Have you ever heard of a treatment plan? If you are or have ever been in therapy, I hope you have. A treatment plan is a document that identifies problems you want to work on in therapy, what your goals for these problems are, and steps you can take to work towards accomplishing these goals. Treatment plans are important because they act as a map for the therapeutic process and provide you and your therapist with a way of measuring whether therapy is working. It’s important that you be involved in the creation of your treatment plan because it will be unique to you.
Here are some tips to help you with the treatment planning process.
When collaborating with your therapist to create your treatment plan, you first need to identify the problems you want to work on in therapy. You can gain insight into what these problems are by asking yourself “Why am I seeking therapy in the first place?” You can also talk to members of your support system and ask them what they observe as being problematic in your life.
After you’ve identified the problems you want to work on with your therapist, you need to formulate goals for these problems. One way of identifying your goals is to ask yourself “What will my life look like when this problem is no longer an issue for me?” Your goals should be measurable. One way to make your goals measurable is to quantify them and add a deadline you want to have them achieved by.
Lastly, you need to identify objectives. Objectives are tasks you can work on that will help you reach your overall goal. You want to choose tasks that relate directly to your identified problems and bring you closer to reaching your goals. For example, if your original problem is that you’ve been having rapid heartbeat, racing thoughts, and difficulty breathing due to anxiety, your overall goal might be to experience a reduction in symptoms of anxiety. Your objectives may include practicing deep breathing techniques for 5 minutes a day, identifying at least 5 triggers for anxiety, and identifying at least 5 coping skills for each anxious trigger, because these tasks will help reduce your anxious symptoms.
If the treatment planning process feels overwhelming, don’t worry. You are not expected to come up with your problems, goals, and objectives all by yourself. The treatment planning process is a collaboration between you and your therapist. If you’re struggling to identify problems, goals, and objectives, your therapist can provide valuable input. To find a therapist, contact The Light Program today at (610) 644-6464.