Scott Miller is a contemporary psychologist and co-founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence and the Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change. 

Professional Life

Scott D. Miller was born in Glendora, California on July 14th, 1958. He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Brigham Young University in Utah in 1982. Miller earned his master’s and PhD in counseling psychology at the University of Utah.

After completing his residency, Miller joined the staff at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he directed the Alcohol and Drug Treatment and Training Services from 1989–1993. Next, he worked with Problems to Solutions, an organization that worked with homeless and underserved populations in Milwaukee.

Presently, Miller is a writer and a practicing therapist who often provides pro bono services to the financially underprivileged. He co-directs the Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change, and he is a co-founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence, an organization comprised of mental health professionals committed to advocating excellence in behavioral health. 

Contribution to Psychology

Miller developed client-directed, outcome-informed therapy in collaboration with Barry Duncan. The pair published their findings in 2000 with the book,The Heroic Client: A Revolutionary Way to Improve Effectiveness through Client-Directed, Outcome-Informed Therapy. Their model relies on two fundamental principles: 

  1. A strong client-therapist bond.
  2. Client feedback and input. 

By taking the client’s feedback into consideration, a therapist can redirect the therapy course to better meet the client’s needs. Clinicians use various assessment tools to gauge progress and obtain feedback, but the most widely used measures are the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Session Rating Scale (SRS). The ORS, which is completed at the beginning of therapy, is designed to help a therapist assess what has occurred since the last session and allows a therapist to determine if the present course of action should be maintained or modified. Additionally, the ORS helps identify any external conditions that may be impairing forward progress.

The SRS is the tool used at the end of each session and results in an assessment of the day’s work. The scales are made up of only four questions but have proven to be extremely effective for facilitating therapy. Research has shown that incorporating client feedback into the therapeutic process can reduce client non-compliance by up to 65%. The goal of client-directed, outcome-informed therapy is to empower clients to guide their own healing. In this capacity, clients maintains control over setting the goals for therapy, and are directly responsible for designing paths to achieve those goals.

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In May, 2011, Scott Miller presented What Works in Therapy: Translating 40 Years of Outcome Research, a web conference available to clinicians for continuing education credits.