I’ve always believed in using outcome measures to support my work with clients. I think they add a valuable layer of information to our sessions. But I found it difficult to integrate them into a session without the paperwork filling taking over or taking up valuable session time.

So I leapt at the chance to take part in the AdaPT pilot and begin using an electronic system to collect and store outcome data. This is what I’ve found.

Clients love it

I offer my clients the choice of using outcome measures alongside our sessions and find that the majority agree. They find receiving an email prior to the session with a secure link to complete the questionnaire easy and straightforward to use. And then we repeat the process after the session with a feedback questionnaire.

Clients tell me receiving and completing the pre-session questionnaire prompts them to pause, take stock and reflect on how their week has been. Many tell me that this is a unique experience. The busy-ness of life means that they don’t have time to pause and reflect, or even have an awareness that this would be beneficial. It allows them to connect with themselves and consider how they are currently experiencing life.

For some clients this has created deep moments of reflection, where they realise that something needs to change in their life. This has been a catalyst for change giving them the motivation to make those changes.

Clients also value being able to see their progress at review points in our sessions. Pragmatic Tracker converts the questionnaire results into graphs which illustrate the client’s progress. Clients value being able to see a visual representation of their progress. I find this adds to their motivation where they are addressing difficult issues or making challenging changes in their life.

Helps me build the therapeutic relationship

I find this is the case particularly in the early sessions. Clients who are feeling confused and unsure about counselling, find having a questionnaire to complete helps them make sense of their thoughts and feelings. Particularly if they’re not able to identify or put into words what they’re experiencing and simply have that sense of not feeling right.

The information from the questionnaires gives us a starting point for sessions without the client feeling overwhelmed by a question such as ‘where would you like to start today?’

It’s easy to use

I find Pragmatic Tracker simple and intuitive to use. Being able to store my session notes in a system that stores and collects the data from the questionnaires makes my life much easier. And the automated emails to invite the client to complete the questionnaires, makes the process seamless – removing the need for me to have to remember to send the link, taking another task off my to do list.

Collecting outcome measure using Pragmatic Tracker has become an integrated part of my practice that I can’t imagine ever being without. It has supported clients, helped my work with them and made my life easier. Win, win, win

Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.