David S. Prescott, LICSW

Home | Presentations | Books, Chapters, Articles | DVDs | Other Media | Resources | For Training Organizers



Beyond Best Practice: How Mental Health Services Can Be Better


By Birgit Valla & David S. Prescott

978-0-367-17510-8 (hbk)
978-0-367-17513-9 (pbk)
978-0-429-05728-1 (ebk)

Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, Abingdon, UK

Also available through Amazon sellers.




Written by practitioners for practitioners, this empirically-grounded book offers clinicians of all backgrounds a guide to incorporating feedback and self-development strategies that will dramatically enhance their therapeutic abilities. Building on the foundation of Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT), Beyond Best Practice explores the benefits of practicing therapy using in-the-moment client feedback, with an emphasis on ongoing, typically solitary, deliberate practice.

Chapters describe the real-world journey of an established master therapist and her agency, examining each element of FIT in detail through her eyes. Her journey is illustrated through discussions with prominent researchers, authors, former clients, as well as informative experiences outside of psychotherapy. Rich case examples of success, failure and "failing successfully" are also woven throughout, with a focus on the practical applications and skills needed to become an excellent and effective therapist and agency.

What becomes clear through the many narratives is that we can improve our services by studying the obvious and subtle forms of feedback that are available to us at all times. Beyond Best Practice emphasizes what each practitioner can do to become more effective, one client at a time. It will be essential reading for all mental health practitioners and agencies working at the front lines of medical care.


“In the volume Beyond Best Practice: How Mental Health Services Can Be Better, Birgit Valla and David Prescott tackle the foremost issue in mental health services. As therapists and mental health workers, we strive to provice the best possible service to our clients. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task: therapists generally do not improve over the course of their careers and systems of care often are bureaucratic institutions that unintentionally obstruct change and innovation. Valla and Prescott discuss how we (therapists, administrators, and policy makers) can change mental health services to be more effective. The authors ‘walk the talk’ so to speak, because over the years they have successfully improved mental health services in thier work places. This volume is not only informative – it is inspiring.”

— Bruce E. Wampold, PhD, ABPP,
University of Wisconsin, Madison and
Modum Bad Psychiatric Center, Norway