“The good treatment plan is a comprehensive set of tools and strategies that address the client’s identifiable strengths as well as her or his problems and deficits. It presents an approach for sequencing resources and activities, and identifies benchmarks of progress to guide evaluation.”
-Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) 1994d, p 21
That definition of a treatment plan was written eighteen years ago. At that time plans were written on paper with little follow up or measurement. The system we were working in at that time did not require outcome measures or the need to demonstrate that the client actually got better. Often that patient went through a prescribed process of treatment that was used with everyone. Although screening and assessments were used to identify issues that the patient needed to address, often the treatment was not based on the needs of the individual. If we look at the treatment plan as a map to improved behavior on going assessment must be done to determine positive outcomes for the patient.
Let’s move ahead twenty years and look at what tools are available to improve the process of change.