Are you having regular outcomes conversations with your patients? And if not, why not?
These regular check-ins with your clients can often be misconceived as a hinderance to your practice. If you only have so much time in a session, why spend a significant chunk of it opening the floor to your client’s suggestions and possible criticism when you could be discussing their healing instead, right?
Wrong! Studies actually show a 65% increase in positive therapeutic outcomes when clients are given the opportunity to weigh in on their own care. In fact, with this increased likelihood in a lasting change merely by holding space for an assessment every now and again, you play your part in helping defeat the mental health stigma. Here’s how: If a client has one bad experience and doesn’t feel like they could speak up about it, they are significantly less likely to try therapy again, perpetuating the belief that therapy doesn’t work. If you show that you want and can accept feedback, on the other hand, you portray an additional investment in your client’s healing journey.
This investment is seen and felt by clients, and not only is it imperative to the success of their respective healing journeys, but it will almost certainly keep the phones ringing and your practice’s name a buzzword around town.
4 More Reasons to Hold Outcomes Conversations
As if the success rate of therapeutic outcomes isn’t enough reason to start making these assessments a regular part of patient care, here are a few more reasons:
Questions to Ask that Encourage Growth and Goal Attainment
By this point, I hope you are encouraged to implement outcomes conversations in your sessions. (And remember: They don’t have to take additional time or energy from you at all; you can merely incorporate them into your conversations.) But you might be wondering, what do I even ask?
Here is a non-comprehensive list of some beneficial and targeted outcomes questions:
If clients don’t yet feel comfortable having an outcomes conversations, make it a point for growth in their sessions. Above all, show that you want, can accept, and can integrate negative feedback. An outcomes conversation is entirely for naught if it goes in one ear and out the other; each and every patient needs to see that you are making changes after an outcomes conversation.
Put in the work. Build that trust. Have that conversation. We promise it’s well worth it.