When you’re in therapy with Two Chairs, you receive a mental health check-in the morning of every session. These clinically validated, standardized questionnaires help both you and your therapist get a sense of how you’ve been feeling and help give you focus for each session.
They also help you and your therapist plan your course of care to reach your goals. Regularly completing your check-ins before therapy is part of a practice called Measurement-Based Care, which we use at Two Chairs. There’s a lot of research that shows how Measurement-Based Care leads to better outcomes for your mental health, and you can read more about it here if you’re interested.
Here’s everything you need to know about mental health check-ins at Two Chairs — why they’re important, how to complete them, and what the results mean.
Why do you complete regular mental health check-ins?
These regular check-ins have a lot of benefits for your mental health. Here are just a few of them.
Feel better faster
Research shows that keeping tabs on your well-being through mental health check-ins can help you feel better faster by enhancing communication and trust with your therapist and creating space for adjustments in your care should you start to feel better or worse.
Get in the head space
Mental health check-ins help you get in the head space for therapy and help you reflect on what you might want to talk about in any given session, allowing you and your therapist to stay focused on what can make you feel better faster.
Strengthen your partnership with your therapist
When you complete your mental health check-ins, you’re strengthening your partnership with your therapist by helping both of you understand your progress, which you’ll get to see as a snapshot regularly and discuss with them.
Reflect on your progress
When you start to see your progress, you may feel more empowered and motivated to keep going. Research shows that taking time to reflect on your progress — what changes you might have made to feel better or what you could do differently if you’re feeling worse — can help you achieve your goals faster.
How to complete a mental health check-in
On the day of each therapy session, we email you a questionnaire that should take you no longer than 5 minutes to complete.
The questions you answer are actually from standardized, clinically validated assessments of anxiety and depression called the GAD-7 and the PHQ-9, and they’re the same across all mental health practices who use them. They track common symptoms related to anxiety, depression and stress and help measure how severely you may be experiencing them.
Part of that standardization is looking at how you’ve been feeling over the past two weeks — this helps give a broader picture of your progress over time. So no matter when your last session was, try to think about your experiences over the past two weeks more broadly when answering the questions.
What do the results mean?
After every mental health check-in, you’ll be able to see your results and see a snapshot of what might have changed since your last session. You’ll get a deeper understanding of how you’re doing with things like worry, mood, sleep, and more.
Your results are meant to be a realistic look at what you’ve been going through and can be a good starting point for conversations with your therapist who can go deeper on your results if you’re interested.
Fluctuations are normal. You may have had a bad week or were recently triggered, or you may be feeling a lot of improvement. Either way, understanding your results gives you insights into your own experience and helps you better work with your therapist to reach your goals.