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Developing a Treatment Plan 

From: Chapter 8: Phases of Treatment: Stabilization, in Methadone Maintenance: A Counsellor's Guide to Treatment (© 2003).

The development of clear goals and plans is a critical aspect of treatment. Although the client may have had a specific interest in going on methadone, she or he may be unfamiliar with counselling and have only vague ideas about what to expect or how counselling can help. The treatment plan serves to clarify both the purpose and goals of counselling, and it directs the focus of the counselling sessions.

A comprehensive assessment is the foundation for treatment planning. The purpose of the comprehensive assessment is to identify other problems or issues that the client would like to address. Setting priorities among the various potential goal areas is an important dimension of the treatment-planning process. MMT clients often have multiple problems, and it is all too easy to have too many problems surfacing at once, with the risk that none are addressed effectively.

As is the case in most domains of counselling, a treatment plan generally consists of the identification of the problem or concern, a statement of the treatment goal or objective, a strategy by which the goal will be achieved and the criteria to be used to measure progress.

It is advisable that the counsellor develop a treatment plan in collaboration with the client as soon as possible after entry to the program and not later than within the first four weeks of treatment (McCann et al., 1994). This may not always be feasible when there are urgent issues to address or when difficulties arise with respect to the client’s starting on methadone.

The client should actively collaborate in the development of the treatment plan and in monitoring progress. Both short- and long-term goals should be identified, and the plan should be reviewed at least every three months during the first year and every six months thereafter. Progress or lack of progress should be recorded, and the plan should be revised as necessary. Refer to Chapter 7 for more details on treatment planning.


Phases of Treatment: Stabilization

Other online chapters from Methadone Maintenance: A Counsellor's Guide to Treatment:

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