Monitoring Alliance and Outcome with Client Feedback Measures

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Journal of Mental Health Counseling

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The therapeutic alliance is foundational to counseling practice and has amassed strong empirical support as being essential for successful counseling. Counselors generally rely on their own perspective when assessing the quality of the alliance, though the client's perspective has been found to be a better predictor of outcome. Formal methods for eliciting client feedback about the alliance and counseling outcomes have been strongly supported in the literature, yet such limitations as time constraints hinder counselor efforts to gather formal client feedback. Two ultra-brief measures of alliance and outcome, the Session Rating Scale and the Outcome Rating Scale, are feasible methods for counselors to secure client feedback. This article reviews the two measures and makes a case for using empirical means to understand adult clients' views of the therapeutic alliance.