pavel blagov, phd, licensed psychologist

Quality Control

The quality control and improvement policy of my psychology private practice includes four elements:

(A) Monitoring of psychotherapy outcome and the client-therapist relationship;
(B) Measuring client satisfaction at the conclusion of psychotherapy or other forms of psychological services I provide;
(C) Informal peer supervision by other licensed psychologists;
(D) Continuing education.

Below, I briefly describe each of the elements of my policy.

A. Psychotherapy Outcome and the Client-Therapist Relationship
Research on psychotherapy outcome indicates that the monitoring of patient progress in psychotherapy and the quality of the client-therapist relationship contributes to desirable outcomes and to client satisfaction. When appropriate, to monitor client progress in psychotherapy, I may administer the Outcome Questionnaire – 30 (OQ-30) at the beginning of each psychotherapy session. The OQ-30 is the most current form of the Outcome Questionnaire developed by Lambert and Burlingame (1996) specifically as a brief and sound outcome measure sensitive to changes in the most prevalent symptoms in outpatient practice (“mental health vital signs”). To monitor the quality of the client-therapist relationship, I may administer a second brief measure at the beginning of each psychotherapy session, namely, the Working Alliance Inventory – Short – Revised (WAI-SR; Hatcher & Gillaspy, 2007). Based on the work by Horvath and Greenberg on the original Working Alliance Inventory in the 1980s, this instrument measures the extent to which the therapeutic bond, goals, and tasks are experienced as positive and helpful by the client. The working alliance is one of the strongest predictors of psychotherapy outcome and satisfaction. I examine the results of the OQ-30 and WAI-SR and use the information to customize the treatment to the client’s needs.

B. Client Satisfaction
At the end of a course of psychotherapy, or at the end of a psychological evaluation or assessment, I may ask the client to complete a brief client satisfaction questionnaire, which includes space for written comments. I study the client’s feedback carefully and take it into account when considering adjustments to the way I provide services.

C. Informal Peer Supervision
I maintain professional and personal contact with other licensed psychologists. Thus, as the need arises, I am able to receive informal peer supervision concerning clinical, ethical, or other professional issues, while also protecting patient confidentiality. When seeking peer supervision, I do not reveal identifying information about my patients. (I also maintain membership in professional organizations that provide consultation regarding professional issues as needed.)

D. Continuing Education
As part of my professional development, as well as for the purposes of licensure maintenance, I strive to obtain regular continuing education. Formally, this includes attending professional training workshops at psychology conferences and completing online training courses concerning instruments and populations specific to my practice. Less formally, as part of my duties as a psychology professor, and also as the need arises in my practice, I periodically review the empirical and professional issues literature in my area of specialization.

References:

Hatcher, R., & Gillaspy, A. (2006). Development and validation of a revised short version of the Working Alliance Inventory. Psychotherapy Research, 16(1), 12-25.

Lambert, M., Burlingame, G., Umphress, V., Hansen, N., Vermeersch, D., Clouse, G., & Yanchar, S. (1996). The reliability and validity of the Outcome Questionnaire. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 3, 249–258.

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