A treatment plan is a structured approach to addressing mental health conditions, addictions, relationship issues, and other emotional concerns. It is designed to provide the structure and focus needed for positive therapy outcomes. The objectives of the plan are the basis of the counseling treatment plan, and should be written using the SMART framework for goal setting. Each treatment plan is unique and tailored to the individual's needs.
Staff in a treatment program should emphasize the importance of discretion and confidentiality when dealing with substance use disorder. Treatment plans for people with coexisting disabilities should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in their condition or new knowledge gained during treatment. The three components of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment planning are intrinsically linked and provide a “roadmap” for counselors to deliver evidence-based treatment that best suits the client. Treatment goals are small, incremental steps that will result in the achievement of a treatment goal.
Careful documentation allows all treatment providers to see treatment goals and any accommodations that have been made to achieve them. A treatment plan also helps counselors monitor progress and make adjustments to treatment when needed. 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 a motivating tool. As treatment progresses, counselors work with clients to change or adjust treatment goals to go beyond symptom control and focus on underlying problems.
A treatment plan may be very formalized or it may consist of a less structured scheme for a treatment plan. It should document all alterations to the usual treatment procedures being performed. If a customer believes they need an accommodation, the treatment provider will have to determine whether the request is legitimate or an attempt to manipulate the treatment schedule.