In this post, share how to create a treatment plan as the second part of the clinical cycle. Okay, this is part two of the clinical cycle because we really need to spend that time during the intake assessment to identify the client's needs, as well as their unique barriers, which we'll use to formulate the treatment plan. And so, because we really want to see tangible results, right? That's why people enter counseling in the first place. That's why any of us set goals is because we want to see some tangible change.
It is important that we spend some time to postulate what is the final result we want. What does that transformation look like so that we can work backwards and implement some viable steps? Because that doesn't mean that a treatment plan is set in stone, but it's important to us. Be accountable to the treatment plan, right? But we can always adjust it as needed. Does it make sense? So I'd like to remind you that counseling, while it's important to process thoughts and feelings, is more than that.
It's about helping one identify what you really want and then engaging in problem solving to address barriers. Achieve that thing or those things, or that change the quality of life they seek. All right, let me explain it to you. I like to think about bold and furry goals, right? Like all BHAG, big and furry bold goals, we have to grow as a person to achieve them.
We need to learn a new set of skills. We have to get out of our comfort zone and into our discomfort zone to become the person who can achieve those goals, right? That's why it's a transformation and that's why they're looking for help, because most people, at some level, need a coach to make it happen. If you're trying to lose weight. You need a physical trainer, right? If you're trying to learn a new language, sometimes you need a tutor, right? So it's responsibility and someone who understands what skills are needed and must be honed to become the person who can achieve that goal and maintain it, right? And a long-term goal really should.
Be at least one year old, so it could be a year old. It's usually something you can't mark. All right, okay, the second part is the short-term goals. So these are the stepping stones that speak to the long-term goal, right? We think of them as objectives.
So these would be specific target behaviors, right? Problematic behaviors that are disrupting the flow to progress on those goals, right? It could be social anxiety; it could be social isolation. If it's anger, then it would seem more like I want to stop annoying my kids when I'm irritated, right? That is more specific in context, so we really need to go deeper when it comes to short-term objectives. Well, there are some acronyms that help us stay focused and honest about it. The one you're probably most familiar with the one I've heard is S, M, A, R, T.
Model, right? So that covers the ground in terms of making sure that our objectives are detailed, that they are achievable within a certain time frame. So, for example, if it's about losing weight, someone might say: “I want to lose weight, my excess weight. So if we divide it into pounds, that's fine, you know?. Okay, I want to lose 80 pounds during the year.
If you say I'm going to lose 80 pounds in three months, you're going to end up disappointed because that's not realistic, so. We know you can lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, so you'd have to divide 80 by two and that's it. Realistically, you could lose 80 pounds over that time. That's what we mean when we say realistic, measurable and attainable goals.
All right, another acronym that can help us complements the intelligent model, and this is known as P, O, W, E, R. So the P in the POWER model really represents positivity. So instead of saying something like I want to stop being an angry person, right? We'd say I want to be the kind of person who can bite their tongue and walk away instead of explode. OK, OK, the O model and the power model are the property acronym.
Blaming the world for our shortcomings, right? Something in therapy called cognitive dissonance, right? We want to close that gap, so we stop blaming the tree for not being able to reach the block, right? We can't get to Apple in our own right. Then we can start solving problems. We can build the ladder, right? We can get a stick and knock down the apple, but it's not until we own our own shortcomings or the inability to meet that goal in our current context. The sooner we do it, the sooner we can start solving problems, a way to overcome that barrier.
Okay, so, the W in the power model? So, this goes back to what we saw in the smart model with specificity. So specific and detailed statements about the problem are how we actually started to formulate a plan. Right and the E in the energy model meaning evidence. So, again, something like the measurability of the intelligent model.
It's not always just about losing weight, is it? If you're more specific about better health, you can use a smart scale that measures other factors such as visceral fat, muscle mass, skeletal mass, water retention, so you could be gaining weight, but it could be muscle, not fat, and so on. We quit smoking before Pinnacle, right? Okay, so they're the last part of the POWER model that really talks about relationships. And the reason why I think this is probably the most important part of the POWER model that might differ a little from the smart model, is that it makes us think about cost, right? Every time we face a big, furry and bold goal. It often comes with costs to our relationship.
If we want to go to graduate school, that means time away from our family. If it's about losing weight, sometimes that changes the dynamic with our partner right where it can cause waves. And that's not because we didn't have the tenacity. The guilt, the shame, you know I'm trying to start my business, but I didn't know it would feel that way.
You know, I would have this father guilty for not spending so much time with my children or my spouse. So, when it comes to making measurable goals right, we can use some tools and advice to help us achieve that. Therefore, these are basically questionnaires that we use at the beginning of treatment during intake and that allow us to obtain a baseline. A baseline score of symptoms that a person might be having.
This would be like GAD-7, which measures the symptoms of general anxiety disorder. We could use the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, which measures someone's depressive symptoms. We could use something like the OQ-45.2, which measures a global type of quality of life, self-assessment score and then breaks it down into things like symptom distress, symptom severity, interpersonal relationship problems, stress. So, if they're struggling with employment or can't afford to go back to school and get their education or certification and something, we could take advantage of things like the Department of Rehabilitation.
If someone is struggling academically at school or university, we may link them to services for disabled students so they can have more time to take their test and, if necessary, get a person to take notes so that they can get a priority registration. And so when someone needs child care, we can identify low-cost child care services and link them to that. So if someone needs a home helper because they are disabled, or maybe they are the caregiver of a loved one. And they need more time to be able to focus on their own goals and not exhaust themselves.
We can link them to IHSS, right? Ways you can link someone to something, and you can link it to the plan, right? So in six months you are going to take advantage of this or that resource to advance towards your goal. Your big, furry and bold target, right? And finally, I want you to remember that plans evolve like all of our objectives. What I want from now on is probably going to change within six months or within a year, to a certain extent, the goal moves a little, the goal changes, and that is often because when we start to progress towards our goals, then our scope expands our scheme expands to where we realized they want move on, and that's part of the process. The objectives are not set in stone, but we do need a roadmap for each milestone.
I will do Part 3, which is the final part, and that is the next episode and it will be in the progress notes. Therefore, progress notes are the final part of the clinical cycle, and this is how we track progress along the way and how we do physical documentation. So, I hope you found this useful. If you did, share and share it with your colleagues, and if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to the podcast or YouTube channel.
DO YOU NEED HELP FOR CRISIS? If you need immediate crisis help with your depression, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.Start typing the search term above and hit enter to search. If you're interested in learning more about creating good treatment plans, this easy-to-read three-page PDF includes some tips on how to set good goals for a client-centered treatment plan. It is considered a best practice for mental health professionals to be as manifest and force-based as possible when it comes to treatment plan documentation, as family members and other providers can view the plan, provided that the person in therapy grants the treatment provider permission to disclose information. A treatment plan is a detailed plan tailored to the individual patient and is a powerful tool for engaging the patient in their treatment.
Treatment planning is a very important part of the therapy process, where the doctor and patient can collaborate to create common goals and expectations for treatment. This documentation of the most important components of treatment helps the therapist and client stay informed, provides an opportunity to discuss treatment as planned, and can act as a reminder and motivating tool. A good mental health professional will work collaboratively with the client to create a treatment plan that has achievable goals that provide the best chance of treatment success. Mental health treatment plans are versatile, multifaceted documents that enable mental health professionals and the people they treat to design and monitor therapeutic treatment.
The therapist and client will work together to obtain this information on paper, and the therapist will contribute their experience in treatments and treatment outcomes, and the client will contribute their experience into their own life and experiences. Treatment plans are not necessarily necessary to give or receive successful treatment, but they can be extremely helpful in facilitating a smooth and hassle-free treatment experience. Mental health treatment plans often highlight important evaluation information, define areas of concern, and set concrete goals for treatment. While people in similar circumstances with similar problems may have similar treatment plans, it is important to understand that each treatment plan is unique.
A treatment plan also helps counselors monitor progress and make adjustments to treatment as needed. Some commercial insurance and most managed care organizations (MCOs) require treatment plans to be completed for each person being treated. . .