1st Edition

Beyond Best Practice How Mental Health Services Can Be Better

By Birgit Valla, David S. Prescott Copyright 2019
    186 Pages
    by Routledge

    186 Pages
    by Routledge

    Written by practitioners for practitioners, this empirically-grounded book offers clinicians of all backgrounds a guide to incorporating feedback and self-development strategies that will dramatically enhance their therapeutic abilities. Building on the foundation of Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT), Beyond Best Practice explores the benefits of practicing therapy using in-the-moment client feedback, with an emphasis on ongoing, typically solitary, deliberate practice.


    Chapters describe the real-world journey of an established master therapist and her agency, examining each element of FIT in detail through her eyes. Her journey is illustrated through discussions with prominent researchers, authors, former clients, as well as informative experiences outside of psychotherapy. Rich case examples of success, failure and "failing successfully" are also woven throughout, with a focus on the practical applications and skills needed to become an excellent and effective therapist and agency.


    What becomes clear through the many narratives is that we can improve our services by studying the obvious and subtle forms of feedback that are available to us at all times. Beyond Best Practice emphasizes what each practitioner can do to become more effective, one client at a time. It will be essential reading for all mental health practitioners and agencies working at the front lines of medical care.

    Foreword: Coming Back from the Dead Scott D. Miller; Preface David S. Prescott; Preface Birgit Valla; Chapter 1: How Effective Are We Really?; Chapter 2: Knowledge; Chapter 3: Feedback; Chapter 4: After Feedback Comes Practice; Chapter 5: Improving as a Therapist; Chapter 6: Improving the Organisation; Chapter 7: Listen!; Chapter 8: Beyond Best Practices; Epilogue Birgit Valla; Epilogue David S. Prescott; Index


    Birgit Valla is a Norwegian clinical psychologist and leader of a mental health service for children, families, adults and people with addictions and substance abuse, which is developed based upon the feedback from the people seeking help. Valla is also a writer, lecturer and public speaker.

    David Prescott has worked in the field of treating sexual abuse for 34 years and has produced 18 book projects in the areas of abuse and psychotherapy. He lectures around the world is the recipient of two lifetime achievement awards from international organizations. He is a Senior Associate for the International Center for Clinical Excellence.

    "In the volume Beyond Best Practice: How Mental Health Services Can Be Better, Birgit Valla and David Prescott tackle the foremost issue in mental health services.  As therapists and mental health workers, we strive to provide the best possible service to our clients.  Unfortunately, this is not an easy task:  therapists generally do not improve over the course of their careers and systems of care often are bureaucratic institutions that unintentionally obstruct change and innovation.   Valla and Prescott discuss how we (therapists, administrators, and policy makers) can change mental health services to be more effective.  The authors "walk the talk" so to speak, because over the years they have successfully improved mental health services in their work places.  This volume is not only informative—it is inspiring."

    Bruce E. Wampold, PhD, ABPP, University of Wisconsin, Madison and Modum Bad Psychiatric Center, Norway.      

    "15 years from now, we will realise that we have got it wrong about a lot of things in mental health care. Birgit Villa and David Prescott point us in the direction that we need to go. They have got it right. Buy 10 copies of this book and give them to your colleagues. This book is a conversation-piece we need to have."

    Daryl Chow, PhD, Author of The First Kiss: Undoing the Intake Model and Igniting First Sessions in Psychotherapy


    "This book represents ground-breaking ideas about how to think differently about mental health care all over the world. With these ideas Birgit Valla has managed to change the entire system in her home town in Norway. This book is a must-read for anybody interested in delivering better services to the people seeking help from mental health care professionals."

    Susanne Bargmann, psychologist, author, trainer and international speaker, Denmark