Reginald C. Blue, Ph.D. & Associated Consultants - Successful Living By Building Healthy Relationships
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Treatment Planning 
 
Inasmuch as therapy is about making positive changes to achieve better results, based on the information you provided during your clinical interview (presenting problems that motivated you to seek therapy), you will be asked to identify the changes you want to make in your life.  Accordingly, you and your therapist will collaboratively develop your treatment plan which will articulate appropriate goals that are acceptable to you.  Your treatment plan is the road map you will follow on your journey through the therapy process.  The importance of a treatment plan is not just to set your goals but to also paint a picture that allows you to know what your desired change(s) will look like when your goals are achieved.
 
While your therapist may provide recommendations with respect to setting your goals, it is essential that your self-determination remain at the forefront of each step of the therapeutic process.  Consequently, as stated earlier, your treatment plan will be developed in consultation with you inasmuch as jointly considered treatment goals increase the probability that you and your therapist will proceed in the same direction while empowering you in the process to gain your own voice to stand-up for yourself.   
 
The goals of therapy provide a definite measurable outcome for the therapeutic process.  Therefore the goals you establish must be operational, behavior specific and measurable or observable by you because you cannot monitor, discuss and/or measure the changes you make if your goals are vague or stated in theoretical or conceptual terms.  Your therapist will work with you to not only identify the most practical paths to achieve your goals but also assist you in problem-solving those obstacles that separate you from your goals or hinder your progress, such as self-defeating behaviors.  Your progress will be monitored and periodically, adjustments will be made in your plan as needed.  
 
Generally speaking, your plan will have four parts:
 
1.       Identified Problems
 
2.       Goals for Treatment
 
3.       Methods/Techniques to be Used to Achieve Your Goals
 
4.       Estimated Time for Meeting Each Goal
 
The goals of therapy are outlined in your treatment plan which in essence creates a contract for future work with your therapist.  It is the means by which you can easily evaluate your own progress.
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