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YES, I GET RESULTS!  Part of my secret to getting good results with my clients is that I continue to evaluate my work on an individual client basis and as a collective whole.  I use checklists and surveys as well as other markers to help us both know if we are on the right track. 

In one self-study of 73 of my clients using the Symptom Survey-77, I was able to show an overall reduction at the end of therapy in every category being evaluated (Somatization, Depression, Alcohol Use, Anxiety, OCD Symptoms, Panic, Agoraphobia, and Trauma Symptoms).  See below if you want the details:

Following is a report of 73 clients for whom I had both intake and discharge data over three years.  The instrument used to measure progress (SS-77) is a listing of 77 symptoms related to various mental health conditions.   Below is a listing of the scores, a graph of the scores, and a written explanation of what each category indicates.  Clients had varying lengths of therapy and presented for a wide variety of problems.

The individual numbers of the scores are less meaningful than the difference of the intake scores versus the discharge scores.  For the statistical experts out there, the scores are based on T-scores which use a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10.   If you do not know what that means, 50 is the average of most people who took the survey and a difference of 10 (up or down) is a big change in the score.

In sum, if you look at my intake scores versus my discharge scores for various symptom clusters, it appears that overall and in individual areas, the therapy worked.


Summary Report for the Symptom Survey-77 (SS-77)



The SS-77 is a brief measure for establishing baseline functioning,

documenting the necessity for psychotherapy and other treatments,

assessing the effectiveness of treatment and monitoring progress

or improvement. The SS-77 is not a psychological or diagnostic

test and should not be used for determining a diagnosis.


                                                              Mean T-Scores at Intake and Discharge

SS-77 Scales                                                  Intake                      Discharge

Somatic Complaints                                           48                              39

Depression                                                        58                              38

Alcohol and Other Drugs                                     42                              41

Anxiety                                                             53                              43

Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms                        52                              44

Panic, including Agoraphobia                               50                              41

Agoraphobia Alone                                             43                              40

Traumatic Stress                                                46                              40

Minimization                                                      47                              41

Magnification                                                     34                              28


Total patients included in analysis: 73


SYMPTOM SURVEY-77 (SS-77) Scale Explanation

SOM = Somatic Complaints. The items are generally descriptive of major physical symptoms frequently endorsed by pain, neurologic, and other medical patients and disproportionately endorsed by persons with psychological problems.

DEP = Depression. Scores on this scale essentially establish the extent and nature of dysphoria, hopelessness, and general feelings of unhappiness, associated with the general construct of depression.

ALC = Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. This measures whether drinking alcohol or using drugs to the point of self-admitted symptom expression has occurred within the past week.

ANX = Anxiety. This scale includes items designed to measure autonomic arousal.

OCD = Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms. This scale measure the degree to which a person is bothered by symptoms classically associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

PAN = Panic Symptoms. This scale measures the physical and cognitive features of panic, including autonomic nervous system arousal, apprehension, and sense of loss of control.

AGO = Agoraphobia Alone. This scale measures fears of being in a place where help may not be available in the absence of reported panic symptoms.

TRA = Traumatic Stress (related to a traumatic event). This scale measures a variety of symptoms related to trauma, including anxiety, agitation, depression, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and somatic complaints.

MIN = Minimization of Symptoms. This scale reflects the degree to which a person is likely to "deny" or minimize their presenting symptoms in the desire to appear well..

MAG = Magnification of Symptoms Scale. This scale reflects the degree to which a person is likely to exaggerate or magnify their presenting symptoms.


SS-77 Computer Report: ©Copyright 1995 DocuTrac,Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SS-77: ©Copyright 1995 Judith Johnson, Ph.D.All Rights Reserved

Last updated on April 11, 2012 by Gregory L. Cason, Ph.D.