04 Mar Posted by: Steve Andreas in: Articles
Recently I watched a workshop presentation of our forgiveness pattern. Overall it was an excellent presentation, and one thing caught my notice: the presenter used scaling on the problem state, resentment. “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the most intense resentment you have ever felt, how resentful are you now?” Initially I thought, “Oh that’s interesting, I never thought of doing that.” But over the next few weeks I had a nagging feeling that maybe it wasn’t actually such a good idea. This led me to think in much more depth about how scaling works, and when it’s useful and when it isn’t.
Some therapeutic approaches make regular use of “scaling” as a way to monitor changes in the intensity of a client’s feeling response, in order to track the usefulness of interventions. This is particularly true in Solution Focused Therapy, and in EMDR where the scale is known as a SUDS scale, an acronym for “subjective units of distress.” Scaling is most often used for unpleasant responses, but it can also be used for feedback about progress toward a positive outcome. “On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is the happiest you have ever been, how would you rate the way you feel right now?”