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Measuring The Effectiveness Of Psychotherapy

This posting is to create a Yardstick (or Meter stick) to measure the effectiveness of your therapy.

For over thirty-three years I’ve had my clients fill out the enclosed PDF attachment with the instructions to select their 5-7 most common emotions that they experience weekly. I also emphasized emotions not behaviors.

As of today, amazingly I have never had a client on their first visit come to me with all positive emotions. People go to a therapist in order to change their emotional states – not to just talk.

We all have an emotional palette of 5-7 emotions that affects our health and quality of life. This palette creates our personality.

I usually email the attachment a week before our first appointment and a few days before the followup appointments. The purpose is fourfold:

1. This allows me to know the client’s emotional states and the progress we are making after the appointments.

2. This helps make the client to become more aware of their emotional world. This can be a real eye opener to the client for change.

3. Both my clients and I now have a yardstick that allows us to see the progress or lack of progress after our sessions.

4. This allows me to either continue or change my therapeutic processes. Remember the saying about “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?

Example email to clients:

“Please fill out the attached Emotional Checklist by selecting the 5-7 most common emotions you experienced during the past seven days. Remember to select emotions rather than behaviors. Please email me these 5-7 emotions you selected prior to our session.

Some clients like to print the list and make 6-7 copies. Every night they go over their day. They circle the experienced emotions. At the end of the week it is easier to notice their 5-7 most common emotions.

Thank you.”



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