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3 posts from June 2010

06/15/2010

Feature Article: The Self-Care Treatment Plan: A GPS for the Therapy Process

June
by Liz Strong and Tara Harvill
 
Sometimes clients arrive for counseling with the hope of “feeling better” or wanting “things to be different," but articulating a specific goal may seem more difficult. As a collaborative effort with your therapist, treatment planning is a way of clarifying expectations and identifying barriers to growth and fruition.
 
At the White Picket Fence Counseling Center, we use a self-care treatment plan with our clients as a way to keep track of what led you to therapy, as well as the other issues that surface throughout your sessions.
 
Often, when we begin to discuss treatment plans with clients, they become apprehensive upon hearing words and phrases such as “interventions” and “target date.” If you have a similar reaction, rest assured—treatment plans are actually a very helpful tool.
 
By defining current feelings, situations, and relationships and targeting dreams, aspirations, values, and ideals, treatment planning serves as a GPS for both client and therapist. A self-care treatment plan provides a place to start and a route along which to proceed with purpose. It empowers clients to take an active role in the therapeutic process and demystifies the role of the therapist and the course of counseling.

Together, you establish your goals and how you would like to try to meet them. These goals are then broken down into more manageable steps, complete with time frames. This written plan can also help to keep sessions on track, enabling you to follow your progress.
 
So what happens if you discover something new along the way or change your mind about what’s right for you? Treatment plans remain flexible and, by design, require revisiting and updating periodically for this very reason. Just as a GPS accommodates new destinations or detours along the way, treatment plans can be modified and adjusted when necessary to align with the client’s evolving needs.
 
In our experience, one of the best aspects of the treatment plan is how encouraging it is to revisit it and find that you have met many of the goals you established. So ask your therapist about treatment planning.Without a designated destination, how will you know when you have arrived?

 
Recommended Resource:  Discussing books with a group of like-minded people is wonderful, but did you know that reading can also be a powerful journaling tool? Simply read a paragraph, page, section, chapter or two and then write down your reflections about what you've read. For other journaling tips, download our free report, Journal Writing: Your Therapist at Home, and watch your Inbox for details about spirit of change, a 21-day spiritual journaling experience you can practice from the comfort of home.
 
Upcoming Events:
New! 
Monthly Book Discussion Group (Click for Book Group Flyer) 
Coming soon, we will be hosting the first of many book discussion groups, featuring "Women, Food and God," a best-seller by Geneen Roth that has been endorsed by Oprah and talked about all over the world. We'll discuss the principles of the book, as well as our own strategies for dealing with emotional eating, and touch on how to put them into practice. Join us for our first Monthly Book Group on June 27th.
 
 
Featured Groups this month:
 
Family and Friends Workshop - for parents, siblings, spouses, significant others, friends...
Tuesday, June 15th 6:00pm-8:30pm, facilitated by Sandee Nebel, LMHC and Alice Baker, RD/LD. Click for flyer to print with details about Family and Friends Workshop
 
Emotional Overeaters Group - Cognitive Behavioral Techniques and Process Group - Four week group begins on Thursday, June 10th at 5:00pm.  Click for updated 5pm group flyer!
 
Great new group for college and grad students who struggle with overeating and being overweight beginning soon -- (and $5 off weekly fee if you are a student)  You can also join if you are same age group and not attending school or already graduated! Click here to let us know if you are interested in this a group for compulsive overeating.
 
Other ongoing groups include for those with anorexia or bulimia on Tuesdays at 5:00pm, monthly relapse prevention groups, emotional eating therapy group, food addiction group and various workshops.  For current flyer, click to email and request here
 
We have several other groups -- let us know if you have special interest or do not see your glroup listed here.

Personal Note from Sandee Nebel

 Have you ever gone back in time? Last month I had the experience of doing just that. First, I took a very special trip with my aunt, retracing a vacation we took together 10 years ago, just after my mother passed away. Then, I visited my old hometown and actually had the opportunity to walk through the house I grew up in (I also talked about this house in the April newsletter).
 
I've been hearing from more and more people who are taking these "nostalgia tours" as their vacation. What a wonderful way to revisit old memories and find closure. I found it a very heartwarming and healing experience.
 
In many ways, therapy can be like a trip through time, as you go back and revisit the times when beliefs, habits and personality traits were formed. Like any trip, a navigation system really comes in handy, and today's feature article talks about the White Picket Fence Counseling Center version of a GPS—the self-care treatment plan.