It’s not often that one can unequivocally point to inspirational teachers and thinkers who have made a big difference – in this case to my Counselling practice. Well this is one such case for me – in praise of Scott Miller. He inspired me to keep outcome measures to monitor my client’s progress as a matter of good practice.
Listen to this Twelfth Audio of the “What makes Good Counselling” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/download to my audio: In praise of Scott Miller
Read my Depression Help Blog post: In praise of Scott Miller
1: No Counselling model is better than any other
Audio 2: What makes a good counsellor
Audio 3: Positive expectancy
Audio 4: Trance explained
Audio 5: CBT is not the answer
Audio 6: Normalisation
Audio 7: Human Givens Counselling
Audio 8 Five questions
Audio 9: Depression help by the NHS
Audio 10: Two beginning Principles
Audio 11: Feelbetter Counselling
Audio 12: In praise of Scott Miller
Very few of you will have heard of Scott Miller but, in addition to Joe Griffin, Ivan Tyrell (Human Givens founders) and the universally admired Milton Erickson, Scott has been the strongest influence on my approach to therapy
Scott Miller was making two sets of arguments, which he claimed was entirely evidence based – in other words this was how it was and so in stark contrast to the special pleadings and lazy assumptions of most counsellors/psychotherapists. His first set was concerned with answering the question– “what is the best model of therapy or what model is best for dealing with certain circumstances and problems?” And his answer was that there isn’t one. No model of therapy had ever been shown to be better than any other. Then, Scott brought to my attention a second conclusion – that though the models don’t count the therapist does. In other words, some therapists are consistently better than others
Scott then went on to ask questions around what did work for excellent therapists – or if you like what a keen therapist (i.e. me) should think about and do, if he wished to be better. I realised to my great delight and excitement that the Human Givens teaching incorporated much of the ideas around what Scott said worked.
He also argued that it was very important that therapists keep hard evidence of their outcomes with clients and indeed should also ask at the end of each session for feedback of that session. His reasons were interesting. One was that if improvement was coming it would come quickly – within a few sessions and this was unrelated to whether the therapy was brief (such as Human Givens) or long such as psychoanalytic. So if there was no improvement, then something different was needed. And he also found that outcomes improved if clients were asked how the session went – even if they were very happy with it.
And this is what I have done for over six years now. Finally I have discovered that by comparing my outcome results with others and using standard statistical criteria in doing so, that I am one of those exceptional therapists whose results are consistently way above the norm.