Feedback in Therapy
One of the most powerful therapeutic skills is the ability to give constructive feedback, both positive and negative. Feedback is direct, clear and, most important, without judgement. Communication with judgement is praise or criticism.
4 elements for giving constructive feedback:
1. Content — what you say.
Identify the issue or behavior in your first sentence.
Provide the specifics or evidence. Begin the statement
with an I message, such as I have noticed or I
2. Manner — how you say it.
Be direct and clear without hesitation.
Avoid giving mixed or yes, but messages.
State observations, not interpretations.
Give feedback face-to-face.
3. Timing — when to give feedback.
Feedback is meant to be given as close as possible to when the event occurred. However, when giving negative feedback, take the time, if necessary, to cool off and get clear on your thoughts.
4. Frequency — how often to give feedback.
On an ongoing basis! Feedback may occur at any time and with any frequency, depending on the purpose of the feedback. When giving negative feedback, allow time for the person to digest what was said, to paraphrase back to you, and time to have a dialogue about the concern.