Treatment planning refers to a procedure outlining therapeutic techniques and processes as they are applied to individual clients. Developing a treatment plan involves deciding which therapy techniques to use to accomplish a specific set of treatment goals and objectives. Not surprisingly, as managed care approaches to mental health treatment have increased in popularity and therapists have greater accountability for treatment outcomes, careful planning and problem delineation have become increasingly central psychological treatment components (Jongsma & Peterson, 1995).
The purpose of this section is to introduce beginning mental health therapists to approaches for developing treatment plans for (and with) clients. Before conducting clin ical interviews and beginning mental health treatment with clients, try to become familiar with treatment planning models and methodologies. Your theoretical orientation and treatment planning preferences, along with the client's needs and presenting problem(s), will very much influence your first contact with clients.
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