Translating Science to Practice

Measuring Client Progress in Therapy

Michael Lambert, Ph.D., interviewed by Jacqueline Persons, Ph.D. 

Why is measuring client progress in therapy important? Michael Lambert, PhD is a prominent psychotherapy researcher who uses monitoring to identify clients at risk for not improving in therapy. In this interview, he and Jacqueline Persons, PhD discuss compelling evidence on clinicians’ inability to identify patient deterioration with their judgment alone, and how to use tools to identify clients who are not responding to treatment. See Lambert, M. J. & Shimokawa, K. (2011). Collecting client feedback. Psychotherapy, 48, 72-79.

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Interview and Article


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About Dr. Lambert

Michael J. Lambert, PhD is a Professor of Psychology and holds the Susa Young Gates University Professorship at Brigham Young University, teaching in the Clinical Psychology Program. He has also been in private practice as a psychotherapist throughout his career. His research spans 40 years and has emphasized psychotherapy outcome, process, and the measurement of change. He has edited, authored, or co-authored numerous books, chapters and articles and is the editor of the 5th and 6th editions of Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, the authoritative summary of the effects of psychological treatments. His current program of research focuses on reducing treatment failure and non-response through the use of advanced statistical methods and computer applications.

About Dr. Persons

Jacqueline Persons, PhD is Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Science Center, a group private practice in Oakland, California, and Clinical Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She has published articles, chapters, and book on the topics of outcome and change processes in cognitive behavior therapy, especially as it is provided in a naturalistic clinical setting, and on the topic of case formulation in cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Persons has presented training workshops to clinicians on case formulation and other topics in cognitive behavior therapy at numerous national and international conferences. She is a former President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.