A treatment plan is an essential step before the process of treatment itself. Any treatment plan can be constructed only after interviewing the patient, analyzing his/her thoughts, and writing down the reported answers for planning a needed treatment. What is more, there are no doubts that after having the interview with the patient, it is possible to reduce the time spend on various medical examinations and choose the most effective therapy. Besides, one should remember that any treatment plan should include such sections as defining problems/symptoms overview, establishing primary goals for the client, objectives, and designing a detailed system of interventions.
Defining Problems/Symptoms Overview:
This is probably one of the most important parts of the overall treatment plan. Defining problem correctly determines whether diagnosis and treatment methods will be efficient. Each client should describe unique nuances related to one’s feeling and thoughts to reduce the work of a healthcare practitioner and make sure that the diagnosis will be defined correctly. Besides, to reveal all the nuances of how a problem reveals itself, a healthcare practitioner should spend at least few minutes on asking a patient questions related to the problem and, after that, spend some time for analyzing the patient’s thoughts.
The patient reported that he has regular panic attacks for already one week. In most cases, the panic attacks and unpleasant thoughts take place without reason and during the most unexpected moments. He also experiences the ongoing anxiety and, in addition to this, he is afraid of the fact that another panic attack may happen again. Having panic attacks, the patient also experiences sweating, trembling, dizziness, and even chest pain. In addition to this, the client reported about such problems as having all week low energy to do something and no appetite.
The primary goals should be based on the problem sections and be as much specific as possible. Therefore, while defining goals, it is useful to include numbers. For example:
1) With the help of therapy sessions, the patients’ panic attacks will be reduced to one per month.
2) The client will learn five new ways of thinking to know how to react to a variety of anxiety-provoking situations that may happen on a daily basis.
3) The client will learn three new effective relaxation strategies to avoid fear-triggering situations.
All the defined concrete goals should help the customer to understand that his problem is curable and how working toward the goals will help to resolve the panic disorder.
The patient should take short term action steps to get rid of the panic disorder.
Example: Exposure therapy should be applied two times per week. The patient will be exposed to the objects and situations that may provoke a fear response to identify his hidden fears. The customer will learn how to practice new relaxation strategies to prevent panic.
In addition to this, there will be some medications prescribed by a psychiatrist. The patient should report about his feelings while taking the medications and report any possible side effects.
Lastly, there will be several therapy sessions aimed at identifying and challenging negative patterns of thinking and replacing these them with more realistic and helpful ways of thinking.
Interventions are concrete systems of activities designed to help the patient to realize the objectives. All the interventions should go hand in hand with the established goals and must include concrete duration. It is necessary to write about specific activities and write in a detailed way about all the services that will be provided to the client.
1) The patient will visit the cognitive-behavioral therapy for 120 minutes 2 x per week to learn new ways of thinking and reacting to anxiety-provoking situations.
2) The exposure therapy will be applied to the patient at least two times per week for 30 minutes to make sure that the patient exposures to fear-triggering situations practicing newly learned relaxation strategies and system of thoughts.
3) Lastly, the patient will be supposed to intake the prescribed medications for at least one month. The list of medications will include an antidepressant and an anti-anxiety drug.
Therefore, a treatment plan is a crucial part of any therapy. It helps not only to secure the most effective treatment and identify accurate diagnosis but also helps to establish the relationship of trust with the patient. It determines what the problems of the patient are and which goals need to be established to secure the most effective treatment process. Also, it is necessary to discuss the overall treatment plan to ensure that the patient feels comfortable with what has been planned for him. In case all the things described in the treatment plan will be addressed, it will be possible for the patient to recover from his disease and help him to live a usual life.