Measurement-based Care

I’m a licensed professional counselor—LPC.  Call me what you want: therapist, counselor, or simply, Pace.  My favorite evidence-based intervention is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.  There are many tools and techniques that fall under the CBT umbrella. That’s what makes it so useful for my clients, who present with a variety of ailments. 

Therapy is a healing process, usually 6-12 hours.  We break it up into one-hour segments over the course of a few months.  We meet weekly for the first few weeks, then bi-weekly until we’re done.  My clients and I know when we’re done because we set a measurable objective during our first session together. 

For example, a young lady who comes in reports extreme anxiety.  I use the GAD-7 questionnaire to measure her anxiety.  Let’s say that she scores an 18, which is remarkably high.  She’s extremely anxious. I’ll suggest to her that our objective is to reduce her anxiety by half over the course of the next few sessions.

I like to hold myself accountable.  I’ve been hired by my clients to do a job.  I want the job to be done well.  We’re not going to sit and visit about the weather.  We’re going to do work and if my client above doesn’t see results, we’ll need to reconsider our approach. 

When it comes to couples counseling it’s a little more subjective.  Usually, a couple presents with a conflict.  They’re often arguing more than they’d like to, having major disagreements about minor issues.  If that’s the case then my job is to help them learn to communicate more effectively. They’ll resolve conflicts more peacefully which will give us the skills and energy to resolve the core issues.

Whether it’s individual or couples counseling, clients come in and spend an hour with me in a therapeutic setting.  I use the skills and interventions I’ve learned over the years to help them heal.  The beauty in all this is that they take therapy with them after they leave my office.  Something about them changed during our time together.   

People usually meet their therapeutic goals faster if they’re highly motivated to change.  The same young lady that scored an 18 on the GAD-7 when she began therapy, scored a 5 on the same questionnaire four sessions later.  She put in work between sessions and it paid off.

Working with people intimately, in a private setting, becoming vulnerable by sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings, is something to be taken very seriously.  That doesn’t mean we can’t have a few good laughs together.  We often do.  Humor is very healing, and we don’t want to take ourselves too seriously.  More on that later…    

Note: Any reference to truths gleaned or stories about experiences in clinical practice are never in reference to a particular individual but are amalgamations of many stories and experiences to illustrate something common about the human experience. 

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