I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of evaluating progress in therapy. It’s a core topic whenever I talk with a therapist about joining my referral network. Too many therapists let the process of therapy go on and on without ever evaluating progress with their clients. Every therapist I work with signs off on a set of principles, one of which is that they evaluate progress regularly with their clients. Getting genuinely good feedback from clients can be a challenge, though, for a variety of reasons. A lot of clients will avoid giving negative feedback because of discomfort with confrontation, and because they don’t want to hurt the therapist’s feelings. And therapists do, sometimes, get defensive about negative feedback. Therapists, however, really need to pull for negative feedback, though, if they want to improve. Many don’t go that far in their evaluation discussion with the client because they just don’t know how. If the client says they’re happy with how things are going, that’s the end of the conversation.
I hope that both therapists and therapy clients will read the attached article that gives pointers to clients on how to evaluate and give feedback to the therapist. Although I wholeheartedly believe therapists have a responsibility to facilitate this discussion, they often don’t, and real progress can only be made if clients feel they can be honest and direct.
Please read through the outline provided in the article if you would like some help in structuring a discussion with your therapist about progress. If you can initiate this discussion it could have a dramatically positive impact on the quality of your therapy and could help you move forward more quickly. And very many therapists will appreciate your candor and strive to incorporate feedback into their work with you. If your therapist is defensive or discourages you from the discussion it may be a sign that it’s time to change therapists. It’s your time and your money. You have the right to the best help possible. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-therapy/201209/how-give-feedback-your-therapist