 5/23/14: The Therapy Appointment link has been added.
Many people avoid problems–or at least avoid discussing them. Some people experience total defeat when a solution does not appear immediately. Here is an approach to problems I encourage and utilize in my practice:-Problems are discussable. -Most problems do not require an immediate resolution. -Exposing problems may enhance opportunities and choices.
This morning, I downloaded a new app: The Physician’s Desk Reference, 68th Edition. It’s a searchable book that provides information about prescription drugs: their uses and risks. Decades of research at my fingertips. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I do not prescribe medications. I appreciate this information though, as it facilitates consultation with doctors and other medical professionals.
I looked up non-medical applications too. An article called The 8 Best Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind offers non-pharmaceutical tools. Some applications help users build structure into their lives. Other applications help users develop cognitive skills–such as practicing focus and the ability to calm oneself through music, poetry, or meditation.