Essentials of Treatment Planning
The focus of this paper is to describe the function and the process of treatment planning as it is currently used in the counseling profession. Another topic of interest within this paper is to describe the role of counseling theory in treatment planning and how treatment plans are written to demonstrate evidence-based practice (EBP). The next topic of discussion will pertain to the relationship between theoretical orientation and treatment planning. The final contents of this paper will include the definitions and examples of the primary components of a treatment plan.
Function and Process of Treatment Planning Once a clinician has completed the initial assessment, which provides pertinent information about the consumer and his or her presenting problems; the clinician and consumer then work together to develop a unique approach on how and what strategies will be used to guide the consumer to a better lifestyle. Treatment planning is an essential tool for the clinician and the consumer to map out the direction of change.
The main process of a treatment plan is to provide direction needed for change in the consumers’ life, and the main function is to map out how the client can implement these changes. The treatment plan provides two other functions one for the consumer and the other for the clinician. For the consumer it provides his or her desired outcome and the guidelines, goals, and objectives in order to achieve those desired outcomes. To the consumer the treatment plan can be a tangible tool.
For the clinician it provides documentation of what the client desires to achieve and allows the clinician to measure his or her progress and make adjustments to treatment. Monitoring and measuring the consumers’ progress or setbacks ensures all parties involved in the plan can make the appropriate adjustments pertaining to approaches and strategies for the consumer to achieve their desired outcomes.
Role of Counseling Theory To develop the most effective treatment plan with a consumer the clinician must ensure he or she has identified the problem, obtained a clear view of who the client is to determine which theory or theories would be best implemented in the treatment. All consumers do not fit into the same mold so it is important to create a treatment plan unique to that individual. Knowledge of the different counseling theories assists the clinician in implementing the proper techniques and practice in treatment.
Case conceptualization skills are useful to ensure the clinician treatment approach and techniques is culturally appropriate but also effective (Berman, 1997). If a clinician can use these above skills he or she can determine which theoretical orientation would be the best approach or if need be the use of several theoretical approaches. The theoretical approach is also important in the documentation of a treatment to explain and describe which techniques, skills, tools, interventions, and approaches a clinician will use.
Evidence-Based Practices To measure whether a consumer is progressing in his or her treatment it is important to be able to measure their progress, but what is to be measured? How do you know which technique or approach is actually working or not? There is a multitude of counseling theories and although many have been researched and studied for efficacy; however, there are many that have not provided data to support their effectiveness. Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) are psychotherapies that have been studied and have provided sufficient evidence that they are effective in treatment and can be measured for effectiveness (Cigna Behavioral, 2009). EBP also assist in determining which possible theory and technique to implement in a consumers’ treatment plan. Following is an example of how treatment plans are written to demonstrate evidence-based practices. A consumer is referred to you by her physician because of an