Treatment plan is a specifically tailored plan which is used as a powerful tool for the planning and management of a person’s health condition.
It is devised to use as an indicator of a person’s current condition as well as to define how the course of treatment will go further.
It has detailed information of a person’s profile including demographics and psychological condition and other comorbidities.
Moreover, it also provides information about how the treatment will start and what path it is going to take further in the future.
It works with certain treatment plan goals and objectives which can be achieved while treading the cautious path.
We’ll discuss everything you need to know about a treatment plan in this article.
What is a Treatment plan?
A mental health treatment plan is a set of instructions and everything related to recording the treatment of illness or ailment.
It will have information about a client’s personal information including demographics and clinical information of a person like diagnosis and treatment prescribed and the steps to implement that treatment regimen.
Moreover, outcome measurement can also be a part of the treatment plan.
Treatment plans used in mental health professions are multi-faceted documents written in versatile manner which help medical practitioners and their team to carefully observe the therapeutic treatment.
These are mostly used by mental health professionals, psychologists, therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, counselors and even social workers in different levels of care.
These are collaborative plans which aim to find the best possible solutions of a person’s problems.
Treatment plans are also known as agreements between the mental health practitioner and the patient which represent an approach towards problem-solving and empowerment.
It shows collective effort of the practitioner, patient and sometimes the family members too.
Treatment plans are devised in the best interest of a person in therapy.
Contents of a Treatment Plan
An effective treatment plan is a comprehensive and detailed analysis of a person’s ongoing condition as well as the treatment regimen prescribed by the mental health practitioner.
It has a number of items and works according to the condition as well as the improvement observed in the patients.
Moreover, treatment plans can be changed according to the requirement with the consent of both mental health practitioner and the patient.
Mental health practitioners devise and use the treatment plan for an easier approach towards the treatment as well as an organized plan to cure a patient.
A successful treatment plan for mental health practitioners has following contents.
i. Bio Data:
It is the most important part in a treatment plan because the treatment is initiated on the basic information provided by the patient.
This part includes demographics of the patient, psychosocial history and assessment done by the mental health practitioner.
Assessment includes onset of symptoms, diagnoses (every diagnosis provided even in the past), treatment history (if any) and any information provided during the assessment procedure related to a patient’s well-being.
This is the basic and foremost information provided so it is the most important information because every next step towards a patient’s treatment is related to the basic information provided in this section.
ii. Presenting Complaints:
This section is related to every single complaint and concerns related to mental health of the patients.
Every little detail is explained so the treatment plan is made according to the requirements of the concerns mentioned by the patient.
Presenting complaints can be both physical and psychological and these complaints should be reported by the patients.
These are also recorded in the patient’s own language and own verbatim.
Treatment and management plans basically work on resolving the presenting complaints.
iii. Treatment Contract:
It is a binding contract between patient and the mental health practitioner.
This section provides summarized information about the mutually agreed-upon plan which can be used to treat a mental health patient.
It is usually formed after a long and detailed discussion between mental health practitioner and the patient.
This is the most important part because this section states that who will be responsible for what during the treatment of the mental health issue.
Moreover, other important information regarding treatment like the modality used during the treatment and the methods used during session will be mentioned in this treatment contract.
iv. Plus Points:
A treatment plan is used to mention the strengths and plus points of a person during the treatment plan.
A mental health practitioner looks for a patient’s strength during the preliminary assessment.
Most of these are self reported by the patient but the mental health practitioner can use these strengths for positive influence during the treatment.
It can also be used to empower the patient to tap into their areas of strength to achieve treatment goals.
It can also have a strong impact on the treatment plan and most of the time positively affects the patient’s self-esteem.
v. Treatment Goals:
Treatment goals are the most important aspect of a treatment plan when it comes to starting a treatment for a mental health patient.
These are building blocks of the management or treatment plan. These goals are specific to every person and goals are tailored to the needs of the specific person in therapy.
These goals should be realistic and the practitioner should think about the level of the person too and meet these goals on that specific person’s level.
These goals are measurable using behavioral tracking, target percentages, and rating scales.
Goals are specified in both long terms and short term goals which represent the aspects which need immediate attention and the goals which can be achieved using a longer process.
These goals can be achieved by breaking down into objectives in order to achieve these goals on time.
These goals broken down into objectives can be supportive to the person during the therapy.
The reason is that these goals require smaller steps which are easily achievable rather than using larger goals.
Moreover, these smaller objectives will take the practitioner and the patient to the achievement of larger goals.
Just like treatment goals, objectives should also be realistic and should be set with the understanding of the patient too.
vii. Frequency, Targets and Modality of Treatment:
Treatment plan should also include everything related to the frequency of the sessions, therapies and treatment.
Every single goal in the treatment plan requires using specific modality which can be used to achieve that specific goal.
Target dates and the frequency of sessions are also included in this section of treatment plan.
Most of the time, every single goal requires its own modality and frequency of treatment.
However, sometimes the whole treatment plan has only one section for all the goals and objectives.
Interventions are techniques and therapies which are used to achieve the goals mentioned in the treatment plan.
These interventions are implemented in order to achieve the goals and to support the achievement of the larger goals.
These are only specific to the trained mental health practitioner and only they can suggest interventions.
Moreover, it requires a certain level of creativity because every patient is unique and needs to be treated with individuality.
These are decided on the basis of frequency, modality and target of treatment.
ix. Outcomes and Progress:
It is of utmost importance to look at the progress of the treatment plan. It tells the practitioner about the effectiveness of the treatment plan and if there are any changes needed to be made in the treatment plan.
Mostly every goal has its own progress and outcomes reporting but in some cases overall progress of the treatment plan is documented.
A review of treatment plan is made and everything related to progress both during and outside of sessions.
It is often viewed in order to see if something needs to be changed in the treatment plan.
Who can benefit from a treatment plan?
Treatment plan is the most important component of treatment and it helps both therapist and the client to be on the same page during ongoing treatment.
It also provides the opportunity to the therapist and the client to discuss treatment and also it works as a motivational tool for the client as well.
There are a number of people who can benefit from a mental health treatment plan which includes the following.
· Mental health patients
· Distressed individuals with stress in more than one area of their life.
· Families, children or parents of the mental health patients
· Older people
· Couples with problematic relationships
· Individuals with problematic lives
· Individuals with developmental disabilities
· People who are or who have been bullied or abused
· Individuals who have bullied or abused others
· People in the criminal justice system
· Drug Addicts
· People with emotional concerns
A treatment plan addresses a number of concerns and it should be understood that even the treatment plan for people with similar problems is almost the same that every treatment plan is unique due to the uniqueness of every individual.
A single problem can be solved by a number of different methods and a treatment plan can go in a number of directions.
A treatment plan for two individuals can never be the same even if they are suffering from the same problem.
These plans can also be used to give to the insurance companies if the client’s insurance company is paying for the treatment.
Importance of Treatment Plan
A treatment plan is important for a mental health practitioner for a number of reasons.
· It is a guide to treatment for both health care providers and the client.
· It reduces the risk of fraud and abuse.
· It smooths things out for everyone like clients, health providers and the insurance company.
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FAQs about Treatment Plan
1. Is the treatment plan requires additional charges from the client?
No, it is a part of the treatment regimen.
2. Does a client get a say in the making of treatment plan?
Of course, most of the goals and objectives are set with the help and direction of the client.
3. As a client, do I have to attend more sessions to devise a treatment plan?
No, it is made in earlier sessions.
4. How much does it benefit me?
A treatment plan is pretty much everything you need to know about the treatment so it helps the client a great deal.
5. Can I ask my mental health practitioner to show me my treatment plan?
Yes, you can and you should.
1. Hansen, M. (1996). Writing effective treatment plans: The Pennsylvania CASSP model.
2. HIPAA privacy rule and sharing information related to mental health. (2017, December 19).
3. Hutchison, M., Casper, P., Harris, J., Orcutt, J., & Trejo, M. (2008, July 31). The clinician’s guide to writing treatment plans.