Re: Construing Psychotherapy Outcomes

Ana Catina (catina@Psyres-Stuttgart.DE)
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 17:30:20 +0200 (MET DST)

Dear Tim,
Reading your lines I kept thinking how important it is to define outcome
criteria: to define what one expects to be success for the investigated
treatment (in terms of the goals of the rspective therapy approach: say in
terms of symptoms- if behavioural therapy or in terms
of self-others, self construed in terms of the symptom or whatever- if
PC-psychotherapy). I think that it is also important to
assess it from multiple perspectives (therapist, client, family society or
whatever) and as consistent as possible (paralell assessment). The most
difficult is to have the methods that operationalise exactly the formulated criteria!
I should never compare different perspectives, but treat them separately.
Don't they treat different area of individual's life? Or different
construct about the same individual?
I should consider patient self-report concerning his/her complaint as the
main component of the outcome; they are the sufferers, they can decide
when it becomes better. I should take the social functioning
(ability to work, amount of sick off days/unit of time, social contacts
and leisure time) as what you called the objective
demonstration of the therapy outcome.
I find difficult to understand your forth question: inflated self reports
and biasis in outcome ratings. If one consider them to be valid
realities, why should be they refomulated in order to be matched with
the PCP? But the question is, do all patient quit the therapy in an
euphoric state?

Is the message to telegraphic?

Ana Catina
Center for Psychotherapy Research