Clinical Questionnaires: Helping You Get Better, Faster

Medically reviewed by: Shane Trujillo, EdM
Wednesday, September 8 2021

Research shows that when people can talk openly with their therapist about how they think their sessions are going — good or bad — they feel better and actually get better, faster.

One way to facilitate these conversations is through feedback-informed care, an innovative, evidence-based approach to mental health care that uses client feedback to help guide their therapeutic journey

In this article, we’ll answer several questions about feedback-informed care and how clinical questionnaires play a key role in helping track and improve your mental well-being over time.

How does feedback-informed care work? 

Feedback-informed care means your therapist will regularly ask for your feedback about how you’re doing. This helps them make sure your treatment plan is the right fit for your specific needs and goals. 

You’ll share your feedback before and after a session through clinical questionnaires (CQs). Clinical questionnaires have you answer questions about a range of topics like symptoms, day-to-day functioning, and the relationship between you and your therapist. At SonderMind, CQs are built right into your portal, making it easy for you to share how you’re doing and collaborate with your therapist about your care. 


Why do clinical questionnaires matter?

Clinical questionnaires help you better communicate with your therapist. For various reasons, it can be hard to have a conversation about how treatment is going with your therapist. You might feel uncomfortable, scared, or nervous, and that can make it challenging to discuss a particular topic. CQs can help by giving you the language to discuss how things are going. Over time, answering CQs has been shown to help clients develop more self-awareness of how they feel or how subtle changes in their mental health may be impacting their day-to-day lives. 

Clinical questionnaires empower you to be involved in your own care. Through CQs, you can play a key role in your therapy journey. CQs help you and your therapist better understand if you are meeting your goals, if your treatment is on track, or if changes to your treatment plan need to be made, based on your feedback. 

Clinical questionnaires support evidence-based care to help you get better, faster. CQs also play an important role in making sure you receive the best care for your unique needs through evidence-based care. Evidence-based care is when therapists use the best available research and their clinical expertise to treat you based on your specific needs and preferences. Here’s how it works at SonderMind: 

  1. Through our research partnership with the University of Denver, we use anonymous data to research and analyze how effective care is in clinical practices for SonderMind clients. 
  2. Then, we share these research findings back with our therapists.
  3. Along with considering your unique characteristics and circumstances, therapists use this research data and their clinical expertise to guide treatment decisions. 

This research data combined with information from CQs helps make sure your care is grounded in research and tailored to your unique needs. 


How do I complete a clinical questionnaire?

You can complete and submit your clinical questionnaires right from the SonderMind portal in under ten minutes. CQs are also sent with appointment reminders, so you’ll have time to provide answers before your session.

All SonderMind clients will receive a baseline questionnaire to complete before their first session. Completing this will help provide simple but critical feedback on how you feel right from the beginning. Completing CQs before a session — especially the first session — can also help a therapist better understand your background. Studies have found that participating in this type of open communication is extraordinarily effective at providing positive changes early in treatment. 

From time to time, you will receive periodic questionnaires to complete. Your responses will provide insight into whether any changes to your treatment plan should be considered.

Completing CQs is optional; however, we strongly encourage and recommend completion, as our questionnaires have been shown to track improvement over time with great accuracy. 


How does SonderMind use my clinical questionnaire responses?

Your therapist will review your responses to identify any changes since your previous session or even since your very first session with them. SonderMind never shares personal data — including your CQ responses — with anyone except your licensed therapist. 

If you have additional questions about clinical questionnaires or participating in feedback-informed care, we encourage discussing these concerns or questions with your therapist first. You can also call us at 844-THERAPY.

If you’re looking for a therapist who participates in feedback-informed care, we can help you get connected to a therapist who’s right for you.

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