What Is Feedback-Informed Care?

Medically reviewed by: Wendy Rasmussen, PhD
Friday, May 12

A big part of reaching the goals you set in therapy is feeling empowered to be a part of your own success. That’s why SonderMind uses feedback-informed care (FIC) as part of our evidence-based approach to care to help guide your therapy journey and put you in the driver’s seat toward reaching your goals. 

So, what exactly is feedback-informed care? Read on to learn more about FIC and how it’s used at SonderMind to help you see success on your therapy journey. 

What is feedback-informed care and how does it work? 

Feedback-informed care is an innovative, evidence-based approach to mental health care that uses your feedback to help guide treatment throughout a therapy journey. This means your therapist will regularly ask for your feedback about how you’re doing. At SonderMind, this is done through clinical questionnaires (CQs). CQs have you answer questions about your mental well-being before and after sessions. You can fill CQs out right within your SonderMind portal, so it’s easy to share your feedback with your therapist.

There are several types of CQs, such as the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7), a common anxiety screening tool, and the Therapeutic Alliance Questionnaire to assess the overall therapeutic alliance — the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist. The types of CQs you’ll use will depend on what your therapist thinks are most appropriate for you based on your concerns, symptoms, and behaviors. 

Through CQs, you and your therapist are able to see how your treatment plan is working over time. If progress slows and you both feel that changes need to be made, you can work together to make adjustments to your care plan. 

Is feedback-informed care the same as feedback-informed treatment? 

You may have also heard of the term “feedback-informed treatment.” Feedback-informed care and feedback-informed treatment (FIT) both refer to the use of ongoing client feedback in the process of therapy, however there are slight differences between the two. 

Feedback-informed care refers to the larger framework that includes using client feedback to not only make treatment decisions, but to also guide a therapist’s overall approach to care. FIC uses client feedback in all aspects of the care process, from your first intake session with your therapist through to your last session. Feedback-informed treatment, on the other hand, is a subset of FIC that refers specifically to the use of client feedback in the context of individual therapy sessions only. 

At SonderMind, we use a feedback-informed care approach to therapy — asking for your feedback via clinical questionnaires from before your first therapy session and all the way through your therapy journey. This ensures you’re playing an ongoing, active role in your own care, so you can make meaningful progress toward your therapy goals. 

How FIC helps you reach your therapy goals

FIC can empower you to reach your therapy goals faster. In fact, our data shows that SonderMind clients see results in less than six sessions. Moreover, studies have shown that participating in your own care means you’re more likely to keep appointments, stick with therapy, and see better results overall. 

Feedback-informed care holds you and your therapist accountable for monitoring your progress and helps you better identify the need for change. By providing regular feedback on how you’re feeling, you and your therapist can see when you might be experiencing a setback, feel that treatment isn’t working, or want to make changes to your goals. This takes the guesswork out of understanding your progress or figuring out whether or not changes need to be made to your treatment plan. With FIC, adjustments that can be made right away so you stay on track with your goals and reach them faster. 

Progress doesn’t mean perfection

All this being said, setbacks can still happen and are a normal part of the therapy journey. It’s easy to fall back into old habits during stressful times or while experiencing big life changes. If an issue you were working through starts to surface or certain symptoms start coming back, let your therapist know and remember to be honest when completing clinical questionnaires. This way, your therapist has the feedback they need to help you get you back on track — whether it means making changes to your treatment plan or adjusting your therapy goals. 

If you’re ready to start your therapy journey or are considering returning to therapy and would like to connect with a therapist who practices feedback-informed care, SonderMind can help you get started.

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