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My Practice

Assess your therapeutic skills online here....


RESULT does not save any personal identifiers. After completing any assessment you will be able to email a PDF summary to yourself and/or your supervisor and/or download the PDF if your device allows. If you enter an email addresses it will be saved.

SAVE the PDFs (electronic or printed copies) if you want to be able to look back on earlier self assessments.

⚠️  More on what happens to your self assessments..

Practitioners are on a career journey of constantly appraising and improving skills. Supervision of practice should be by a trusted colleague or peer group and based on a video recording, or at least an audio, of therapy sessions…

  1. If you do not have a recording of a session to rate then complete the Working Alliance Inventory (WAI). You should pair your WAI with one from your client.

  2. If you do have a recording then you can complete both the WAI and the Brief Addiction Therapy Scale. It is desirable for an independent rater, your supervisor for example, to do this with you.


The Working Alliance Inventory (WAI)...

The Working Alliance is a 10 item questionnaire with three subscales measuring goal setting, bonding and tasks. The measure has been widely used in psychotherapy, including in addictions, to rate how well therapists and clients are working together. The stronger the working alliance the better the overall outcomes.


The Brief Addiction Therapy Scale (BATS)...

The Brief Addiction Therapy Scale is a 12 item audit tool to rate practitioner skills that have been shown to be common across different treatment modalities and which are considered best practice. Use the scale to reflect on and develop therapeutic skills. Remember that audit is an iterative process. It is relevant to all grades of staff.

Operational definitions for rating Brief Addiction Therapy Scale items

1. Session aims The therapist keeps the session focussed on clinically relevant aims. This may or may not include explicit discussion of the purpose of the session eg to formulate a relapse prevention plan. Aims may change as the session progresses, especially if there is disclosure of risk.

2. Working together The therapist develops a collaborative working relationship with their client. It is about discussing with and seeking input from the client, and not about telling or arguing.

3. Conveying empathy Making efforts to convey warmth and understanding of the client’s thoughts and feelings. The therapist avoids any blaming or labelling.

4. Client strengths The therapist helps the client identify, explore and focus on what they can do, not what they cannot do - talk up achievements rather than failings.

5. Complex reflections The therapist helps the client gain insights by making or strengthening relevant connections between things they have said. This is not simply repeating or rephrasing what the clients says.

6. Planning tasks Tasks planned jointly by the therapist and client for homework. The client should agree what to do and how to do it eg a skill rehearsal, trying a new behaviour.

7. Reviewing tasks Explicit discussion of the homework task from the previous session - draw out conclusions and next steps. NOTE: this item is not applicable in the first session.

8. Treatment goals This is about the overall treatment goals eg abstinence, harm reduction, moderation. The therapist and client need to discuss the substance use goal.

Therapy sessions are primarily about motivational change or behaviour change. Sometimes it is appropriate to use motivational skills in a behavioural change session and vice versa. It is up to the therapist and the supervisor to decide on whether the components of the session that have been rated are keeping up the key aim of maintaining a forward momentum or causing a backward slide.

  • For a primarily motivational change session:

9. Dissonance The therapist explores the client’s behaviour and values conflicts eg I drink a bottle of gin a day and being a good parent is important to me. This exploration will lead to complex reflections.

10. Change talk The therapist encourages the client to talk about the positive aspects of change and encourages commitment to change.

  • For a primarily behavioural change session:

11. Planning change The therapist discusses the overall plan to achieve the agreed treatment goals. The therapist guides the client to set the steps needed to achieve the overall plan.

12. The social network The therapist facilitates description of the client’s actual and potential social network - the network may best be visualised in a drawing. The therapist encourages the client to identify how the network members will support the overall plan.