Therapy is a process in which you treat a client who is dealing with mental health issues. A treatment plan is necessary to pinpoint the exact issues you are treating and the ways in which they will be tackled. It sets specific goals that allow both you and the client to assess progress. It acts as an important road map, providing guidance on the road to the goals and instructions on how to reach them.
Things You'll Need
- Treatment plan form
- Therapy planner book (optional)
Set treatment goals with the client. These goals should be as specific as possible. For example, if you are treating someone with social anxiety disorder, do not use a general goal like "Reduce anxiety." Come up with specific, measurable goals like "Client will be able to comfortably approach and talk to strangers" and "Client will attend social gatherings rather than staying home due to anxiety."
Develop specific steps for each of the goals. You can do this on your own, drawing on your professional expertise, or you can consult a treatment planning book. The steps should be specific actions that the client can take to accomplish each goal.
Discuss the steps with the client, making appropriate changes if needed. In client-centered treatment, the steps should take the client's abilities and limitations into consideration. They should allow the client to have small successes that act as the foundation for bigger ones.
Create a timeframe for the treatment plan. Along with the client, decide how long each goal should take. You can also put a timeframe on the individual steps if appropriate. Decide how often progress will be assessed. Usually this is done at each counseling session, but that can be variable.
Record the plan on a treatment planner form. If you work for a mental health agency, it should have official forms for you to use. If you are in private practice, you can create your own forms based on templates in treatment planner books or based on your own knowledge and experience.
Have your client sign the completed treatment plan form. This signifies his buy-in to the plan. Make sure he reads it before signing to make sure he is comfortable with it. Give him an opportunity to ask any questions for clarification before signing.