What do clients really think of progress measurement? An interview with a Registered Psychotherapist

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One of the most common objections that therapists have when considering whether to introduce progress measurement into their practice is the idea that clients will not engage or see value in measuring progress. While this concern may be applicable to some clients, this reason alone shouldn’t prevent therapists from incorporating progress measurement tools into their work with clients. To learn how clients actually respond to measuring their progress, we interviewed Suzanne Dennison, a registered psychotherapist and President of the OACCPP, who actively uses Greenspace in her practice to measure client progress.

Not surprisingly, Suzanne revealed that clients respond in a variety of ways when introduced to the idea of progress measurement. Suzanne reports that when introducing the concept to her clients, some are very open to it, others are impartial, and some state that they will not engage in the completion of the questionnaires. Interestingly, Suzanne noted that often it’s the clients who say that they will not participate, who are actually the clients who are most engaged in the completion of the questionnaires.

When it comes to client-engagement, Suzanne notes that when she explains the reasoning for progress measurement, most clients can easily understand that progress measurement makes sense and has value. However, this alone does not necessarily guarantee active client participation. For example, some clients are faced with technology barriers that prevent them from being able to engage in the progress measurement process outside of session time. With that being said, Dennison explains that it is important to be flexible around how progress measurement is used for each client, rather than requiring a one size fits all approach. For example,Dennison works around the technology barrier for some clients by having clients complete the questionnaires with her in the last 5 minutes of a session.

While there can be hesitation to introducing progress measurement to clients, it’s clear that this hesitation is often unfounded and the benefits of progress measurement far outweigh the perceived apprehension of clients. This is further demonstrated by Dennison’s experience in using progress measurement in her practice as she reports that progress measurement instills hope in clients, particularly those who feel “stuck”,because they are able to see their improvement over time.

For more information about how you can use Greenspace to easily measure progress with clients,  check out our website here.