We’re big fans of Scott Miller and his Top Performance Blog around here. Miller has allowed his career to be guided by emerging research, a trait that is surprisingly rare in the psychotherapy world. It has led him to some very useful conclusions about how we can become more effective. Deliberate practice and using outcome data are two specific things that we all could do that would almost certainly improve our outcomes.
There are many things about his work to admire. But what I appreciate most is his skill at walking the difficult line between being alarmist — it’s kind of a big deal that therapy outcomes haven’t gotten better in 40 years — and being supportive and uplifting for therapists who are doing their own part individually to improve. So it was an honor to meet him at the 2017 Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, and to have him interview me earlier this year for his blog.
Turns out he loved Saving Psychotherapy! He calls it “Among the 10 most important books written in the last five years” for therapists. He’s warm and gracious here in giving me space to talk about the book and about the struggles impacting today’s mental health professionals. We discuss student debt, the decline of spending on psychotherapy, and much more. Here’s the full interview, which runs about 14 minutes:
It’s also worth a visit to the specific Top Performance Blog post where he included the interview. It directly addresses a problem that I don’t hear a lot of others talking about: The massive amount of information that we all have to deal with these days. I myself have stacks of books and articles waiting to be read. Some of them look great, while others look like I could just read the title and be done with it. His post talks eloquently about separating out what matters (like the big-picture issues discussed in Saving Psychotherapy) from what doesn’t in our field’s exponentially-expanding research base.
If you’re also a Scott Miller fan and are interested in some of his other work, he is one of the authors of the Session Rating Scale and Outcome Rating Scale (individual licenses are free), and a coauthor of The Heart & Soul of Change, which deserves to be read cover to cover. He’s also the founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence, which offers a variety of trainings and related resources on what should be our top professional priority: Achieving the best results we possibly can.